Gomez uses Futsal to prepare himself for soccer season

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Gomez uses Futsal to prepare himself for soccer season

This indoor turf field at Next Level Athletic Development Center is the site of all Futsal league games. The field is 60 feet wide by 108 feet long, about one third of the size of a real soccer field. The smaller field causes faster gameplay, more passing, and more goals.

This indoor turf field at Next Level Athletic Development Center is the site of all Futsal league games. The field is 60 feet wide by 108 feet long, about one third of the size of a real soccer field. The smaller field causes faster gameplay, more passing, and more goals.

Owen Stewart

This indoor turf field at Next Level Athletic Development Center is the site of all Futsal league games. The field is 60 feet wide by 108 feet long, about one third of the size of a real soccer field. The smaller field causes faster gameplay, more passing, and more goals.

Owen Stewart

Owen Stewart

This indoor turf field at Next Level Athletic Development Center is the site of all Futsal league games. The field is 60 feet wide by 108 feet long, about one third of the size of a real soccer field. The smaller field causes faster gameplay, more passing, and more goals.

Owen Stewart, Staff Reporter

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The sport of soccer isn’t normally played outside during the winter, but it has enough popularity that kids want to play it year round. The opportunity to do that is given to them, in the form of the Futsal Indoor Soccer League, held at Next Level Athletic Development Center in Harrisonburg, which offers an indoor turf soccer field. Soccer players from all around the Harrisonburg area, at all ages, flock to Next Level to take part in Futsal, which is becoming increasingly popular. Some of these athletes attend HHS, including freshman Ronal Gomez.

Gomez plays for Beast FC, a high school division Futsal team that currently tops their division. He uses his time in Futsal to improve his all-around soccer skills.

“It prepares me to work in tight spaces and to run more. That keeps me in shape and it helps with my conditioning,” Gomez said. That isn’t the only reason athletes participate in Futsal though.

“[Futsal] is really fun and it’s competitive too, especially when my friends are in the league,” Gomez said. Most offseason leagues have a balance between competition and fun, and Futsal is no different, as both are emphasized.  

“It really depends on the players on the other team. If they’re my friends, then it’s going to be pretty competitive, but if they’re just random people that I don’t know, then it’s usually pretty friendly,” Gomez said.

Gomez has participated in Futsal for four years, and he believes other soccer players should also play it during the offseason to hone their skills.

“It’s a good place to come and just learn more about soccer. It’s not really about yourself, you have to think about the team. You have to pass more; you can’t really just take on the whole team because it’s a small area,” Gomez said.

The indoor facility is considerably smaller than a real soccer field, roughly the size of a basketball court, but other than that, the gameplay is fairly similar to outdoor soccer.

“It’s not [that different], except there aren’t any throw-ins, you just start play again by kicking it back in,” Gomez said.

While Gomez plays for many reasons, there is one big one that stands out for him.

“I want to prepare for the season, and just get better at the sport,” Gomez said.    

The Futsal season runs from late October into mid-December, ending with a tournament. Each team usually plays six games in a season. It costs $50 per season to participate. 

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