The US National Arena Soccer Team is back in action this today and Saturday for a four-nation mini-tournament at the CenturyLink Arena in Boise, Idaho.
The US and Brazil played the first ever arena soccer game at CenturyLink Arena last August 11, and the sellout crowd makes bringing the USNAST back for an encore a no-brainer.
This time, Brazil is out, but Mexico, Colombia and Somalia are in, and the four teams will play a “semifinals” today and a third place game and championship tomorrow.
The action gets started today at 5:30pm when Mexico takes on Colombia. The US will “headline” the night when they take on Somalia at 7:30pm. The two losing teams will play a 3rd place game Saturday at 5:00pm. The winners will face off for the championship at 7:00pm.
The entire US and Mexico rosters consist of MASL veterans, while Colombia and Somalia are less versed in the arena game. Colombia will be led, however by the Ontario Fury’s Alex Caceres. Orlando SeaWolves rookie Kevin Naranjo will also be a player to keep an eye on for Colombia. Somalia competed in the 2017 WMF World Cup, but did not face the US.
US Coach Phil Salvagio will have his head on a swivel if the US meets Mexico on Saturday. Four of his San Diego Sockers cracked the US roster and six more Sockers are representing Mexico.
The US brings one of its stronger rosters in recent memory, at least on paper. Both Captain Americas, Brian Farber and Gordy Gurson, are back in the lineup, along with Andrew Hoxie, Taylor Bond, and VcMor Eligwe up top. Leo Gibson’s scoring and playmaking ability will make use of the group’s collective speed in the open field and possession in the goal area.
Farber and Evan McNeley give the US team some local flair. Farber was born in Sandpoint and the pair have been coaching and doing camps in Idaho for years.
Boris Pardo, who has been a consistent presence in the US nets for almost two years, will once again be counted on to start both games in goal.
Mexico is led by heavy-footed striker Christian Gutierrez and shifty ball-handlers Brandon Escoto and Daniel Lopez.
All four games will be broadcast live on Eleven Sports.