• Saturday Aug 26, 2017

    For De Maria Sobreira, love of futsal & unity spur Utah Elite’s run

    Utah Elite Futsal’s Ricardo De Maria Sobreira (middle) celebrates after scoring against Habana in their CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship semifinal on August 25, 2017, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

    TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras – The score was tied at 0-0 in the fourth minute of Friday’s 2017 CONCACAF Futsal Club Championship semifinal between Habana and Utah Elite Futsal.

    After a battle for possession between Utah’s Hewerton Moreira and Daniel Hernandez of Habana, the ball ended up at the feet of Habana’s Alejandro Marreño.  Then, in a three-second instance, he lost control and Utah’s Ricardo De Maria Sobreira hit the back of the net.

    “I had to think quickly to make the best decision,” De Maria Sobreira told CONCACAF.com about his swift on-court reaction to the unexpected occurrence.  “Then, I saw an opportunity to turn and shoot with my left foot.  It was the best decision at that moment.

    “For me, it was a blast scoring the first goal at the semifinals of this important tournament.  Those feelings are the reasons I play.  It’s unexplainable.”

    Such enthusiasm for the sport of futsal has unquestionably played a role in helping Utah Elite reach Saturday’s decider against Costa Rica champion Grupoline Futsal with a perfect 4-0-0 overall record.

    “It means a lot to me because I love playing futsal and this is what I want to do as a career if I had the opportunity,” said De Maria Sobreira.  “Our group is united and happy to be together and we are playing as a family.  This means a lot.”

    The 28-year-old attacker contends that if the high level of intensity can be maintained, there’s every reason to believe the U.S. champion can lift the trophy at the Universidad Pedagogica Nacional Francisco Morazan.

    “The key against [Grupoline Futsal] will be to play together as a team, defend correctly and the transition game,” he finished.

    That recipe has proven to be successful and, for Utah Elite, there’s no reason to tinker now

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