From scratch to collecting trophies
DC Hyper Futsal Academy was established as a nonprofit company in 2015 with the main intention of teaching Futsal as an after-school activity for low-income families with kids ranging from 10 to 14 years old. Educating a kid to participate in a team sport helps them socialize with others and develops leadership and discipline. Coach Wilson Matos is a strong believer that, besides the education part, Futsal is also fundamental to a soccer player developmental skills. Coach Wilson idea is proven to be accurate since most of the top soccer superstars like Messi, Neymar and Ronaldinho emerged from the Futsal courts in South America to the biggest soccer stadiums in the planet. Spain, France, and Portugal are also countries that implemented the Futsal in their youth soccer curriculum 3 decades ago and successfully after, these 3 nations won the UEFA Euro and the World Cup with many athletes exposed to the Futsal experience.
Coach Wilson played Futsal and soccer in Brazil and Europe and he’s noticed the lack of Futsal coaches and competitive tournaments in the DMV area for his son Matthew. Due to that, he initiated the program teaching Futsal fundamental to a small group of kids, all friends and his son’s soccer colleagues.
On the first year of the program, coach Wilson showed the 9 and 10 year old kids fundamentals of futsal, such as using the sole of their shoes to control the ball, positioning and movement without the ball, shooting with their toe-poke instead of laces and understand the rules of the game. Our first year of the program we just played against each other and local tournaments.
The kids starting to gain knowledge of the game fundamentals and discipline on the field, coach Wilson continued working on the same training techniques and style as the previous year, in addition to teaching the kids to be more aggressive and more competitive on the field. In 2016 we started playing main futsal tournaments in the US and thanks to all the hard work from the boys and their parents commitment, we won first place on our first USYF regional in Philadelphia, January 2016, and we were the finalist at the USSF regionals and Nationals. Our program was then expanded in 2016 with 2 additional age groups – U10 and U11.
2017 started with the kids more experienced, hungry for victories. The boys finally understood the meaning of playing major competitions and the bitter taste of losing two finals the year before. The training sessions were no longer focused on fundamentals but instead we started working on new movements, rotation, play different formations and positions. We are finally coaching futsal and the kids responded with more victories. In 2017 we won the USYF regionals in 2 different age groups, the USSF regionals and our biggest victory of the year, the USA Futsal world championship in Orlando- FL, which qualified us to play against the best youth futsal teams in Spain. Fall 2017, due to all our great results in the main tournaments, our futsal program got popular in the DMV area and we again expanded the age groups. We now have U10 to U14 complete teams.
December 2017, DC Hyper Futsal Academy flew to Spain with one age group. We didn’t travel with the expectation to win the tournament, we crossed the seas to compete and give 100% of ourselves in the court, our intention and goal was to make the semifinals, and we did achieve that, only losing to the almighty FC Barcelona team – 5×2 after a tied 1×1 on first half.
Our goal for 2018 is to have all age groups, U10 to U14, playing the same futsal game style and win the major futsal tournaments in the country, fighting for a classification on the finals in Orlando and Spain with 2 age groups. 90% of our futsal players play soccer for a local academy and their futsal practice helped them improve their soccer game throughout the year.
For decades now, futsal has been a popular and much-loved sporting discipline, especially in South America and southern Europe. And while the indoor version of football is rapidly growing in popularity elsewhere now, thanks to FIFA’s patronage and the support of many leading personalities, it is in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Spain and Portugal that futsal has proved a breeding ground for some of the greats of the game.
The list is topped by Lionel Messi. The three-time FIFA World Player of the Year and Barcelona’s all-time leading scorer took his first tentative steps with a ball in the colors of Newell’s Old Boys, although he played futsal rather than football.
“As a little boy in Argentina, I played futsal on the streets and for my club. It was tremendous fun, and it really helped me become who I am today,” said the 25-year-old, reflecting on the benefits of the five-a-side version of the game.
Pele and Co convinced by futsal
Messi is by no means the only superstar with futsal roots. Apart from the Argentinian wizard, the likes of Pele, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi and Ronaldo learned the trade in the sports hall.
Cristiano Ronaldo honed his natural ability by playing futsal. “During my childhood in Portugal, all we played was futsal,” he said. “The small playing area helped me improve my close control, and whenever I played futsal I felt free. If it wasn’t for futsal, I wouldn’t be the player I am today.”
World and European champion Xavi revealed his love of futsal to UEFA.com, citing one reason in particular: “In futsal, you see whether a player is really talented. In normal football you don’t necessarily identify talent as easily because it’s so much more physical. But with futsal, you notice the small details in quality, class and tactical understanding.”
In futsal, you see whether a player is really talented… you notice the small details in quality, class and tactical understanding.
Spain and Barcelona star Xavi
The pool of talent produced by futsal is at its biggest in Brazil. Footballing icon Pele played the indoor game himself:
“Futsal requires you to think and play fast. It makes everything easier when you later switch to football.”
Ronaldinho, Juninho, Robinho and rising star Neymar are other notable futsal products of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™ host nation. Arguably the most famous former Seleção icon is Ronaldo, the all-time leading scorer at the FIFA World Cup finals. The striker took up futsal at the age of 12 and has fond memories of the period.
“I needed extremely good feet because you’re always attempting to beat opponents in the minimum of space. I loved the challenge of playing on such a small pitch,” recalled the former player, a member of the management board of the Local Organising Committee for the 2014 tournament.
An emerging force
The indoor discipline’s explosive growth in recent years is well illustrated by statements from two leading pros operating in the English Premier League and the German Bundesliga.
Micah Richards, capped 13 times by England to date, used futsal to work on his ball control.
“I improved my technique by playing futsal. It helps you remain more composed on the ball,” the Manchester City right-back told BBC Sport.
And according to Germany U-21 national team captain Lewis Holtby, who also has two senior caps to his name, futsal is the best way of learning the game.
“Young players in particular can learn a huge amount from futsal,” the Schalke midfielder said in a German FA (DFB) interview. “The heavy ball means it’s in play for longer. Passing moves and interchanges more often end with a goal scoring chance.”