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Indiana Legion FC Joins 2021 Champions Cup Series
April 14, 2021, 4:00:00 AM
Crown Point, IN – United Futsal is excited to announce Indiana Legion Futsal Club as an expansion club for the 2021 Champions Cup Series (CCS). The newly launched club joins the youth futsal tournament series eager to join stride with other long-term investors in the sport. Indiana Legion FC brings an additional club to the Chicagoland area, tapping into the dense population of talented youth futsal players in the region.
Ante Cop, Indiana Legion FC Founder, officially announced the acceptance today.
“For Indiana Legion, it's a goal to offer players the chance to be exposed to great competition," said Cop. "United Futsal provides a real opportunity for players to see where their futsal talent is compared to other regions. This is what really excites me about United Futsal.”
Originally from South Side Chicago, Cop is of Croatian descent. He played 22 years of professional indoor and outdoor soccer in the United States and abroad. In 2012, he was invited to the U.S. Futsal National Team camp as a goalkeeper. During his playing career, Cop developed his coaching skills at the youth, high school, college and professional levels. He now serves as women’s soccer head coach at Governors State University in University Park, Illinois. He is also Director of Coaching at Indiana Elite Football Club.
Close-Knit Futsal Network
Unlike other youth sports, the futsal community is a close-knit network that embraces competition and development. In particular—development tactics, strategies and trends are topics regularly shared with others active in the sport. Novices are eager to learn the laws and foundations of futsal, which is willingly shared by experts—or simply those with a bit more experience—in the sport.
Cop became interested in United Futsal and CCS by word of mouth. Following discussions with Frank DeAngelo, Chicago Street Futsal Club Founder, Cop traveled to Orlando this past January for 2021 East Regionals. His attendance confirmed what he was told about the quality level and organization of the competition. As a result, Cop launched Indiana Legion and committed to developing the sport alongside United Futsal.
“The tournament was extremely professional," said Cop. "It's something that I could see a lot of the kids that I coach now, and used to coach, get involved with. I think it’s a great opportunity, and I jumped on it. When I went in January, the competition and tournament organization was top level. The people I spoke with were dead on. Being able to see it for myself, I was convinced pretty much when I walked in the facility.”
United Futsal endorses an industry that values community. During a time period with an abundance of futsal knowledge, collaborating and sharing valuable insights will only further develop the sport into a professionally recognized industry. The interaction between Cop and DeAngelo is an occurrence that United Futsal hopes to continue to cultivate in the future.
Disorganized Youth Futsal Industry
As stated time and time again, the American youth futsal industry has experienced rapid growth. On one hand, more kids are playing futsal than ever before, which exposes others to the sport. On the other hand; however, the lack of guidance has halted futsal from reaching its full potential.
In the American futsal industry—the abundance of knowledge, opportunities and investors provides foundation for the sport. However, the concern of sustainability and the question of what is next for futsal in the United States remains on the forefront. Cop acknowledged that youth futsal has lacked guidance from those that are genuinely interested in developing the sport. Despite the countless individuals invested in the game, he views United Futsal as an authentic advocate.
“For me, it's having too many cooks in the kitchen," said Cop. "I think that there is a genuine interest in building the sport at United Futsal. I hope people realize that the organizational ability of United Futsal can really help the sport come together. The United Futsal staff is extremely professional and committed to developing the game.”
Moreover, Cop supports United Futsal’s mission of sharing standards in order to develop the sport’s foundation.
“I think the ability to have everyone under one umbrella, in this case the United Futsal umbrella, is fantastic," said Cop. "United Futsal can help promote the sport in the United States the correct way and get others on the same page. When you put all that together and offer it—a homogenous futsal experience throughout the entire country—that makes a massive difference. I think United Futsal has the right brand. The company has the right organizational skills and plan.”
United Futsal looks forward to the 2021 CCS season with Indiana Legion FC. Rob Andrews, United Futsal President, added:
“The Chicago Metropolitan area develops some of the best athletes in the country. We look forward to providing the region’s abundance of players with opportunities to compete at the highest level of futsal. We cannot wait to see how they match up against the country’s best.”
Indiana Legion Club Info
Information on how players can join Indiana Legion FC is available here.
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