Welcome Grind City Futsal
United Futsal Excited To Announce Grind City Futsal As Part Of Champions Cup Series
February 9, 2022, 5:00:00 PM
Grind City Futsal is ready to compete at the highest level of futsal in the Champions Cup Series.
MEMPHIS, TN - Founded in late 2021, Grind City Futsal was created to open a channel for local competitive players to continue their development during their off-season in a high level futsal environment.
Director of Coaching, Rafa Rodriguez, has a vision to have a brand, venue, and program open to all players from different clubs. GCF offers an opportunity to play futsal with other competitive players, build new friendships, and give players the chance to be surrounded by others that have the same growth mindset.
Son of Argentinean parents, born and raised in São Paulo, Brazil, Rodriguez was consumed by the soccer/futsal culture. During his youth years, Rodriguez had passion for futsal and he was always looking for opportunities to play, from the school futsal court to club futsal. At 15 years old he moved to the United States where he noticed that the one sport he longed for was nowhere to be found. He then decided to take action by bringing futsal to his community through introducing them to a smaller and heavier ball - the futsal ball. During his senior year of high school, Rodriguez began to volunteer at a local YMCA in Valparaiso, Indiana, where he began his futsal coaching endeavors. Quickly, he noticed that compared to Brazil, kids in America lacked creativity and ball mastery, and that futsal could bring that to them. This would also add a key ingredient that was missing to their outdoor soccer development.
In 2007, Rodriguez moved to Memphis, TN and attended Union University where he played soccer for 2 years at the college level. During a summer break playing a summer league game he had a career changing injury which led to his future of coaching. This is where Rodriguez decided he was going to bring this incredible sport to the youth in the MidSouth. It began with a Winter program that transitioned to a year-round program called Futsal Escola, a Brazilian futsal school. After years of offering developmental futsal and outreach futsal programs, it was time to offer a higher level of futsal for players looking to further their knowledge and involvement in the game. That program would go on to be called: Grind City Futsal.
Highlighting the benefits of futsal for outdoor players is very important to Rodriguez. “Futsal gives you immediate repercussions - good and/or bad - as it is played on a small court and it is a fast-paced game,” says Rodriguez. “If you make a bad pass, it could lead to a counter-attack right away. You can score goals very quickly, which motivates the younger players, and the amount of reps is much higher than in outdoor. Futsal also gives you the chance to play in every position therefore allowing you to become a well-rounded player. Outdoor soccer doesn’t give you that opportunity.”
Continuing on, Rodriguez comments, “Once a child plays futsal, that passion for the game is immediately instilled! This motivates kids to continuously want to play this fast-paced game that gives them an adrenaline rush of excitement. They are constantly having to make quicker decisions, able to get more touches on the ball and there is never a dull moment. After one game of futsal, most players leave the court full of energy and excitement and feening for more games.”
Rodriguez mentions that he wants his players to be a part of United Futsal because he feels that no organization can match everything United Futsal has to offer. “United Futsal is continuously growing and wants to offer the best experience for futsaler’s regionally, nationally, and internationally; as well as equip coaches with the best content through the United Futsal University. Even though we have created this opportunity for the elite players in the community, our philosophy behind every player has not changed. We coach for the kids. We have an opportunity to give back to the game, but it is more of an opportunity to shape the kids. The tool is the ball, the platform is the court… I have all the instruments I need to develop these kids on and off the court.” Says Rodriguez.
Grind City Futsal’s ultimate desire for this partnership with United Futsal is that it will enable them to bring unity throughout the Midsouth’s soccer clubs by offering a different sport that will benefit everyone involved.
United Futsal President, Rob Andrews, knows Grind City Futsal is a great fit for the Champions Cup Series. He adds, “Memphis is quickly becoming a hotbed for futsal in the South. Rafa’s ability to unify all the clubs to provide the best talent to represent the city at the Champions Cup Series will lead to success in a short time. We couldn’t be happier to have Grind City joining the Champions Cup Series this Summer!”
ABOUT GRIND CITY FUTSAL:
GRIND CITY FUTSAL offers a unique travel futsal program for boys & girls born between 2004 and 2014 as well as offering free clinics and community leagues through the community centers in Memphis, TN. For more information about Grind City and how to get involved with the CCS™ club can be found at www.grindcityfutsal.com.
ABOUT UNITED FUTSAL:
UNITED FUTSAL is the industry leader in providing the highest level tournaments and events for youth and amateur futsal players in the world. Since 2010, over 100,000 athletes, coaches, fans and referees representing 25 countries have participated in its World Futsal Cup, World Futsal Championships and FUTURES™ programs and precursory events. For more information visit unitedfutsal.com.