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January 3, 2013
120 youth teams play in NYC this winter

Are you ready for some futsal?

Having kicked off in 2010 with 24 teams, New York Futsal has blossomed to 120 youth teams of boys and girls teams playing under the umbrella of the Eastern New York Youth Soccer Association this winter.

The action continues through the weekend of Feb. 23-24 at George Washington High School, Park West High School, Tito Puente Educational Complex, the Manhattan Center, Anderson School, Heschel School, PS 9, PS 52, PS 83 and PS 87. Additionally, there are professional coaching clinics and weekly player clinics.

“Futsal is not a physical but a technical game giving the kids the time and space that they need to develop skills,” New York Futsal director Jaime Arias said.

Futsal promotes quality touches and ball control in tight spaces. Players utilize those skills when they play soccer outdoors. Many of Brazil’s best players ever such as Pelé, Zico, Socrates, Bebeto, Ronaldinho and Marta all played a version of futsal as children.

The origins of futsal can be traced to Uruguay in 1930, where, amid the euphoria that greeted that country's victory at the inaugural World Cup on home soil, there was a soccer ball seemingly being kicked on every street corner in the capital of Montevideo. Juan Carlos Ceriani, an Argentinian physical education instructor living there at the time, observed many youngsters practicing soccer on basketball courts because of the shortage of soccer fields. It was there and then that the idea for a five-a-side variation of soccer came about and futsal was born.

Futsal is the only version of indoor soccer approved by FIFA, soccer’s world governing body.

FIFA hosts the Futsal World Cup every four years, similar to the four-year cycle for the World Cup and Women’s World Cup. Brazil defeated Spain, 3-2, in overtime in the nail-biting 2012 Futsal World Cup final played in Thailand. Italy, finished in third place.

For more information about New York Futsal, visit

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