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AMERICAN SAMOA – YOUNGSTERS EMBRACE FUTSAL

Free Futsal Clinic draws future soccer stars

More than 50 youngsters showed up at the Kanana Fou field Saturday morning to take part in the Free ‘Futsal’ Junior Development Program held by the local American Samoa Football Association. Despite the heat in the early morning hours, these kids were running around laughing and having fun while learning the skills of the most popular sport in the world, football.

Boys and Girls ranging from age 6-13 were at the field showing the coaches that they do have the spirit & skills to play futsal, the FIFA 5 aside game.

Today, amateur soccer/football is one of the fastest growing team sports in U.S. high schools. And what better way to start off our youngsters than to start training them young in Futsal?

A team of almost 10 volunteers coached and officiated the impromptu games that were held.

The youngsters were arranged into 3 different age groups and were trained in the different skills that are required in Futsal. These include: Passing – the most important skill in the game, ball mastery – dribbling and faking, and goal tending.

After the technique training the youngsters were teamed up against each other in their respective age groups for a game of 5 on 5 which is the futsal regulation, so that they can showcase what they had learned.

Played on the small court or field, Futsal is FIFA’s small sided game which was developed in South America, blossomed in Brazil and is now played across the globe.

This reporter was able to talk to a couple of youngsters and get their comments on the clinic.

Teuila, a student at Leone Midkiff Elementary gushed that futsal was ‘fun!’ “I have watched the game being played at our school and was never interested because I did not understand the rules and the point of the game. Now that I know what the different positions are, and the skills that are needed. I am definitely trying out for my school’s soccer team next year.”

Six year old ‘A.J.’ from Pava’ia’i Elementary groaned in disappointment when he was told that the clinic was over. He said he wanted to continue playing until dark!

David Brand of the football association was very happy with the outcome of the clinic. He said, that it was great to see the interest that the kids now have in the sport and Futsal has a major role to play in the development of the 11 side game.

This has been seen in Brazil for decades where the Brazilian Super Stars such as Ronaldo and World Player of the Year Ronaldino all learnt their trade before moving to the big field as teenagers.

The last Free Futsal Clinic for this month will be held again this Saturday at 9:00 in the morning until 11:00 at the Kanana Fou Seminary Grounds. Participants are asked to please bring a bottle of water with you.

The American Samoa Football Association wishes to thank all at the Kanafou Seminary for their support in providing the facility.

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