Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Litton Heading Overseas With U.S. Futsal National Team

Mark Litton, one of the assistants for the Milwaukee men's soccer team, is also the assistant for the U.S. Futsal National Team. Sounds like soccer, but what exactly is that, you ask?

According to its website, futsal (Five-a-Side Soccer) is "The Way the World Plays Indoor Soccer" and is the international form of indoor soccer approved by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). It is played in all continents of the world by over 100 countries with 12 million players. The term FUTSAL is the international term used for the game. It is derived from the Spanish or Portuguese word for "soccer", FUTbol or FUTebol, and the French or Spanish word for "indoor", SALon or SALa and it was first used by U.S. Futsal in 1987. U.S. Futsal President Alex Para, lobbied to FIFA to have the name Futsal used for the game, until that time FIFA had used the name Indoor Soccer and Five-a-Side Soccer. FIFA took up the name in 1989.

It is, essentially, a modified form of soccer played with five players per side on a smaller, typically indoor, field.

Here is the information on the trip, courtesy of

The U.S. Futsal national team, led by former Milwaukee Wave coach Keith Tozer, will return to England in June to defend its Four Nations Tournament title.

The Americans will face Qatar on June 5, Cyprus on June 6 and England on June 8 at the tournament in Newcastle. Last year, the U.S. edged England 2-1, routed Malaysia 8-1 and doubled up Poland 4-2 to win the event.

UW-Milwaukee men's goalkeeper coach Mark Litton (Racine St. Catherine's/UW-Parkside) is Tozer's assistant on the U.S. squad. The roster for the tournament hasn't been announced, but likely will include current or former Wave players.

The American team will train in Milwaukee ahead of the tournament, starting May 30, and could be back in town for a match later in June.

In its article earlier this month about Tozer parting ways with the Wave after 22 years, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that plans were being made for the U.S. Futsal team to face France in a match to coincide with the beginning of the World Cup, which starts June 12 in Brazil. The French Football Federation website confirmed that its futsal team will be playing in the U.S. this summer.

Tozer, the winningest coach in professional indoor soccer history with a 528-282 record in 27 seasons, now operates K. Tozer Soccer Academy. He was named the U.S. Futsal national team interim coach in 1996 and was promoted to head coach in 1998.