Five local soccer teams recently returned from Grand Rapids, where they competed in the Michigan Futsal Cup. Futsal is a hard court 5-a-side version of soccer. It is fast and highly skilled. This is the best way to develop overall ball skills and fast thinking (Messi & Ronaldo).
SUFA (GLF) sent five teams plus three additional players who participated as guest players on Alliance Academy teams of Michigan. Overall we had over 50 payers at the tournament. Last year, SUFA sent only two teams (U16 boys and U9 Co-ed). While that was their first ever Futsal competition, they came back experienced and with a strong desire to return. Sending five teams is more than we had expected said the SUFA Director, We were pleased and set our sights on playing well and growing in experience. All of the teams played extremely well and more than held there own.
The U8/9 boys won Gold with a thrilling overtime win (3-2) in the final. It was a total team effort! To win at that age group, shows we have developed the ability to compete with the best in Michigan at that age level. Our goal is to develop skilled players who love the game. Winning is secondary, but we will take it none-the-less.
The U11 girls won their first game and then played very well in their remaining two games. Playing against much bigger girls in an older age division was a challenge that they responded well too. The U14 girls improved every game out. This was their first time ever playing as a team together! All games were close and they showed real character in winning their last game in convincing fashion. The high school boys also had a challenge, playing in an open high school age group, with most of their players in the lower grades. They did extremely well, advancing to the division final, losing by a close 3-2 score in the final.
The “Men’s Open” team was a first for the Academy. It was comprised of players from the LSSU Lakers Men’s team, including former Academy grads, Brett Lewis, Chris Howe and Diego Wilhelms. All three were part of a contingent from SUFA that travelled to London, England three years ago with the Bryst Academy.
Multiple MVP awards were earned by a number of SUFA players, which was gratifying from a personal perspective for the players. All acknowledge that it was the team effort that counted. This was truly an international effort, with many players coming from Sault Soccer in Michigan, as well as a couple of international exchange students from Germany and Brazil. In addition to our teams, we had three additional players playing on Alliance Academy teams.
Brianna Scarfone competed with the Women’s team that won Gold. Nathan Lajunen played with the Alliance U14 Boys team that played extremely well. Jacob Frazier (Sault, Michigan) played on the Alliance Academy Black team that won in the Gold Division of their age group. Elijah Beaton and Chase Meyer were asked to play on the Alliance U10 Gold team. They won their first two games, but were unable to continue with that team due to schedule conflicts with their SUFA team. Finally Jake May (High School Boys) also competed with the Alliance (U12 boys) team that ended up losing in the finals. In the evening, players, parents and coaches were treated to two great Pro exhibition games between pro teams from Cincinnati and Muskegon. There was a Women’s and a Men’s game. The games were incredibly fast paced and skilled. Over 1,500 people were in attendance.
All in all it was quite a tournament with so many players competing at very high levels. A special thanks goes out to all coaches, Nana Boateng, Garry Howe, Ralph Barker and Brad Bisdorf (LSSU). Special thanks to Aniela Pulice who runs our Futsal program (Great lakes Futsal) and also coached with two teams. Thanks must also go to Kelly Walker and Jim Tait for they’re off the field work, that was critical to the overall success of the trip.
SUFA is moving ahead on many fronts with the development of a new home as well
as our “competitive” program. Details will be up in our new web site at the end of
Interested parents and players can contact us for more information.
Great Lakes Futsal