Article Written By Scott Carpenter:
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The 2013 Intercontinental Futsal Cup competition will take place in the Greensboro Coliseum June 27-30. Now in its 13th year, the tournament will pit six of the world's best futsal clubs against each other, including the 2012 Intercontinental Futsal Cup Champion Carlos Barbosa and the new South American Champions Intelli Orlândia featuring world-famous player Falcão.
Futsal is a variant of football (American soccer) that is played on a smaller pitch and mainly played indoors. Futsal is played between two teams of five players each, one of whom is the goalkeeper. Unlimited substitutions are permitted. Unlike some other forms of indoor football, the game is played on a hard court surface delimited by lines; walls or boards are not used. Futsal also is played with a smaller ball with less bounce than a regular football. The surface, ball and rules create an emphasis on improvisation, creativity and technique as well as ball control and passing in small spaces.
The sport was developed in Uruguay in the 1930s and 1940s as a solution to the lack of available football fields. In Brazil and Spain, futsal is played by more people than soccer. All of the best soccer players in the world grew up playing futsal first. Ronaldinho, Robinho, Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and even the great Pelé attribute their success in soccer to the game of futsal.
"Greensboro will be the site of the greatest futsal competition of 2013 and certainly has the potential to be the greatest tournament in the history of this prestigious tournament," Rob Andrews, USA Futsal director, said. "We like to say that futsal has all the global appeal of soccer but was made for an American audience. Lots of scoring, players displaying technique and coaching strategy give it the excitement and intensity Americans are looking for when watching sports live."
"Greensboro is the perfect fit for our event," he added. "The city has a history of hosting world-class sports tournaments and the ability to facilitate a youth tournament at the same location. The Coliseum Staff, local soccer club support and the Convention and Visitors Bureau were just a few other reasons we chose Greensboro."
"In Europe and South America, everybody watches futsal," Miguel Andrés, who coached for the National Futsal Team of Spain and currently is a USA Futsal director, said. "In school, in the youth clubs or in the street with friends, it is the first sport we all play growing up; so we watch it any chance we get on TV or live."
"When I arrived in the United States in August, people were just being exposed to the sport. Now, everyone is talking about it and even US Soccer is mandating that it is included with the training in their development academy clubs across the country," Andrés added. "Over time, the United States can develop one of the best futsal teams in the world. America has all the ingredients to achieve it."
Teams schedule to compete in the 2013 Intercontinental Futsal Cup in Greensboro include:
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Boca Juniors are the futsal division of the world-renowned soccer club from Argentina. They play in the AFA Liga Futsal, the top division for futsal in Argentina. This year they were the Argentinian Champion of the Torneo Apertura 2012, giving them the birth into this year's Intercontinental Futsal Cup. This will be the club's second Intercontinental Futsal Cup appearance in two years.
Carlos Barbosa, Brazil
Founded in 1976, Carlos Barbosa are a professional futsal club from Carlos Barbosa, Brazil. They play in the Liga Futsal (Brazil's Top Division). The club plays its home games at the Centro Municipal de Eventos. During the team's history, the club has won the Intercontinental Futsal Cup two times. (2004 and 2012) They are four-time Liga Futsal Champions - more than any other team in history.
Founded in 2002, Dinamo Moscow are a professional futsal club from Moscow that competes in the Russian Super League. The club plays its home games at Sport Hall "Druzhba." During its history, the club has won the UEFA Futsal Cup once in 2007, finished runners-up three times (2005, 2006 and 2012) and became back-to-back Champions of the Russian Futsal Super League in 2011/2012.
Founded in 1989, ElPozo Murcia are a professional futsal club from Murcia, Spain. The team competes in the Liga de Honor (Spain's Top Division). The club plays home games at the Palacio de Deportes. During its history, the club has won the Spanish Liga de Honor 5 times. In 2012, ElPozo won their 4th Super Copa de España title.
Scott Carpenter/ WFMY News 2 Sports