Road to the World Futsal Championships

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                            



Leo Meireles

United Futsal Association

[email protected]




22 Qualifiers from across the world will help place the teams in the 2019 tournament


RALEIGH, N.C. (20 September 2018) – United Futsal Association, an organization dedicated to promoting the game of futsal (a sport similar to soccer played mainly indoors with five players per side) around the world, today announced that the first-ever World Futsal Championships Regional Qualifier Series will be held in conjunction with Global Premier Soccer and the United States Specialty Sports Association.

The series of tournaments will serve as a pathway to define the field each year in the AAU World Futsal Championships located at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando, Fla., each July. The partnership with GPS ensures quality competition and tournament organization at each of our International Qualifiers while sanctioning through USSSA will ensure each domestic qualifier is sanctioned officially to the US Soccer Federation, run according to FIFA standards and each athlete and coach are insured for the duration of the competition.

The 2014 World Futsal Championships featured 50 youth teams and 12 adult teams.  Five years later, the tournament has doubled with over 100 teams from around the world. The 6th Edition will feature a United Futsal Association International Futsal Coaching Symposium and a Referee Certification Course, all against the backdrop of the Disney World theme park.

GPS National Tournament Director, James Hamblin, says “We are thrilled to be partners with both U5A and USSSA to provide a national platform of competitive futsal qualifiers that leads into the World Futsal Championships. We feel these qualifiers will bring the best futsal teams together in the US who will eventually compete with international teams as they qualify for the main event at Disney."


The AAU World Futsal Championships will again be held in front of famous coaches, international scouts and professional futsal players from around the world, eager to see the top futsal teams in the world compete. In previous editions, FC Barcelona, CR Flamengo, and world famous futsal players Falcão and Ricardinho have featured at the event.

“This partnership is the perfect storm between leaders in their respective industries,” said Rob Andrews, President of the United Futsal Association. “It will lead to more opportunities for more players in more locations around the world than ever before, and that is great news for futsal.”

Futsal is a variation of the game of soccer with five players per side.  The game is played primarily indoors on a surface without walls or boards that is slightly larger than a basketball court.  Unlimited substitutions are allowed during a match and there is no penalty for offsides.  In futsal, a goal is scored every six minutes and a shot is taken an average of every 43 seconds.

Futsal was created in Uruguay in the 1930’s.  It is the only indoor soccer game recognized by FIFA, and is played by more than 180 of the federation’s 209 member associations.  The sport has a large and passionate following worldwide, with many top professional soccer players such as Pele, Ronaldo and Messi crediting their experience playing futsal with helping to develop their footwork, ball control and decision making.

“Over the past 15 years we have facilitated growth for the game of Futsal throughout the country” stated Craig Scriven, Vice President of USSSA. “We’re excited to now work with U5A and GPS in continuing to grow the game and provide a quality product both on and off the court.”


For more information on the Road to the World Futsal Championships, please visit

About United Futsal Association

United Futsal Association is an organization dedicated to connecting Americans to the world’s fastest-growing sport through education, events and experiences that foster awareness, understanding and a passion for the game of futsal. Learn more at

About Global Premier Soccer

Global Premier Soccer (GPS) are one of the largest and most successful soccer organizations in North America, providing player development programming in twenty-six States across the USA as well as Puerto Rico, Canada, England and Spain. Learn more at


About United States Specialty Sports Association

USSSA is the largest multi-sport sanctioning body of sports in the country, with over 4.5 million members, and a member of United States Soccer Federation. The organization mission is to develop and expand the game of soccer and Futsal in the United States. Learn more at


United Futsal Association Announced

Dear Futsal Family,

USA Futsal was created in 2010 to help grow the sport of futsal in the United States. Now, five years later, it is time for us to grow as well.

Through our World Futsal Cup, Top 12 Program, Elite 96 and World Futsal Championships, we’ve met players and fans, coaches and referees, directors of club and national organizations from all across the world. We’ve done a lot of listening. Whether during halftime of an FC Barcelona futsal match or over nachos at the ESPN Grill at Walt Disney World, we have heard each one of you loud and clear. It turns out that the members of our international futsal family are facing many of the same challenges we set out to solve here at home just five years ago.

