TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – Slightly more than a month since capturing the U.S. National Futsal Championship title, Utah Elite Futsal is one game away from reaching the final of the 2017 CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship.
On Friday night, a semifinal encounter awaits against Cuba’s Habana at the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional Francisco Morazan.
It has been a whirlwind for the side founded in 2003, but there are no complaints, just appreciation for every step of the magical journey.
“It is a great accomplishment given that this is our first appearance in the CONCACAF Futsal tournament,” Ray Fuchs, the team’s Delegation Chief, told CONCACAF.com. “We feel honored with the opportunity to represent our club and U.S. Futsal.
“It has been a great experience and also very enjoyable for all of us, coaches, players and staff. It is always great to play internationally as you learn other styles of play and get to know other countries. We are loving Honduras.”
In order to reach the final four, Utah Elite finished atop the Group A table with a perfect 3W-0D-0L record, earning wins over Soyapango FC (2-0), FAX Futsal (12-1) and host UPNFM (5-3).
“We performed well. Our team got a little bit better every game and look forward for the playoffs,” said Fuchs, who – despite not having a lot of scouting information on the opposition – thought Utah Elite would be competitive in the tournament.”
He added: “Our main goal was to reach the semifinals. We wanted to come and play hard and clean. We did not know the level of competition and were very surprised with the high level.”
Now that it has advanced this far, however, Utah Elite doesn’t plan on slowing down.
“We expect a tough game, but also very technical as well,” Fuchs concluded. “[Habana] has showed that they are a great and experienced team by reaching the semifinals.”
The Utah Elite Futsal-Habana winner will face either Grupo Line Futsal or Soyapango in Saturday’s final.
USA’s Utah Elite Futsal players and staff (pictured) gather for a photo during the 2017 CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.