Klepal and Buegar Selected to AMF US National Team
Lansing City's Jeremy Klepal and Danny Buegar were selected to the United States AMF Futsal National team. They traveled to Mexico to take on Mexico, Canada, and Curacao in the AMF world cup qualifiers. The games were played at the Olympic Arena in downtown Mexico City.
First Game VS Mexico
USA's first game was on Saturday morning against Mexico. It was a sloppy game for the USA to say the least. Errant passes, nervous players, and a small and slippery court made it difficult for the USA to gain any momentum. There were four bright spots for the USA. Pivot Kaui Martins of Phoenix Brazas, shined in the pivot position. He did his best to hold up the ball in the sparse possession that the USA had. Head Coach Juan Camillo was the second bright spot. Yelling and waving his arms trying to get the US players into the correct shape offensively and defensively. Doing everything he could to get some sort of a result from this rough beginning. The third bright spot was our very own Danny Buegar! Starting on the bench, Buegar anxiously awaited his chance to prove himself. He was thrown into the game in the second half after a disappointing first half performance by the USA. Buegar stepped up making save after save keeping the USA in the game. Buegar's ability to cut down angles and shorten the court was a life saver for the USA. The fourth bright spot for team USA was our very own Jeremy Klepal! Klepal sat out about 1 minute at the start of the game and then barely came off the court for the rest of the tournament. Klepal scored an absolute banger of a goal all the way from half court in the second half against Mexico. The game finished with Mexico beating the USA by a score of 6-2.
Putting up a Fight Against Canada
After the disappointing performance against Mexico, the USA returned to the court Saturday evening to face off against Canada who just put a whomping on Curacao winning 7-1 that morning. City's Buegar got the start for the USA and Klepal also started the game playing all but one minute of the game. Buegar was on the top of his game saving two PKs and holding off Canada's constant attack! Jeremy Klepal racked up an assist and a stunner of a goal beating two players in the corner before smashing into the top rack of the goal. The game was an absolute fight. USA was up 2-1 heading into the last 15 seconds of the game when a Canadian player beat a player at the top of the arch and combined with the pivot to score. It was a heartbreaking goal. The game would end in a 2-2 tie.
Redemption Against Curacao
USA head into the final game on Sunday with a determination to come out with a win. They faced off against the team from the Island of Curacao. City's Klepal again started for the US and Buegar subbed in about five minutes into the first half. USA finally seemed relaxed and was able to keep the ball and rotate a bit. USA got on the board first with a brilliant finish by Kaui Martins. The second goal also came from the USA off a great pressing effort that led to a counterattack goal making it 2-0. Then another goal fell in for the USA off a full court clearance that happened its way over Curacao's keeper and into the goal making it 3-0. It finally looked like the US was in a comfortable position to win! Curacao responded in the first half off a brilliant strike from a set piece to make it 3-1. Shortly after, USA's Klepal beat a player 1v1 before slotting past the keeper to make it 4-1. Coming out of the second half, you could sense that USA was not going to let this one slide away. The second half started with a staunch defensive effort by USA. Curacao fought back and was able to slide in two goals from lethal counterattacks. With the score 4-3, heading late into the second half, USA's Klepal stole the ball from Curacao, took two steps across half, and sliced it passed Curacao's keeper. That was the nail in the coffin for Curacao. USA finished out the game with a 5-3 win! We will keep you updated on more news from the trip as well as information on the at-large bids to the World Cup that the USA is in the running for!