Speed, agility, decision making, passing. Futsal.
Pronounced foot-sahl, the game originated in South America. The ball is smaller and heavier, and the playing area is smaller than in soccer. With five players to a side, there’s a premium on passing to find open players with an opportunity to score.
Twice a week, area soccer players develop footwork skills with Carlos Goncalves, a Brazilian transplant and futsal coach.
Last Thursday, 10 Navarre soccer players, a departing exchange student from Germany, and a Holley-Navarre Middle School student scrimmaged for more than an hour in the Community Life Center in Gulf Breeze.
Goncalves has preached ball control, speed, and passing through futsal to players of all ages and skill levels for about 10 years.
“When you talk about futsal … it’s a very dynamic game,” Goncalves said. “I just brought it to the Panhandle area because I know it’s the fastest way to improve your foot skills. You have to have like glue on your feet. So, you have to think before the ball comes, what you’re going to be doing. If you hold the ball too much, you’re going to be playing under pressure.
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