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CFC Liverpool teams dominate Copa Cabana Beach Soccer Tournament

By Loren Kopff

BELMONT SHORE-The Cerritos Football Club (CFC) Liverpool club soccer teams haven’t played in too many beach soccer tournaments. But when they do, they seem to bring home a championship.

Such was the case this past Sunday when the Under 15 team easily won all four games in its age group to win the Copa Cabana Beach Soccer Tournament on the sand at Belmont Shore for the second time in three years. Head coach Joul Farah’s team, which was actually playing up in the Under 16 age group, breezed past the SC Elite 11-0 and the Eclipse 12-0 last Saturday and crushed the Lynwood Fierce 13-1 before claiming the tournament title for the age group after a 7-1 victory over Kaos.

“The girls looked like they really have the experience [of being here],” Farah said. “There was no pressure. They’re having a good time; they’re having fun and it’s becoming easy for them. They’re performing really well.”

In 2011, Farah’s Under 13 squad competed in this same tournament and he split his team in half, each playing in a pool of three teams. The “red” team won by scores of 10-1 and 7-1 in pool play action while the “black” team was victorious by 7-2 and 10-2 results. After both teams posted identical 9-1 semifinal wins, the black team defeated the red team 5-2 in the championship game. Farah said he did not coach that game but was still in attendance. In fact, every time the CFC Liverpool has competed in a beach tournament, which also includes four trips to the Huntington Beach Tournament, his squad has played a year up from its own age group.

Farah’s oldest daughter and former St. Joseph High standout, Natalie, took her Under 11 team to the Copa Cabana Beach Soccer Tournament and was one win away from winning her age group. Last Saturday, the Under 11 team doubled up United Chelsea 6-3 and had no problems with the Desert Fury, 7-2. The CFC Liverpool received two goals each from Eliana Mariolis and Nathaly Silva. This past Sunday, the team crushed the Desert Divas 8-2 before falling to the United LSA 3-2 in a winner-take-all game.

“We played with a lot of heart,” Natalie Farah said. “And, there’re having a lot of fun.”

In 2011, Natalie Farah’s Under 9 team won this tournament by outscoring its four opponents by a combined 41-9 score. She says that there aren’t too many adjustments in terms of getting used to playing on the beach as opposed to playing on grass. She added that if anything, it forces the girls to think a little bit quicker.

“It helps them with conditioning and most importantly, it’s fun for them,” Natalie Farah said. “It’s a good break for them off the grass. We’re able to put people in different positions and try different things.”

Beach soccer is played five on five with 30 x 40 yard field dimensions for older age groups (25 x 35 for the younger groups). There are three periods of 12 minutes and there aren’t too many fouls or penalties.

“All over the world they play beach soccer,” Joul Farah said. “That’s how they work on their skills and their touches. It’s very popular. We do it basically for the girls to have a weekend of fun. That’s the only reason.”

This weekend, the Under 15 team will be competing in the 28th United States Futsal National Championship, an indoor tournament, at the Long Beach Convention Center. The team, playing up again, will have a pair of games today and one on Saturday with the possibility of another one Sunday afternoon. In addition, Joul Farah adds that the team will be looking for new players next month for the upcoming 2013-2014 season.


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