You have told us that there are not enough:

  • High level competitive events for youth and amateur players
  • Experiences where players from around the world can train under professional coaches
  • Educational resources for coaches and referees to utilize to improve
  • Strategic campaigns to raise awareness, generate support and attract funding worldwide

This is why we have decided to become the United Futsal Association.

Our previous name sought to unite organizations from across the United States. Our next objective will be to unite the players, coaches, referees, fans and organizations who support them from around the world.

We hope to create one strong and united voice in order to enable futsal to grow to its full potential worldwide, not just here in the United States. We have not just rebranded, but also restructured our organization to be able to support you whether you are based in the US or abroad. In the coming weeks and months, we will be announcing publicly many of the components we have been putting in place over the past year to make this transition a reality.

Some we can announce today are:

  • We now have over 50% of our events taking place outside the United States
  • We now have staff in five continents to work with you no matter where you are
  • We are now able to communicate with you fluently in English, Spanish, and Portuguese

While our name is changing, you can expect the same level of professionalism, execution and desire to collaborate we have always demonstrated. Now, we’re ready to do it on a global scale.

Join us.





Rob Andrews


United Futsal

Ex-jogador da seleção brasileira cria empresa para ajudar jovens atletas e forma time para torneio na Espanha

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É comum que alguns jogadores de futebol e de futsal, ao deixarem a carreira de atleta, iniciarem o trabalho como agentes. No caso de Ciço, porém, esse processo sofreu algumas alterações. O ex-jogador da seleção brasileira, que ainda está em atividade, iniciou há um ano a C5 Action, empresa que busca se diferenciar das demais.

“Pesquisamos antes e vimos que estava faltando empresa mais completa, com nutrição, fisioterapeuta, médico, psicólogo e aulas de inglês. E desde dezembro de 2016 começamos nosso trabalho e é isso que oferecemos aos atletas. Felizmente todos estão contentes com esse início,” disse o jogador.

Para fechar 2017, a C5 Action está na Espanha participando da World Futsal Cup VI, campeonato que reúne alguns dos melhores times do mundo, como Santos, FC Barcelona e Dina Moscow.

“É uma coisa fenomenal, estamos muito contentes de conseguir organizar uma equipe para trazer meninos para um torneio já consolidado internacionalmente. Estou expondo a marca C5 e os meninos mostram no olhar a felicidade de jogar fora do país, então está sendo único estar proporcionando isso para eles. Estamos fechando ano com chave de ouro.”

Sempre combativo com os problemas do futsal, Ciço se mostra otimista quanto ao futuro da modalidade a confiante de que novos gestores irão conseguir fazer com que o esporte evolua.

“Acredito muito nesse esporte, que amo e me deu tudo que tenho. Tenho que acreditar, vai melhorar. Vai mudar de cima para baixo, gestão. O que aprendi fora do país não posso deixar passar. Vou trabalhar para que haja mudanças na forma de se tratar as negociações. Para que haja mudança, as pessoas de cima tem estudar e se capacitar para tal,” finalizou o atleta, que estuda Processos Gerencias e Marketing atualmente.

Brazilian star creates a company to help young players and now make the first international trip to World Futsal Cup VI

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Between the big clubs of World Futsal Cup VI, like Santos, FC Barcelona and Dina Moscow, one club is new for everyone: C5 Action. However, the name behind this team is a real star of the futsal.

Ciço played many years with Brazilian National Team and also in the Spanish futsal. One year ago, he created the C5 Action Company with two friends to help young players and be the agent of them.

“We searched a lot and with my experience I saw that was missing one complete company. The C5 has nutritionist, physio, English classes, doctor and psychology,” said Ciço in an exclusive interview.

The World Futsal Cup VI is the first international experience of the boys of C5 Action and the founder is very happy with this opportunity.

“Its fantastic to bring the boys to here, one fantastic tournament, with good courts, organized and already consolidated. We can see in the eyes of the players that they are excited to be here, so to us this means a lot. We are closing 2017 as the best way.”

Ciço is studying now management and marketing, thinking in improve his company and all the futsal.

“I believe a lot in this sport which gave me everything. We have some problems, but will improve with good management. It’s the second sport most practiced in Brazil, so we have a lot of potential,” finished the Brazilian star.

