The US National Arena Soccer Team has spent the spring and summer touring arenas with a combination of lineups featuring players whose experience ranged from college to FIFA World Cups.
When they reconstitute themselves as the US6 National Team for next month’s six-a-side WMF World Cup in Perth, Australia, they will be traveling with possibly the top roster American Association of Soccer 5-6-7 General Manager Bernie Lilavois has ever assembled.
Topping the list of 14 players is 2014 FIFA World Cup hero Jermaine Jones, who currently plays for the MASL’s Ontario Fury following an illustrious outdoor career that spanned three caps for Germany, 69 caps for the USMNT, and almost 20 years in the Bundesliga, English Premier League, and Major League Soccer.
A pair of three-time MVPs, Franck Tayou, who scored an MASL record 71 goals in 2017-18, and Kraig Chiles, who is 12 goals away from 400 for his career, will team up for the first time in a WMF World Cup. Chiles played in the 2015 WMF World Cup on US soil, but did not make the trip to Tunisia for the 2017 WMF World Cup, where Tayou led the US in scoring.
The original Captain America, Brian Farber, will share the field with his heir apparent Gordy Gurson. Farber was the first player ever signed by the arena national team in 2008, the first player signed by the Professional Arena Soccer League, and its first Most Valuable Player, while Gurson will be the only US player to appear in all three WMF World Cups.
Utica City FC maestro Slavisa Ubiparipovic is a playmaker, who is also a threat on free kicks, while VcMor Eligwe combines physicality and finesse in the target position. Travis Pittman and Taylor Bond will provide legwork and hustle.
Adriano Dos Santos will bring leadership forged in eight championship appearances and four rings with the Baltimore Blast to the back line. Drew Ruggles, fresh off a championship victory of his own, brings the ability to attack as well as defend. Core national team players Israel Sesay and Uzi Tayou return for their second straight WMF World Cup. Also returning is goalkeeper Boris Pardo who was the MASL’s Goalkeeper of the Year and an MVP candidate this past season, leading the San Diego Sockers to a 23-1 regular season mark. Sesay and Pardo are the only two holdovers from a US team that qualified last year in Guatemala for the World Cup, despite losing in the quarterfinals.
In all, on the arena soccer stage, the US roster features a combined seven MVP Awards, two Rookie of the Year awards, and one Goalkeeper of the Year nod. Eight players have been voted to All-League teams, including a combined 14 First Team appearances.
“I am very pleased to be able to have such a world class roster represent our Association as well as the United States,” said Lilavois. “After a very positive experience in Tunisia, we’re looking forward to seeing what Perth has in store for us. It should be a very exciting WMF World Cup.”
Likewise the coaching staff has a combined five Coach of the Year awards. Head Coach Phil Salvagio is a three-time winner, and assistants Craig Rhodis and Armando Gamboa have each picked up a trophy.
The 2019 WMF World Cup runs from, October 1-11. The US, who will compete in Group H will begin round robin play on October 2 against Argentina. The US will face South Africa on October 4 and will close the first round on October 6 against Brazil.
|G – Boris Pardo (San Diego Sockers)|
|D – Adriano Dos Santos (Baltimore Blast)|
|D – Drew Ruggles (Florida Tropics)|
|D – Uzi Tayou (Ontario Fury)|
|D – Israel Sesay (Ontario Fury)|
|M – Brian Farber (San Diego Sockers)|
|M – Gordy Gurson (Florida Tropics)|
|M – Kraig Chiles (San Diego Sockers)|
|M – Travis Pittman (San Diego Sockers)|
|M – Slavisa Ubiparipovic (Utica City FC)|
|M – Jermaine Jones (Ontario Fury)|
|F – Franck Tayou (Ontario Fury)|
|F – VcMor Eligwe (Dallas Sidekicks)|
|F – Taylor Bond (San Diego Sockers)|
|HC – Phil Salvagio (San Diego Sockers)|
|AC – Craig Rhodis (Cincinnati Swerve)|
|AC – Armando Gamboa (Chicago Mustangs)|
|AT – Paul Savage (San Diego Sockers)|
|Pres – Kevin Milliken (AAS567, PASL)|
|GM – Bernie Lilavois (AAS567, Ontario Fury)|
|Admin – Chiky Luna (San Diego Sockers)|
|Ops – Dominic Turcotte (AAS567, PASL)|
|Broadcaster – Craig Elsten (San Diego Sockers)|
|Media – Sydney Nusinov (Turf and Boards)|