Fort Wayne Phoenix Futsal players representing Team USA in international friendlies

July 25, 2019


FORT WAYNE, Ind. - Fort Wayne Phoenix Futsal Club has a significant presence with the U.S. Youth Futsal National team heading to Argentina for the next week.

Six boys and two girls from the Phoenix will play for Team USA in a series of friendly futsal matches July 25 through August 1 in Buenos Aires and the neighboring town of Sam Isidro.

"I'm so excited to defend my country," Phoenix 2002 boys player Jesus Leon-Maldonado, a Bishop Luers senior, tells "It means everything to me, and it makes me feel so happy." 

The Phoenix players joins others in the 2001, 2003 and 2004 age divisions from around the country.  Making the U.S. Youth Futsal International Teams is a process that starts at a series of trials in all 50 states and yield invitations to the national trials, where international team members are ultimately selected.

"First, it's relief--like, wow, I really made it!," Phoenix 2002 girls player Madelynn Welker, a Carroll sophomore, beams. "There are so many people from around the nation who come together to play on these youth national teams. To be able to play with them, and go to other countries and experience the culture and the game there is pretty cool."

The eight Fort Wayne Phoenix Futsal Club players represent the largest contingency of any club on the U.S. rosters. Additionally, club founder Carlos Cruz is a member of the administrative staff of USYF.

The local athletes started their journey to South America on Wednesday, arriving in Argentina on Thursday. The full schedule includes matches on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday; practices on Friday and Monday; and times of sightseeing in Buenos Aires.

"It's always been my dream to travel and play soccer," Phoenix 2003 boys player Dominic Cruz adds. "Traveling, experiencing the coulture and the different ways people view soccer and futsal in different countries. Its like being part of a family - something bigger than yourself."

Parkview Sports Medicine partners with Fort Wayne Phoenix Futsal Club for athletic training, sports performance, nutrition, athletic rehabilitation and orthopedic services for student-athletes. Learn more at

Get Started