So, in futsal, there are 5 players for each team – 4 outfielders and 1 keeper. The goalkeeper, besides the obvious duty of preventing goals, takes part in the attack as well. This means that he or she should be mobile and good with his or her feet. This is unlike 11-on-11 soccer, where the keeper is much more of a stationary figure. The centerback/defender/pivot acts as the quarterback, looking to set things up. As he or she is the first to receive a pass from the keeper and is in the best position to see the whole field, he or she directs the gameplay. The two wingers operate on the left and right sides of the field. As the touchline limits their playing area, they will ideally be good at maneuvering in tight spaces. They should also be fast and have good stamina in order to meet the demands of bombing up and down the flanks. The forward/target should be comfortable playing with his or her back to goal.
This means that this player should have the strength and physicality needed to hold off the defender. The forward should be able to shield the ball from the defender and then either turn and shoot, or lay off a pass to a teammate charging forward. Even though I’ve just listed these futsal positions, please do not think they are set in stone. Futsal is much more of a fluid game than traditional soccer. Think of it as being a lot like Dutch Total Football. This means that futsal is a game all about constant interchanging and movement between positions. For example, if the defender makes a forward run, one of the wingers should move into his vacated space to cover for him. This style of play is based on the idea that every player should play every role at some point in the game. Futsal is best played with a “pass and move” style that rewards versatile players who know how to play multiple positions. This fluidity is what makes futsal both so enjoyable and instructive. Futsal is a much faster-paced game than 11-on-11. Everyone is constantly active and there is nowhere for players to hide. Futsal players must always be thinking about what move to make next and where they can best help their team. This type of thinking fosters the creativity and split-second decision-making that is so crucial in soccer. Well, that’s it for this installment. I hope you enjoyed it. Join us next week when we delve deeper into futsal strategy and discuss the finer points of futsal formations!