Futsal players and fans take over McMurray gym in tournament

This fast-paced, quick-passing game has our top island youth athletes competing for the World Cup trophy.

If you don’t know what futsal is, you’re probably not alone.

Basically, this is indoor soccer on a basketball court with a small, low-bounce ball. But judging by the excitement and pace of the Vashon High School students, you can tell they know what it is and how to play.

After a three-year break, due to the pandemic, the kids are back in action for six weeks at the McMurray Gym, from 4 to 7:30 p.m., on Sundays. This fast-paced, quick-passing game has our top island youth athletes competing for the World Cup trophy.

The first two weeks of the season have seen Morocco steamrolling the Dutch powerhouse (13-5) in week one, and then dismantling England 16-4 in week two. Both opponents got off to a great start, but the well-organized Morocco team has a work rate that proves just too much in the end.

While Oscar Cobb-Maigetter is the top goal scorer for the West-African side, every player for Morocco scored a hat-trick against England. Fans were just left to shake their heads and wonder who will take this team down.

Portugal is ready and will face Morocco next week.

Portugal expects Oliver Churchill back in the week three line-up after a pulled hamstring put him on injured reserve. With three of our Pirate high school captains (Moses Trundle Strachen, Olivia Boyes and Churchill) on this squad, Portugal is a team to not be counted out.

Week one of the tournament pitted Argentina against Portugal with the lead shifting many times back and forth, only to end in a fantastic 7-7 draw. The fans were delighted by some of the best goals in the tournament.

Isa Knowler, a stand-out 8th grader, still at McMurray, anchors the Argentinians, currently in second place. After Argentina edged Brazil in a 5-4 win in week two, the younger Knowler played against her older brother and high-school star. Now that must have made for an interesting dinner conversation!

It’s so great to see the kids out here competing so hard after a couple of years of interruption. They care so much and work so hard in this game. It is exactly what they need after COVID.

Three games are played back-to-back from 4 to 7:30 p.m. every Sunday, at the McMurray Gym, until the finals on Feb. 12. Admission is free and open to the public, so come and cheer on the kids. The pace and ball control of their play are quite impressive.