Pioneering Youth Soccer and Futsal Leagues to Combine Efforts
Northeast Soccer League (NSL) and the Massachusetts Futsal Association (MFA) have announced a partnership aimed at getting more youth players playing futsal, and more soccer coaches trained on how to coach the growing sport.
“We are excited to partner with Mass Futsal to provide our member clubs and teams an exciting opportunity to further enhance their player and coach development,” said John Barata, the Executive Director of the NSL. “Getting our players into the highest quality futsal leagues and programs will offer pathways for our players and coaches to enhance their growth and overall development.”
“We are excited to work with NSL and its teams to make futsal leagues, player identification and coach education available to a broader audience,” said Jason Miller, MFA’s Director of Futsal. “NSL has long been a pioneer and we are thrilled to welcome it to the Massachusetts Futsal and U.S. Youth Futsal families.”
This fall, Northeast Soccer League includes more than 550 teams from 100 clubs throughout New England. Although some have participated in Massachusetts Futsal Leagues in the past, the majority of teams are not realizing the great benefits of the sport.
“Futsal is an excellent way to improve speed of play, first touch, and accurate passing,” said NSL Technical Director Nick Dunbar. “The Northeast Futsal league will provide a great foundation to build upon during the off-season and will help to improve a player’s development in preparation for the spring season.”
Last winter, more than 5,000 players participated in MFA leagues, tournaments and other programs, making it the largest local U.S. Youth Futsal organization in the country.
One of those leagues, Regional Premier, will be recast as Northeast Futsal League to best highlight the collaboration of the region’s top soccer and futsal leagues. NSL teams are also welcome to participate in the Massachusetts Futsal leagues based in the Boston area or Lowell area.
“The Northeast Futsal League will be available to all NSL teams, as well as to local futsal clubs and others who are invested in player development,” Miller said. ” Some NSL teams have been playing in our local leagues for several years and are welcome to continue to do so.”
This winter, MFA will host two futsal coaching courses including one led by U.S. Youth Futsal Technical Director Keith Tozer, who also serves as Head Coach of the Men’s National Team. That course — a U.S. Youth Futsal Level 3 — and an MFA Youth course, are open to the public. MFA will additionally host a special pre-season course just for NSL coaches.
“Futsal is an exceptional tool for the development of soccer players,” said MFA Director of Coaching Jeff Lamy. “NSL is clearly committed to the betterment of its players and coaches, and we look forward to helping toward that success.”
NSL players will also have the opportunity to attend the U.S. Youth Futsal Massachusetts State Futsal I.D. Trials on Feb. 9, 10 and 11, which is akin to the U.S. Soccer ODP Tryouts. MFA may also host a player evaluation session solely for NSL players.
About the Northeast Soccer League
Founded in 1993, today the Northeast Soccer League provides a competitive structure for more than 550 teams from 100 clubs throughout New England. These clubs range from large, “full service” clubs to those consisting of one or two teams, from the highly selective to the developmental. All games are held on Sundays, with 7v7 and 9v9 games in the morning and 11v11 games in the afternoon. Our fall season is nine weeks long, starting the Sunday after Labor Day, and is open to 9U-15U teams. The Spring season is seven weeks, ending with the State Cups in May, and provides play for 9U-18U age groups. We offer a league structure based solely on merit which is stable, consistent, predictable and comprehensible for all teams. The structure allows all teams access and a chance to rise. NSL’s three divisions do this by providing an opportunity to the aspiring, competition for the developing, and challenge to the highly competitive.
About the Massachusetts Futsal Association
The Massachusetts Futsal Association is the largest state or local futsal organization in the country. It offers futsal programs for players aged five through 65, including leagues, academies, clinics, tournaments, player identification trials, coach education, summer camps, pickup and referee development. It hosts programs in Belmont, Brookline, Concord, Dedham, Hanover, Lexington, Lowell, Marlborough, Newton, Norfolk and Westford. Massachusetts Futsal is an affiliate of U.S. Youth Futsal and hosts the Northeast Regional Futsal Championships and the U.S. Youth Futsal State I.D. Trials.