Abreu, Pereira And Jensen Set For 2019 Futsal Canadian Nationals
Victor Hugo Gomes de Abreu, Ryan Jensen and CMU Men's Futsal Head Coach, Anderson Pereira are geared up and ready to represent Manitoba at the 2019 Futsal Canadian Championships, kicking off Thursday afternoon at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. The three Blazers are suiting up as part of Pioneers Futsal Club who advanced to a National berth after lifting the MSA Futsal Cup trophy in February.
"It's a really exciting opportunity for us," said fourth-year CMU captain Ryan Jensen who will be representing his province for the first time since he wore the local colours of Bonivital as a youth soccer player. "Before this Provincial Championship, by only futsal experience has come through MCAC so I am looking forward to seeing what else is out there in the sport in other provinces. It will be a great experience."
Victor Hugo echoed his CMU teammate when asked about what he is looking forward to at the Nationals. Growing up in Brazil, futsal was a huge part of the 2nd year winger's skill development and after a very successful 2019 MCAC season that saw left-footer score 22 regular season goals, Victor Hugo can't wait to experience futsal played "the Canadian-way". "It will be really cool to meet players from other provinces and see the way they play," he said. "Teams in Ontario and Quebec are very familiar with each other because of their developed leagues, so yes, I am a bit nervous but excited for the opportunity to play."
Pioneers will begin Pool Play on Thursday afternoon against 2017 Champions, Sporting Montreal at 4:30pm. They will move on to play 2019 Ontario Cup Champions, GTA Toronto on Friday, at 3:15pm before closing out the round-robin against Rankin FC who are representing Nunuvut on Saturday at 10:45am. All times are adjusted to the Central Time Zone. Matches can be watched in their entirety through this link on the Futsal Canadian Championship webpage: http://sportscanada.tv/2019-canada-futsal-championships
On the opposite side of the tournament, Olymipia Saskatoon, Yukon Selects and 2018 Champions, Toronto Idolo all return while newcomers Calgary Villians Elite represent Alberta.
The veteran of the team is CMU head coach Anderson Pereira. Pereira was the force driving Manitoba's 2018 Futsal Canadian Championship berth, Rovers Futsal Club and is really excited to be involved with this his new project, Pioneers FC. Pereira and teammate Adam Mooi were two of three Manitobans selected from last year's Championship to attend the 2018 National Team Identification Camp last September in Gatineau, Quebec.
"After being with the National team camp last year, I am very familiar with alot of the top players and the quality of the other teams competing, especially those in Quebec and Ontario." said the CMU head coach who will return to his playing boots this week in Kingston. "The level of the competition is going to be higher than anything we can gauge here in Manitoba so it is going to be a big challenge for our team. I think we have alot of quality in the Pioneers group of player but we don't get as many competitive games together as the other teams we will be competing against so that is our challenge."
Winners of the two pools will meet in Sunday's 2019 Futsal Canadian National Championships.