Toronto Cruz Azul Looks to Make History
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Toronto Cruz Azul are a happy bunch these days. And who can blame them? After dominating teams at February’s Super F League national Championships in Kansas City, they have a chance to do something no other futsal team has done in North America: win the US Double.
The double consists of the two best futsal events in the American futsal calender: the Super F Championships and the United States Futsal Federation’s National Championships. The latter kicks off this Thursday from Baltimore, Maryland at the Baltimore Convention and features 16 top futsal clubs from the continent. Though the Super F League folks are gaining huge momentum in futsal circles across the US, the USFF tournament is still widely considered to be the most competitive tournament around and the men’s division is always an entertaining one to watch.
Toronto get a taste of what is sure to be some stiff competition when they open up against Safira Club of Massachusetts. Possibly their biggest test in the group will be in their 2nd group stage match when they take on one of California’s best teams in Di Bufala Sport Club. Di Bufala finished atop of their group at last year’s championships but were eliminated in the quarter-finals by eventual tournament champions Charm City FC. Toronto will play their final group match against an unknown team from Maryland called CMF Stars.
An interesting twist this year has a seperate international cash tournament taking place during the championships that will feauture four teams from Mexico, Croatia, last year’s USFF runners-up World United Futsal (USA) and Toronto. Those matches will take place from Friday-Sunday and though it may seem like quite the workload for these four clubs to be playing a minimum of 6 games over 3 days Canadian National Goalkeeper Roy Blanche is confident that the heavy schedule will benefit his Toronto squad.
“People have to realize that futsal is a very demanding game and playing that many games in such a short time will ask a lot from us. But truth be told with our team we love to compete in futsal so much that we wouldn’t mind playing 3-4 games a day. Plus it isn’t often that we get to play against teams from Europe and North America in the same weekend so we’re pumped up to play. We’re a well conditioned squad that has experience playing together for quite some time so if any team thinks for a second that they’re going to run circles around us because we had a game a few hours earlier they’re going to be in for a different reality, that’s for sure.”
Follow Toronto Cruz Azul’s every match right here (written reports, interviews, and match videos) at futsalcanada.ca as they attempt to complete the US double. For more on the USFF National Championships visit their website at futsal.com