Local Twin Brothers Named to
U.S. National Futsal Team

North Texas players to compete in premier international tournament, then return to share experience with local youth

Esteban and Manuel Mariel hope to carry the United States national futsal team to victory. The U.S. Team will join the greatest futsal teams from around the world in Manaus, Brazil, to compete in the Grand Prix de Futsal in 2011, one of the premier futsal tournaments on the national stage.

Futsal — a fun, fast-paced soccer game played indoors — is still a developing sport in the United States, but it has seen a burst of energy lately thanks to the efforts of skilled athletes like the Mariel twins. They are both founders of the Dallas-based soccer training company, City Futsal, which dedicates itself to teaching young players the fundamentals of soccer through the sport of futsal.

"Of course it is a dream come true to play for the National Team," said Esteban Mariel, who trains over 200 youth players in the DFW area. "What I am really looking forward to, though, is how much of this experience I can bring back to my students to hopefully inspire them to become better players."

Now 24 years old, the Mariel twins grew up spending time playing futsal on competitive club teams in Brazil, where futsal, a soccer developmental game, is considered to be the main reason the Brazilian national team is always a World Cup favorite.

There, they had the opportunity to watch and play with world-renowned soccer players like Diego, who now plays for Spanish first division team Atletico Madrid. Inspirational experiences like these at a very young age kept them striving to be better players, which paid off as they went on to play top-level collegiate soccer for SMU.

Unlike its big brother, traditional soccer, futsal is a game of small, controlled movements, where players are given a lot of contact with the ball and therefore a lot of space to be creative. This aspect of the game is what Manuel Mariel loves about teaching the sport to young players.

"Futsal is unique in that the game becomes as much of a teacher as I am. There is nothing more exciting than seeing the light in one of my student's eyes when they discover their talents by playing."

After the Grand Prix, the U.S. National Futsal team has it eyes on the FIFA Futsal World Cup in 2012.

If you would like more information about this topic, or to learn about becoming involved with City Futsal, please call Federico Mariel at 214-914-1047 or email Federico at dallasfutsal@gmail.com.



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