May 14, 2013
Nassau, Bahamas - UCLA assistant coach and U.S. Beach Soccer head coach Eddie Soto led the U.S. squad to the 2013 CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship over the weekend, earning the team a spot in the 2013 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Tahiti.
Former UCLA soccer players Mike Enfield, Jason Leopoldo, Ryan Futagaki and Kyle Nakazawa all participated for the U.S. in the tournament. The U.S. opened the tournament with a 5-2 win over Guatemala before going on to win Group A and storm into the semifinals. In the semifinals, the U.S. defeated Costa Rica, 4-2, to move on to the finals to play El Salvador. The team then sealed its CONCACAF Championship with a dramatic 5-4 overtime win over El Salvador. Futagaki, who served as the U.S. captain, scored two goals in the final.
The victory is the USA's second CONCACAF crown. The USA won the first CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship in 2006 in Puntarenas, Costa Rica before winning again in 2007. As finalists, the U.S. and El Salvador will represent CONCACAF at the World Cup, which takes place Sept. 18-28 at To'ata Stadium in Papeete, Tahiti.
UCLA's Eddie<!> Soto, Mike<!> Enfield, Jason<!> Leopoldo, Ryan<!> Futagaki, Kyle<!> Nakazawa and Hector<!> Tovar (former UCLA equipment manager)