Georgia futsal academy brings international talent to develop players

Two years ago, Jonathan Cueva opened the doors of what would become Rockport Indoor Soccer. Back then, the space was empty but what started as a vision of opening an indoor soccer facility turned into a dedicated futsal court where young players come to train.

Walking into Rockport Indoor Soccer, it's easy to see the care that Cueva spent in the details- from the concession stand to the penalty box, every detail was created to establish a free environment where players can come try their skill in fast-paced futsal games.

For the Georgia community, the facility has been a game-changer. Children have an alternative space where they can build community, learn new skills and develop constructively on and off the court. For the futsal community, the facility is a small win in the quest to bring the sport to the United States.

"Futsal still needs to grow," said Cueva. "We were at the World Futsal Championships watching Brazilian teams play and their movements and strategies were new for us. I want as many people, especially young children to see and share the game at its highest level."

This summer, Cueva has partnered with the LSA Sharks and UNITED FUTSAL to bring international talent to Rockport Indoor Soccer and do just that. Together, they will open Escorpion Futsal Academy, the first after school futsal academy in the state and they're brining in Toni Farreras to teach their players how the game is played.

For Farreras, the game has been his biggest love. From a young age, he showed a talent for developing players, having trained his first futsal team at the age of 14. Since then, he has coached players from the mighty FC Barcelona, Pineda F.S, Futsal Mataró and Canet F.S., among others.

His secret to developing champions is in his approach to coaching.

"My intention is to make you think from the first day. I do not want you to memorize anything, I want you to understand why things happen and only then improve your ability to make decisions on the court," explained Farreras. "I also want to convey my way of seeing this sport and how we can take it to our lives off the track. Everything has a connection."

Lanier Soccer Association will be also benefiting from Farreras’ training; He will be acting as the futsal academy’s Technical Director and educate our coaches in the art of futsal.

Escorpion Futsal Academy will kick off this January and children will be able to learn basic principles and absorb a bit of the coaching culture that has made teams in Spain a force to recon with. With eight practices per month, players will receive dedicated attention and enjoy the competitive advantage that comes from professional coaching.

Registration for the January sessions is open now. Click here for more information

Lessons to be learned from Corinthians x Marreco

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How Corinthians is using futsal as a stepping stone in player development

This October, Corinthians Futsal played against Marreco Futsal in an electrifying game. The game took place in the Ginasio Poliesportivo Wlamir Marques, in Sao Paulo (Brazil). With a venue capacity for approximately 6,500 supporters, thousands of fans crowded the stands.

Fans arrived three hours before the game, anxious for the match. While the big gates were still closed, people gathered outside, talking about their expectations for the game. Corinthians lost the last quarterfinal game against Marreco in Francisco Beltrao, Marreco’s city. Corinthians wouldn’t let Marreco go to the semifinals easily.

Fans were full of emotions. As the game was in the Corinthians club, most supporters outside wore the team's shirts. They talked not only about futsal, but also other sports that Corinthians is present. There were also some Marreco fans waiting for the gates to open. The dinner of the night was hotdogs and French fries sold in the stands in front of the gymnasium.

After the gates opened, the public settled on the bleachers. People were really excited for the beginning of the game. Fans sang the team’s songs, kids ran around the court, parents went to the cafeteria to buy coxinhas (a popular food in Brazil consisting of chopped chicken meat, covered in dough, battered and fried), esfihas (a pie-like dish originating from Lebanon and common in Brazil, normally open-faced with various toppings as cheese, beef and vegetables) and potato chips.

12-year-old fan Matheus is a great supporter of Corinthians and has attended many games.  His opinion about the match was positive, “This is a difficult game for Corinthians, but the athletes are playing very well. I hope Corinthians win this night.”

Matheus echoed the wish of hundreds of fans around the court.

When players entered the court to warm up, fans were fascinated and you could see the glint in the children’s eyes. The Corinthians team really tries to get the kids closer to professional athletes. Players enter the court definitely for the game accompanied by the children of the club, holding hands.

The professional athletes did not mind stopping for a few seconds to take pictures with the fans who admired them behind the net. During the interval of the match, some young players were called to make a penalty shoot-out and feel like the professional ones of the night.

Corinthians does this for a very specific reason. According to Edson Sesma, futsal manager for Corinthians, the sport is a tool for a child or youth improve their abilities, movements, self-knowledge and dynamism.

