Three straight appearances at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup (2005, 2006 and 2007) hinted at a burgeoning dominance for the Americans on the warm sands of CONCACAF. Since then, however, the Stars and Stripes have been overtaken by the likes of Mexico and El Salvador in the regional pecking order. Their run to the title in CONCACAF earlier this year shows they are swinging back in the right direction.
They are coached by Eddie Soto and pack a scoring punch in goal-machine Nick Perera. His goals in the CONCACAF qualifying rounds mark him out for great things ahead of the finals in Tahiti, his first FIFA Beach Soccer finals. Perera will be assisted by old veterans like Francis Farberoff and Mario Andrew Chimienti, who were both in the side in 2007 the last time an American outfit challenged the world’s best on the global stage. With most of the players coming from the West Coast of the US, sunny Southern California in particular, the future looks bright for the returning Americans. Their 5-4 extra-time victory over El Salvador in the qualifying final hints at big things ahead.
The Americans have never reached past the group stages of a FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, a statistic they hope to defy come kick-off time in Tahiti. A team that plays together regularly, Soto’s charges will have familiarity working in their favour. And in captain Farberoff, the coach also has a player with the experience of participating in three previous world finals. His guidance will be crucial to American hopes of reaching the knockout rounds.