U.S. Men’s Beach Soccer National Team Falls 3-1 to European Champions Italy in Opening Match of 2024 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup

Conner Rezende Scores First World Cup Goal; USBMNT Continues World Cup Play vs. Hosts United Arab Emirates on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. ET on FS2 and Telemundo App

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Feb. 15, 2024) – The U.S. Men’s Beach Soccer National Team fought hard, but ultimately fell 3-1 to reigning European champions and No. 7-ranked Italy in the opening match of the 2024 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup at Design District Stadium on Thursday.

Forward Conner Rezende scored his first career World Cup goal to pull the match even at 1-1 toward the end of the first period, and veterans Chris Toth and Alessandro Canale joined head coach Francis Farberoff as the only U.S. players to appear in four FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups.

The U.S. created two early chances, both from Chris Albiston inside the first 90 seconds, but the Virginia Beach sent product his first attempt on a restart wide right of goal, before a lunging effort went wide left.

Despite the promising start, Italy struck first as Rezende pressed into the middle before the Azzuri pushed the ball out to the right post where Josep Gentilin smashed home the first goal of the World Cup with 10:07 left in the opening period.

Unfazed by the early deficit, the USA created a number of opportunities. Playing in his third World Cup, Gabe Silveira pushed a centering pass from Chris Albiston wide right at 9:16, before Cody Valcarcel’s free kick at 7:01 skipped just over the goal. Then at 5:26, Toth juggled the ball up from the back before his deflected volley skimmed the crossbar and went out for a corner kick.

The consistent pressure finally helped the USA break through with 1:22 remaining. Silveira held the ball on the endline and cut back for Rezende who took a touch to his left before firing a shot that skipped off the sand and over Italy goalkeeper Leandro Casapieri to make it 1-1.

The lead was short lived however as Italy’s Gentilin’s cross from the endline on the left saw Nico Perea try to clear at the near post, but his slight touch wasn’t enough to push it out of dancer and Emmanuele Zurlo was there with 43 seconds left to scrape it over the line and send the Italy into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead.

After a number of attacking chances in the first, the opportunities were more limited in the second, but the USA still did well at both ends of the sand.

After Rezende fouled Zurlo on the left about five minutes into the second period, the Italian’s sent a powerful free kick that Toth did well to make the save on. Toth then provided danger at the other end as his volley to Canale at the left post saw the Santa Monica native nod his header into the side netting with five minutes remaining.

Though the USA looked the more dominant side through the second period, Italy found their third with 4:06 remaining. Nico Perea squared up with Marco Giordani at midfield, making the slightest of touch which caused the Italian to fall hard to the sand. The referee whistled a free kick and showed Perea a yellow card, before Giordani took advantage when he placed a hart shot to the top left corner which left Toth no chance.

Leading 3-1 to start the third, Italy did well to slow down the pace of the game and limit the USA’s chances.

With 1:46 remaining, Tanner Akol collected the ball on the left, juggled and sent a volley that tricked just wide left of Casapieri’s goal. Seconds later, the USA received a small boost as Alessandro Remedi, fouled Perea at midfield and received his second yellow card of the match, forcing Italy down to four players with 1:30 remaining. Perea sent a powerful free kick that Casapieri did well to punch away.

Casapieri then denied to Silveira’s powerful from the right, and Akol’s ensuring corner kick couldn’t connect with Canale on the end line. Italy then saw out the remainder of the match.

The USA now prepares to face hosts United Arab Emirates on Saturday, Feb. 17 (10:30 a.m. ET; FS2, Telemundo App, Telemundo.com) before closing out group play against Egypt on Monday, Feb. 19 (6:30 a.m. ET; FS2, Universo).


  • The match was the first-ever meeting between the USA and Italy in the FIFA Beach Soccer era (2005-present).
  • Conner Rezende scored his first career World Cup goal and sixth overall, coming in his 34th cap. Rezende is the 23rd U.S. player to score in the Beach Soccer World Cup.
  • Playing in his record-tying fourth Beach Soccer World Cup, Alessandro Canale earned his 10th World Cup cap, placing him one behind Francis Farberoff for most in USBMNT history.
  • Earning his 98th career cap, goalkeeper Chris Toth made nine saves as he joined Canale in participating in his fourth career World Cup.
  • Ricardo Carvalho, Antonio Chavez, Andres Navas and Cody Valcarcel made their Beach Soccer World Cup debuts.
  • With the result, the USA moves to 3-15 all-time at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup.
  • USMNT Career Caps: Chris Toth (98), Alessandro Canale (94), Gabe Silveira (55), Chris Albiston (49), Antonio Chavez (36), Nico Perea (36), Conner Rezende (34), Tanner Akol (25), Cody Valcarcel (22), Andres Navas (17), Ricardo Carvalho (11)
  • USMNT Career World Cup Caps: Alessandro Canale (10), Chris Toth (9), Gabe Silveira (7), Chris Albiston (4), Nico Perea (4), Tanner Akol (3), Conner Rezende (2), Ricardo Carvalho (1), Antonio Chavez (1), Andres Navas (1), Cody Valcarcel (1)



Match: United States Beach Men’s National Team vs. Italy
Date: February 15, 2024
Competition: 2024 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup – Group A
Venue: Dubai Design District Stadium; Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Attendance: 711
Kickoff: 6:30 a.m. ET (3:30 p.m. local time)
Weather: 75 degrees, sunny

Scoring Summary:           1        2        3        F
USA                                     1        0        0        1
ITA                                       2        1        0        3         

ITA – Josep Gentilin (Fabio Sciacca)              10:22 (1st Period)
USA – Conner Rezende                                        1:22 (1st Period)
ITA – Emmanuel Zurlo                                           :43 (1st Period)
ITA – Marco Giordani (free kick)                      4:05 (2nd Period)

USA: 1-Chris Toth (Capt.); 5-Nico Perea, 8-Conner Rezende, 10-Gabe Silveira, 11-Chris Albiston
Substitutes: 2-Tanner Akol, 3-Antonio Chavez, 4-Ricardo Carvalho, 6-Cody Valcarcel, 7-Andres Navas, 9-Alessandro Canale
Did not play: 12-Austin Collier
Head coach: Francis Farberoff

ITA: 12-Leandro Casapieri; 2-Ovidio Alla, 5-Josep Gentilin, 7-Fabio Sciacca, 11-Marco Giordani
Substitutes: 3-Alessandro Miceli,  4-Gianmarco Genovali, 6-Luca Bertacca, 8-Tommaso Fazzini, 9-Emmanuele Zurlo, 10-Alessandro Remedi
Did not play: 1-Andrea Carpita
Head coach: Emiliano Del Duca

Misconduct Summary:
ITA – Emmanuele Zurlo (caution)           2:28 (1st Period)
ITA - Alessandro Remedi (caution)        5:51 (2nd Period)
USA – Nico Perea (caution)                      4:05 (2nd Period)
USA – Conner Rezende (caution)            6:06 (3rd Period)
ITA – Alessandro Remedi (caution)        1:30 (3rd Period)
ITA – Alessandro Remedi (ejection)       1:30 (3rd Period)

Referee: Mariano Romo (ARG)
Second Referee: Micke Palomino (PER)
3rd Referee: Turki Al Salehi (OMA)
4th Refeer: Abdulaziz Abdullah (KUW)
Timekeeper: Yuichi Hatano (JPN)