“Quick thinking, taking several actions and a lot of contact with the ball are three concepts present in futsal that are very important in the growth of the child,” Sesma reflects.

At the end of the night, Marreco eliminated Corinthians from Liga Nacional de Futsal. The result was Corinthians 4 (0) x (1) 3 Marreco. Although Marreco would still lose in the semifinals for Assoeva, it was a game full of emotions, attacks and counterattacks that players from both teams did their best to amuse people watching them.

Goals were scored by Matheus, Douglas Nunes and Douglas, for Corinthians. Suelton, Emerson, Fabiano Assad and Barbosinha scored for Marreco.

Vander Carioca, Corinthians Futsal pivot, is now 41 years old. He started playing futsal with the age of 7. It is more than 30 years of futsal. For him, futsal is a new type of education, outside classrooms. “It’s a life of futsal, a sport that gave me everything”, said Carioca.

This is the objective of Corinthians Club and UNITED FUTSAL.

Regardless the outcome of the match, Corinthians' Futsal team is increasingly prepared for the futsal world. They have ten male teams and four female teams and as Sesma says, “it is no longer just a modality, but a great sports project.”

Corinthians as an organization tries to integrate the sports practiced inside the club and also the junior players, professional athletes and fans. Their style of play is very well received by other teams, especially futsal fans.

Futsal is one of the sports that is conquering the world. It can be practiced in small places, such as indoor courts, and it is attractive and feasible for any age. In Brazil, futsal is accompanied by people who like soccer a lot. In a country that is mono-sport, having a sport that is very similar in the way that football is played is very important in order to give more voice to sports that receive less attention from the public and the mainstream media.

“Futsal stands out both commercially and sportily,” Sesma affirms. “Commercially because of the way a game attracts all audiences and sportily because it is a great partner in the training of athletes for football”.

Futsal is especially important at the youth level to establish and develop co-working skills and quick thinking.

Corinthians' players are a prime example of this development. Despite the defeat,  players will keep their heads up and bring their best to their next matches and championships.

Futsal City Atlas puts Colombia on the map at World Futsal Cup VI

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Every winter, the World Futsal Cup brings teams and athletes from all over the world to its home town of Blanes in the Spanish coast. This year’s tournament will feature a new team from Colombia who will become the first to represent the country at the tournament.

Its name is Futsal City Atlas.

Since 2016, it has won impressive titles in Brazil, Paraguay and England. The team was founded in 2015 to represent Bogota in a national tournament. Futsal City Atlas then competed a South American Championship in Brazil in 2016 and became part of the Colombian national team.

The trailblazer team then took their talents to Paraguay last season where they won the world title. This year, they played a Gatorade tournament in London.

After going up against Spain, Mexico, Italy and France, they beat El Salvador and won the title, winning a trip to Cardiff, where they watched the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Juventus.

Now, the team's focus is World Futsal Cup VI. Coach David Jimenez knows the challenges that his club will face, as they take on seasoned teams but his players are ready.

“They are training 4 days a week, competing in league tournaments in Bogota on weekends", said Jimenez. "They know they will face the best in the world and this is what fuels them."

Principles To Win

Futsal City Atlas has two non-negotiable principles that are taught to players: “Esfuerzo perfecto (perfect effort)” and “disciplina tactica (tactic discipline)”. These are meant to remind players what they're training for.

“Esfuerzo perfecto is one of the club's mottos. It is meant to remind the players of the sacrifice they have to make (like getting up early, doing homework and then coming to train when they're tired)." said Jimenez.

The quality of the team’s regiment and their desire to success was noticed by Sergio Arboleda University and together, they have established a partnership that will benefit the University and players.

As part of their agreement, the team will represent the University at the World Futsal Cup VI and the players will have access to a futsal scholarship.

The titles, international championships and union with the University are all a testament to the booming success of Futsal City Atlas . When we asked Coach Jimenez how they did it, he explained it began with a dream.

“I think that we must dream, but also we need to work to achieve these dreams. When we started, was a dream to represent our city. We dreamed, worked and achieved that. A lot of people said that we wouldn't get here, but we put in the effort and had success,” concluded the coach.

Futsal City Atlas made history in Colombia and they are just getting started. See them prove themselves at the World Futsal Cup VI.

