Six teams, three each from clubs Futsal Kauai and Kauai Futsal, competed at the 2018 Pacific Rim Futsal Cup tournament over the weekend at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu.
“It was amazing how the whole island really came together and supported each other up there,” said Taryn Dizon, Futsal Kauai coach. “Even though we had different teams or different clubs throughout our season, it was very heartwarming for all of us as an island to come together.”
Futsal Kauai, based in Anahola, placed first in the girls 14-and-under and girls 13-and-under divisions.
“It was a great experience playing indoors,” Dizon said. “It definitely got hot for the players. It’s a little different. There’s no breeze. You’re in a huge meeting room. … The ball moves so much faster than outdoor soccer, so it was a really fast, fast game. It was awesome, for that new experience and different environment. Definitely, a great win on that and being exposed to great players around the world.”
The club’s U13 girls, though, was the only team in that division so they won gold automatically. So instead, Futsal Kauai had two teams compete in the U14 division.
Dizon said her club’s two teams did play each other. The U14 girls won that match.
“We did let the girls play. Having that one-year age difference does make a (big difference). The older girls won that,” Dizon said.
Futsal Kauai defeated a team from Big Island in the girls U14 championship game, Dizon said.
“I’m impressed and very proud of their intelligent playing,” she said. “You had to switch up your style of play from outdoor to indoor. I think with their maturity and their commitment … they created a great team.”
Kauai Futsal, based in Kalaheo, placed second in three divisions — boys 12-and-under, boys 15-and-under and boys 17-and-under.
“The final, they did good,” said Ramon Semblante, Futsal Kauai coach.
He added: “(The U15 boys), we lost, 11-3. I just played everybody. I didn’t worry about the score. I just wanted to make it worth their money. … The U12, they played 808 Futsal from Oahu. The U15s, they also played a team from Oahu.”
Semblante said next time, though, he’ll need the club to bring more jerseys.
“At the end of the finals, we switched jerseys. We traded. That’s a good thing — the tradition,” he said. “Even the Australian guys, they gave us their jerseys. That was fun for the kids. Some of the boys said, ‘Next time we go, we got to bring some more jerseys.’”
Futsal is a varient of soccer that is played on a hard court, usually indoors, that is smaller than a soccer field and is played five-on-five. The ball is also smaller, more dense and is not as bouncy compared to soccer balls.
About 50 teams competed representing clubs from Hawaii and the continental United States as well as Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Australia and other countries in the Pacific Rim.
Nick Celario, sports writer, can be reached at 245-0437 or email@example.com.