Five Columbus Area Athletes Selected to 2019 U.S. Youth Futsal International Team Rosters


Contact: Malissa Galiffo Garcia (614) 655-1590

Five Columbus area kids from Columbus Futsal Academy were named to the 2019/20 United States Youth Futsal International Team rosters, including two reserve or "alternate" players, with upcoming competitions planned in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Barcelona, Spain.

COLUMBUS, OHIO, JULY 24, 2019 - The Columbus Futsal Academy is dedicated to youth development in Central Ohio and their players continue to be selected to gain international playing experience all over the globe. For three consecutive years youth players from Columbus Futsal Academy have traveled to compete internationally in Costa Rica, Canada, Colombia, Portugal and before 2019 ends that list will grow to include the futsal powerhouse countries of Argentina and Spain. Their mission is evident in their slogan, "Play How the World Plays!", and that's exactly what they are doing right here in Columbus.

The U.S. Youth Futsal International Teams are made by selecting the top futsal athletes from across the nation through the FUTSAL I.D. program. Nearly 5,000 athletes begin the process by attending an identification trial in their State. From there, just over 500 futsal-specific athletes are invited to attend the National Identification and selection process in Overland Park, Kansas each Summer. During the National Identification only 12 players are chosen per team for each birth year. The 2018/19 FUTSAL I.D. cycle was available to boys and girls born 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009.

Nearly 25 Central Ohio players were given an invitation to the National ID in Kansas last month from the attending the Ohio State ID trial in held in Columbus, OH this past February .

This year's CFA U.S. Youth Futsal International Team players include:

Samuel Garcia 2003/U16 Joined Columbus Futsal Academy in 2015 Whetstone High School, Clintonville, OH Whetstone HS Boys Soccer Gavin Waters 2007/U12 (2018 alternate) Joined Columbus Futsal Academy in 2015 Home-school, Hilliard, OH Outdoor club: Ohio Premier Max Meacham 2007/U12 (2x alternate) Joined Columbus Futsal Academy in 2017 St. Michael School, Worthington, OH Outdoor club: Ohio Premier Lincoln Justice* 2009/U10 Joined Columbus Futsal Academy in 2016 Norwich Elementary, Hilliard, OH Outdoor club: Club Ohio *Youngest CFA player to ever be selected. Liam Price 2009/U10 (alternate) Joined Columbus Futsal Academy in 2016 Avery Elementary, Hilliard, OH

Columbus Futsal Academy is one of twenty-five hand-selected United States Youth Futsal development academies and one of only two in the state of Ohio. CFA earned the accolade in 2018, when honorably chosen has one of the original sixteen academy members after hundreds of applicants. 2018/19 was the inaugural year for the USYF National Academy program.

"...we are so proud of all the effort and belief they continue to show!"

"As CFA players began to be selected for back-to-back years on the International rosters, we knew we were creating something really special and unique here in Columbus." said the club's president, Malissa Galiffo Garcia. "These kids are so exceptionally lucky to be on the forefront of pioneering this sport in the United States. Everything you see is owed to them. They are doing this and we are so proud of all the effort and belief they continue to show!", she added.

If you are interested in getting your son or daughter involved with Columbus Futsal Academy, they are now holding player evaluations for the 2019/20 season. Girls tryouts are this weekend, Saturday July 27th and Sunday July 28th. The boys evaluations have passed but a co-ed supplemental is available August 18th. Click here to attend a player evaluation and receive more information about joining CFA.

"Once a soccer player tries futsal, they don't want to stop. It is definitely a sport that is very attractive to younger generations." said Galiffo Garcia. "We get everyone from your elite athlete, to high-schoolers wanting to get better at outdoor soccer before college, and kids just out to try a new sport. They are all welcome. If you have any kind of athleticism, futsal will increase your technical skill and give you superior tactical awareness."

Columbus Futsal Academy houses two USYF National Staff coaches, Dante Garcia, who is the owner and director for CFA, and Alex Ygor Talasca who is the academy's Goleiro (goalkeeper) Director. Both of whom have played for and help operate the Columbus Futsal men's professional team.

"I wish I had this as a kid."

Garcia's main point in speaking with him about the CFA program was, "I wish I had this as a kid." He added, "Growing up a first-generation American, street futsal was something I began playing as a teenager and just growing that culture from the things I learned traveling back and forth from Peru brought a lot of the community together and has gotten hundreds of kids playing. What Columbus Futsal Academy is today, has changed the Columbus soccer scene forever."

While Columbus Futsal Academy hones in on helping kids succeed on and off the court, cultural exchanges and experiences are something their members encounter often. "People are just drawn to the talent and character they see here." said Galiffo Garcia. "If someone is visiting our city and they only know the universal language of "futbol", they will find us. The kids really enjoy this."

Talasca noted, "We have seen a lot of success with our goleiros over the years. It has been a pleasure working with all of them and sharing my knowledge of futsal from growing up in Brazil." Talasca has been with the club since 2015 and this year was his first year being asked to join the USYF National Staff. About Columbus Futsal: Our goal is to build a positive futsal culture within our city, provide safe places to play, and promote futsal in its purest form while keeping kids healthy, happy, and active. Columbus Futsal Club consists of a men's professional team, a budding women's team, youth academy, league play, free pick-up futsal, and outreach clinics.

#columbusohio #USYFNT #USYF #DanteGarcia #USYouthFutsal #ColumbusFutsal #NationalID #ColumbusFutsalAcademy #AlexTalasca

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