Montgomery Village futsal league attracts residents
Foundation reaches out to get community active
There's a new game in town, and some Montgomery Village residents can't get enough.
"Ándale! Ándale! (Come on! Come on!)," members of Montgomery Village Foundation's first futsal league cried out to one another during a game Friday at the Lake Marion Community Center.
Eleven men, all of Bolivian, Columbian or Guatemalan descent, faced each other in the first game of two that night.
Futsal is a fast-paced yet friendly sport, similar to soccer but usually played indoors, on a smaller court with a heavier ball.
Montgomery Village began offering the sport to get more people active and out into the community, said Duncan Mullis, a foundation employee who helped organize the league and who referees the games.
It was not the foundation's intent to reach out to any particular ethnic community, but Mullis estimates the majority of the 38 people who signed up are of South American descent.
Mullis did want to reach out to the community's increasingly diverse population, he said.
About one in four residents in Montgomery Village identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino; 10 years ago, that number was about one in 10, according to U.S. census data.
After Michael Torrez's father told him the foundation was offering the game, the 16-year-old Quince Orchard High School student formed a team, which consists of three school friends and a Quince Orchard graduate.
He and his team, Liverpool, now look forward to their games.
The players' Spanish calls may be similar to those heard in Uruguay, the country where the sport originated about 80 years ago.
The word futsal is derived from the Spanish and Portuguese words for soccer futbol or futebol and the Spanish and French words for indoor or room: salon, salle or sala.
Each team is made of at least five players, with one goalie. The ball must stay in the court's boundaries, unlike typical indoor soccer, where the ball is played off the walls.
Futsal's hub remains in South America, although it is now an international sport.
Torrez said it is definitely part of his culture to enjoy both soccer, and futsal. He did not play soccer for Quince Orchard High this year, but he thinks he will try out next year.
The Montgomery Village Foundation may continue to host futsal leagues in the fall and winter. Montgomery Village residents pay $24 to play an eight-week season; nonresidents pay $34.
Contact Duncan Mullis at 301-948-0110 ext. 2367 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.mvf.org, for more information about futsal and this summer's activities.