The U.S. Beach Soccer Men’s National Team is set to appear in its sixth FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup from August 19-29 in Moscow, Russia. Here are five things to know about the tournament:
HOST, FAMILIAR FOES AWAIT IN GROUP A
The USA is making its sixth appearance at the Beach Soccer World Cup and has qualified for back-to-back tournaments for the first time since the 2006 and 2007 competitions. The U.S. was drawn into Group A along with host Football Union of Russia, Japan and Paraguay.
Thursday, Aug. 19: USA v Football Union of Russia (1:30 p.m. ET)
Saturday, Aug. 21: USA v Japan (11:30 a.m. ET)
Monday, Aug. 23: USA v Paraguay (12:00 p.m. ET)
All games will be played in Moscow at the Luzhniki Beach Soccer Stadium on the banks of the Moskva River and just outside the Luzhniki Stadium, which hosted the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final.
It’s the second-straight Beach Soccer World Cup that the USA will face the tournament host after playing Paraguay in its final match of the 2019 competition. The USA also faced Japan in the group stage two years ago.
Host Football Union of Russia has a strong recent history at the Beach Soccer World Cup. Russia finished third at the 2019 tournament and won back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2013. In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and a Dec. 2020 decision by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Football Union of Russia will participate as neutral athletes of its national sports federation.
Japan was selected to participate by the Asian Football Confederation after the original qualifying tournament was canceled and is one of two teams to participate in every World Cup. This year will mark their fourth meeting at the tournament.
Paraguay has reached the last five World Cups, winning the third-place match at the 2021 CONMEBOL qualifiers to clinch the last berth from South America for this year’s competition.
Matches will air live on Universo and the Telemundo Deportes App. FS1 will air the opening match on tape delay at 7 p.m. ET, the second match live on FS1 and the third on FS2.
REPRESENTING THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE
Head coach Francis Farberoff selected a 14-player roster that includes seven players with previous World Cup experience, highlighted by goalkeeper Chris Toth and forwards Alessandro Canale and Nick Perera, who will be appearing in their third FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups (2013 and 2019). David Mondragon, Jason Santos, Gabe Silveira and Lucas Roque also return from the 2019 World Cup team.
The roster includes 11 of the 12 players who helped the U.S. qualify for the World Cup by finishing second at May's Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship in Costa Rica.
U.S. BEACH SOCCER MEN’S NATIONAL TEAM ROSTER BY POSITION (HOMETOWN)
GOALKEEPERS (3): 12-Esteban Sapetnitzky (Miami, Fla.), 11-Xavier Snaer-Williams (Oceanside, Calif.), 1-Chris Toth (Fallbrook, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (4): 2-Chris Albiston (Virgina Beach, Va.), 3-David Mondragon (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 5-Nicolas Perea (Hallandale Beach, Fla.), 6-Jason Santos (Cardiff by the Sea, Calif.)
FORWARDS (7): 4-Tanner Akol (Santa Cruz, Calif.), 9-Alessandro Canale (Venice, Calif.), 13-Fredo Dilbert (Miami, Fla.), 7-Nick Perera (Carlsbad, Calif.), 14-Conner Rezende (Davie, Fla.), 8-Lucas Roque (Sao Paolo, Brazil), 10-Gabriel Silveira (San Francisco, Calif.)
Head Coach: Francis Farberoff
Assistant Coaches: Ben Astorga and Morgan Church
Performance Coach: Daniel Wartner
U.S. AGAINST THE WORLD
Sixteen teams make up the field for the 2021 Beach Soccer World Cup, divided into four groups of four. The top two teams from each group after round-robin play will advance to the quarterfinals.
Portugal enters the tournament atop the Beach Soccer Worldwide Rankings, followed by Brazil. All three of the USA’s opponents are in the top 10.
Group A: USA (16th), Japan (6th), Paraguay (9th), Russia Football Union (4th)
Group B: Spain (5th), Tahiti (13th), Mozambique, United Arab Emerites (14th)
Group C: Brazil (2nd), Switzerland (8th), El Salvador (20th), Belarus (15th)
Group D: Portugal (1st), Uruguay (11th), Senegal, (10th) Oman (21st)
BEACH MNT HISTORY
The USA clinched a berth at the 2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup by advancing to the 2021 Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship Final in May with a 5-2 semifinal win over Mexico.
U.S. Beach Soccer MNT - World Cup Results (USA Goal Scorers)
2005 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
May 9: L 2-3 Japan (Pierre Cazassus, Eduardo Testa)
May 10: L 3-9 Portugal (Christian Braga, Ben Astorga, Francis Farberoff)
2006 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nov. 3: L 4-8 Japan (Raphael Xexeo, Francis Farberoff, Yuri Morales, Anthony Chimienti)
Nov. 5: W 4-2 Poland (Chimienti (2), Brendon Taguinod, Astorga)
Nov. 7: L 6-10 Brazil (Xexeo (3), Astorga (2), Taguinod)
2007 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nov. 2: L 4-8 Spain (Xexeo, Zac Ibsen, Jevin Albuquerque, Chimienti)
Nov. 4: W 7-6 Iran (Josh Nolz (2), Chimienti (2), Morales, Astorga, Ibsen)
Nov. 6: L 5-6 Portugal (OT) (Astorga (2), Nolz, A. Chimienti, Albuquerque)
2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Tahiti, French Polynesia
Sept. 19: L 4-5 Spain (Ryan Futagaki, Nick Perera, A. Chimienti, Lewie Valentine)
Sept. 21: L 3-5 Tahiti (OT) (Own Goal, A. Chimienti, Perera)
Sept. 23: W 6-4 United Arab Emirates (Perera (3), Alessandro Canale (2), Jason Leopoldo)
2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Asuncion, Paragua
Nov. 21: L 6-8 Switzerland (Leopoldo, Perera (2), Oscar Reyes (2), Jason Santos)
Nov. 23: L 3-4 Japan (Canale (2), Toth)
Nov. 25: L 1-5 Paraguay (Leopoldo)
BEACH SOCCER CRASH COURSE
The game is played on a sand “pitch” measuring roughly 30x40 yards and goals around 18x7 feet, with four field players and a goalkeeper, who can– and often does– score.
There are three 12-minute periods (3 minute breaks in between) and no ties. If tied after 36 minutes, a three-minute overtime period will be played. If still tied, it’s best of three penalties, followed by sudden death. Points are as follows:
3 points for regulation win
2 points for overtime win
1 point for penalty kick win
Teams can dress 12 players and make substitutions on the fly from the designated area.
Goalkeepers can only use their hands once per possession, which is why a goalkeeper comfortable with his feet can be advantageous.
There are yellow and red cards. If a player is shown red, his team will play a man down for two minutes (or until the opponent scores if within two minutes). Afterwards, the team may re-insert another player to return to level.