TEAM PUGG WINS Second Men’s Open Championship
Coach Alex Soares’ Beach Soccer Team Finishes On Top In A Thrilling Final
Virginia Beach, June 12, 2016 – After more than three periods of exciting action including four lead changes, Team PUGG won its second North American Sand Soccer Championship on the sun baked sands of Virginia Beach, VA. Coached by Brazil’s four time FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Champion Alex Soares, the squad of ten wonderfully skilled and determined players eked out a 6-5 win over equally resolute Florida Beach Soccer (FBS) led by player-coach Francis Farberoff. Both teams got to the final through a field of opponents that included FC Barcelona and the national teams of Costa Rica and Colombia.
Each side fought back from multiple deficits before ending level at 5-5. Following FBS’ missed opening shot in the sudden death penalty shootout, Alan Cavalcanti took three steps to the ball and left footed the winner into the net. After forty minutes under a 95 degree sun, Team PUGG got its goal!
Tournament founder Dick Whalen, Operations Director Matt Whalen and the entire NASSC staff welcomed more than 1,000 teams competing at all levels. Matches were played from early morning to sunset over three days and covered twenty five blocks of beach. In the U.S. Open division sixteen teams from the United States, Europe, and Latin America played for the $25,000 purse.
Beach soccer is a five-a-side version of soccer, played on a deep sand pitch measuring 30x40 yards and consisting of three periods of twelve minutes each. The scoring can be high and the players’ skills are highlighted by deft combinations of passes and daring bicycle kicks. Crazy bounces off the sand test the quickest of reactions and the deep sand demands a very high level of fitness.
Since 1994, the Hampton Roads Soccer Council (HRSC) of Virginia Beach has hosted tens of thousands of teams and hundreds of thousands of players to compete in what many have said is the fastest growing sport in the world.
Team PUGG is the collaborative effort of Bob Armell, Pugg Company founder and CEO, and his longtime friend Soares, a first-timer at the NASSC, who said, “In all my years of coaching I’ve never seen an event of this magnitude. It’s an American beach soccer festival. Very inspiring.”
About Pugg Company
Founded in 1994, Pugg Company is a Boston-based business built on the back of what many consider the most revolutionary equipment contribution to soccer training for youth, the highly portable and durable PUGG pop-up-goal.