RENTON, Wash. - The Seattle Sounders FC announced today that it has formed a selection of world-class beach soccer players to take part in the inaugural Beach Soccer Club World Cup, to be held from March 20 to March 27 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Sounders FC is the sole U.S. representative for the tournament. Seattle will be joining participating teams from FC Barcelona (Spain), AC Milan (Italy), Sporting (Portugal), Boca Juniors (Argentina), Lokimotiv Moscow (Russia) and Brazilian clubs Corinthians, Flamengo and Vasco de Gama.
"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 Adrian Hanauer, Seattle owner and general manager. "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."
"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. "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."
Chris Henderson, former U.S. international midfielder and now Sounders FC technical director, will serve as the team delegate for Seattle. Henderson participated in the 1995 Beach World Cup.
In a special draft held in Sao Paulo, Sounders FC built its roster by selecting the following players: 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). Coaching the squad will be Marcelo Mendes of Brazil. Mendez currently serves as coach of the UAE National Team.