Posted by: gravessack | November 18, 2011

Team USA Wins 2011 FIPFA World Cup

Power Soccer fans from all over the world were keeping a close eye on Paris in early November as the Halle Carpentier in France hosted the 2011 Federation International Power Football Association (FIPFA) World Cup. The FIPFA World Cup is held every four years in different cities. Ten teams battled to be crowned world champions, including Canada, France, England, Portugal, Belgium, and the USA, during the five-day event from November 2 to 6. But only one could be the champion. The World Cup was a pool-play style tournament with five teams in two pools.

The playing surface at the Halle Carpentier was a blue rubber surface covering a basketball floor. The floor only had Power Soccer lines painted on it. Pete Winslow, a member of team USA and a Minnesota athlete, described the floor: “I liked playing on that floor better than Sandburg {Middle School} because it was nicer and not scratched up or uneven.” The 13-inch soccer ball moved fast and sometimes got stuck on the floor, but Winslow said it wasn’t bad.

After winning the inaugural FIPFA World Cup in 2007 in Japan, Team USA was competing to defend its title and would be the first USA soccer team in history to accomplish that feat. The first round of the tournament was pool-play and USA went 3-1 in that round. In the second game of that round, USA beat Portugal 13-0 and Winslow recorded two goals. In the last game of pool-play, USA pummeled Switzerland by a score of 21-0, where Winslow again scored two goals. The USA’s only loss that round was in game 3 where they faltered against England 1-0 because team USA “didn’t play our game and we didn’t pass,” said Winslow. That 3-1 record led USA to the semi-final match against France. USA squeezed out the victory by a 2-0 score. On November 6, the USA went up against England to play for the World Cup. In the Championship game, USA played their game and outplayed England for 40 minutes, winning 3-0. Team USA was crowned the 2011 FIPFA World Cup Champions. Led by Head Coach Chris Finn of California, this team became the first soccer team in US history to win back-to-back World Cups!

The crowd at the Halle Carpentier was big and loud so teams had to really focus on communication due to fans cheering for ten different teams. Winslow happily summed up the atmosphere of the United States fans: “Hearing the crowd chanting USA was an amazing feeling because we were representing our sport and our country.”

When teams weren’t playing soccer, USA traveled to Paris and saw the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre. Winslow also noted that Team USA trained hard the week coming into the second FIPFA World Cup.

Finn, with help from Assistant Coach Mike Hayes, from Indiana, formed a team that didn’t quit and practiced hard to reach its dream. “The overall experience was amazing, because it will be embedded in my mind forever,” Winslow said. “I can look back 10 years from now and remember this wonderful journey with amazing people, and becoming the best in the world.”

CONGRATULATIONS, TEAM USA!

Written by: Michael L. Sack

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