Estamos con Barcelona.

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17 de Agosto de 2017

Durante los últimos cuatro años, Barcelona nos ha bienvenido a casa cada invierno, ya que traemos equipos de todo el mundo para la Copa Mundial de Fútbol Sala. El día de hoy, estamos profundamente entristecidos por la pérdida de la vidas inocentes.

A medida que aprendemos más sobre el ataque terrorista, queremos que sepan que estamos a salvo.

Mas que nada, no permitiremos que este acto de violencia nos disuada de regresar a Barcelona este invierno. Para asegurar la seguridad y bienestar de nuestro personal y los equipos participando, nos aseguraremos de que tener medidas de seguridad durante el torneo.

Nuestros pensamientos y más profundas condolencias  están con los afectados por este horrible evento.

Estamos con Barcelona.

Rob Andrews


Escola do Texas Faz História no World Futsal Championships 2017

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Todo verão, times de todo o mundo viajam para a Disney, em Orlando, para competir no World Futsal Championships, torneio realizado no ESPN Wide World of Sports. Neste ano, a chegada de uma jovem equipe do Texas foi um marco histórico.

Em maio, o Dallas ISD, 14º maior distrito de escolas públicas dos Estados Unidos, inovou e sediou o primeiro torneio nacional de futsal de colégios públicos, abrindo caminho para a integração do futsal com a educação.

“Futsal é um esporte de ritmo acelerado, que engaja e permite que as crianças tenham a oportunidade de desenvolver o pensamento crítico em um ambiente coletivo”, afirmou Rob Andrews, presidente da UNITED FUTSAL. “O benefício adicional para as escolas é que é um esporte de baixo impacto e baixo custo que os jogadores podem praticar durante o ano inteiro”.

Neste ano, a Onesimo Hernandez Elementary School foi uma das duas escolas primárias convidadas para participar da World Futsal Championships. Para realizar a viagem a Orlando, o time angariou mais de U$5.000 e conseguiu um patrocínio da Southwest Airlines.

A participação deles fez história já que o colégio foi o primeiro distrito de escola pública da nação a participar do campeonato.

“Fazer essa parceria com a UNITED FUTSAL foi uma oportunidade maravilhosa para os jovens atletas”, declarou Lance Johanson, diretor e coordenador de projetos especiais do Departamento de Saúde e Educação Física do Dallas ISD. “A participação no torneio abriu portas para um intercâmbio cultural, para o espírito esportivo e para oportunidades de crescimento social.”

Um dos objetivos do Dallas ISD é que todo estudante participe de atividades extracurriculares. A introdução do futsal deu a eles a possibilidade de ficarem muito perto de concretizar isso.

Esporte gerido pela Fifa, o futsal é uma versão menor e mais rápida do futebol, jogado no 5 contra 5 em uma quadra, que pode ser de basquete, tênis ou até em estacionamentos sem uso.

No futsal, os jogadores recebem em média 600% mais a bola e marcam quatro vezes mais gols do que no futebol, sendo assim a ferramenta de desenvolvimento perfeita para as organizações que visam evoluir na participação dos jogadores nas partidas.

Muito dos grandes atletas do futebol profissional, como Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi, Ronaldinho e até Pelé atribuem à prática do futsal quando criança como chave do sucesso em suas carreiras como jogadores de futebol.


Criada em 2010, a missão da UNITED FUTSAL é incentivar o crescimento do esporte nos Estados Unidos e além por meio da organização de eventos e competições, bem como da promoção de oportunidades para jogadores, técnicos, árbitros e torcedores. Visite para saber mais sobre como você pode se envolver no esporte indoor que mais cresce no mundo.

We Stand With Barcelona.

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August 17, 2017

For the past four years, we have called Barcelona home every winter as we bring teams from all over the world for the World Futsal Cup. Today, we are deeply shocked and saddened at the senseless loss of life.

As we learn more about the terrorist attack, we first wanted to let you all know that our team is safe and accounted for.

We will not allow this act of violence to discourage us from coming home again this winter. We will ensure that security measures are in place throughout the tournament for the safety and well-being of our staff and teams.

Our thoughts and deepest condolences are with those impacted by this horrible event.

We stand with Barcelona.


Rob Andrews