This was an interesting surprise in the inbox, but Sounders FC has drafted a team of beach soccer players to play in the inaugural Beach Soccer Club World Cup this March in Brazil. Technical director Chris Henderson (who played in the 1995 Beach World Cup) will serve as the team delegate for Seattle.
Sounders FC will be the only U.S. representative in the field, joining three Brazilian clubs (Corinthians, Flamengo and Vasco de Gama), FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Boca Juniors, Portugal’s Sporting and Lokimotiv Moscow from Russia.
The tournament runs from March 20-27 in Sao Paulo.
“This represents an opportunity for Sounders FC in a globally recognized championship competition supported by other world renowned club brands such as AC Milan, FC Barcelona and Boca Juniors, among others,” said general manager Adrian Hanauer in a news release from the team. “It gives us a unique opportunity to present ourselves to the international soccer community at-large as an organization committed to growth in our organization through the extension of our brand into the exciting game of Beach Soccer.”
Sounders FC will be coached by Brazilian Marcelo Mendes, who currently coaches the UAE national team. The team roster consists of: Zak Ibsen (USA), Yuri Morales (USA), Francisco Cati (Mexico), Morgan Plata (Mexico), Francisco Henriquez (El Salvador), Nico Jung (Switzerland), Ali Karimi (United Arab Emirates) and Francis Farberhoff (USA)
“We are thrilled to have the representation of a premier MLS club in Seattle Sounders FC, winner of the 2010 U.S. Open Cup and an American club recognized in the international soccer community for its tremendous fan support,” said Joan Cusco, Beach Soccer Worldwide managing director, in the release. “There is tremendous support from other clubs such as Barcelona and Milan, and we believe Seattle’s commitment to the game and its fan base represents an opportunity to share with America the wonderful game of Beach Soccer.”