This winter marked the inaugural MDSL Futsal League and it turned out to be a great success. A total of 28 teams across 7 different clubs ranging from Frederick to D.C. played in the Rockville based league made up of 5 divisions of which 4 crowned champions. The lone division that didn’t crown a champion was the U-8/9 age group because scores were not kept. The age groups in the league ranged from U-8 to U-16 where the U-8/9 played mostly 4 v 4 without a goalkeeper to introduce them to Futsal, and U-10 and up played the standard 5 v 5 with a Goalkeeper.
MDSL Acting Commissioner Justin Reid detailed, “In addition to the league’s first time being part of Futsal, this was also my first time being anywhere close to the sport and I enjoyed every minute of it. Growing up playing soccer in the area all year around, when we went indoors we played on artificial turf with walls, so being part of a league where we play on hardwood floors without walls was a bit of new experience for me as a coordinator of the league.”
Futsal as we know is not a new phenomenon as it has been played across South America for decades, but the U.S. has caught onto it and for those teams who play the game correctly, there is plenty of benefit when the players take their skills to the outdoor leagues. The MDSL will look to build off of the successful winter season with plans to expand the number of teams from 28 to 45 by the start of the season in January. “We never want to grow too fast to the point where our league becomes unmanageable, so it is important for us to grow organically. The support of our league since launching a year ago has been amazing and we look forward to continued growth with the club partnerships that we have built to provide the clubs solutions for their league needs.”
The league remains on message of providing an organized, affordable soccer/futsal experience for independent teams to smaller clubs. The league prides itself on being able to have referees at ALL of its games in addition to making sure that games are always played with the mindset of placing player development before winning.