Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Road to Brazil

The MNT isn't in session right now - they're waiting until October to resume their World Cup Qualifying campaign in Washington D.C. against Cuba. But that doesn't mean there isn't anything going on in the world of U.S. Soccer, in fact, there are a few World Cups just around the corner. One of those is the FIFA Futsal World Cup, which is set to begin next week in Brazil.

With the U.S. FNT (That's Futsal National Team!) set to kickoff Group B on Sept. 30 against Paraguay, we'll be chronicling the team's fortunes from Rio de Janeiro here on the blog. It should be a fun time - after, all it is Rio and Futsal couldn't be more popular in Brazil.

The team is en route to South America today, and we're currently in the midst of an epic four hour layover in Atlanta. If all goes well (fingers crossed) we'll arrive in Rio tomorrow morning before getting situated in our hotel. For now - here's a few things you should know:

- Head coach Keith Tozer has named a 14-man squad for the FIFA Futsal World Cup. You can read about his selection here and listen to the head coach talk about the roster here.

- As previously mentioned, the U.S. is in Group B, along with Paraguay, Italy, Thailand and Portugal. The top 2 teams go through to the next round. You can check out the full World Cup schedule here.

- Brazil is super psyched to host the Futsal World Cup. The game enjoys an immense following in the country and the Brazilian Futsal National Team is ranked number one in the world. They've won the World Cup title three times but they haven't lifted the trophy since 2000. You better believe that their fans want the team to reclaim that hardware on home turf.

- Want some more info? Check out U.S. Soccer's Futsal page here and's World Cup page here.

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