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NASSC - US Open 2017
15 Jun 2017

Virginia coach hails beach soccer's 'unbelievable' growth

Prominent coach Chris Panayiotou talks of his confidence in the sport's potential.


While few are surprised to see the North American Sand Soccer Championship grow to its current size and scale, the impact of the tournament is something that needs to be seen to be believed.

One man who has witnessed the recent surge in popularity for both beach soccer and football in general in the Virginia region is Chris Panayiotou - a prominent coach in the area who entered a number of junior teams into this year’s competition.

Panayiotou is Developmental Technical Director for Rush Soccer - a global club franchise in more than 37 states and 20 countries with around 50,000 youth players on its books - while also serving as Developmental Director of Coaching for Virginia Rush.

As someone who has seen first hand the impact of NASSC on young kids in the area, Panayiotou believes such an “unbelievable” event will only continue to spread the word about soccer in a nation which traditionally has other sporting priorities.

“This is my third one and I think it’s fantastic. When I came to America 23 years ago, kids here were just wearing American football shirts and now you come to Virginia Beach and it’s completely different,” he told Beach Soccer Worldwide.

“It’s probably a mile and a half long and you see all sorts of football shirts - Premier League, MLS, Spanish - and so for myself and the kids to hang with the Barca guys, who are a real class act, it’s just unbelievable. It’s soccer heaven really.

“This event is unbelievable for showcasing the sport of beach soccer and to elevate it to another level - along with futsal, indoor, grass football - is invaluable for the sport.

"It’s massive to have guys here like Barca, Team Pugg, internationals from Costa Rica and guys who have played at FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups.”

Aside from reaching out to kids about the sport, Panayiotou believes playing on the sand can open up new possibilities for children within their football environment.

“I do a lot of coaching within football, at grassroots level and with Rush, so I develop best practices for all our kids at grassroots,” he added.

“Futsal, beach soccer, events like this are all part of it so I’m keen to get more of our guys to places such as these.

“I think the benefits [of beach soccer] are touch, new concepts and ideas, movement and there’s a lot of transferable skills. But mainly it’s the relationship with the ball, if we watch the pros, the ball hardly hits the ground.

“I just think it’s huge and it gives the kids a few new ideas, extra confidence and growth in general.”

RESULTS & SCHEDULE
September 08, 2020 - September 13, 2020
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Playoffs
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Sportingportugal SCP 2 2 0 0 10 1 9 6
Grasshopper club zurich GCZ 2 2 0 0 9 5 4 6
Arturmusic ARM 1 1 0 0 12 3 9 3
Marseille MAR 2 1 0 1 8 9 -1 3
Rostockerrobben RSR 2 1 0 1 8 6 2 3
Screen shot 2020 09 05 at 09.27.22 DUS 2 1 0 1 7 7 0 3
Bsc krylya sovetov KSV 1 1 0 0 5 4 1 3
Emblema nazarenos GDON 2 0 1 1 7 11 -4 1
Untitled design 12.40.36 NTB 2 0 0 2 8 13 -5 0
Shmanapoli web NPL 2 0 0 2 6 11 -5 0
Logotipo sotao web SOT 1 0 0 1 4 5 -1 0
Logo MLN 1 0 0 1 3 12 -9 0
Group Stage - Group A
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Logotipo sotao web SOT 2 2 0 0 11 4 7 6
Untitled design 12.40.36 NTB 2 1 0 1 9 11 -2 3
Marseille MAR 2 0 0 2 4 9 -5 0
Group Stage - Group B
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Braga SCB 3 3 0 0 33 3 30 9
Arturmusic ARM 3 2 0 1 30 13 17 6
Cartel waterloo %28bel%29 WAT 3 1 0 2 5 33 -28 3
Portsmouth ladies bs PBS 3 0 0 3 3 22 -19 0
Group Stage - Group C
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Sportingportugal SCP 3 2 1 0 19 10 9 8
Shmanapoli web NPL 3 1 1 1 15 17 -2 5
Screen shot 2020 09 05 at 09.27.22 DUS 3 1 0 2 16 17 -1 3
Logotorrejon TJN 3 0 0 3 11 17 -6 0
Group Stage - Group D
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Kristall KRS 2 2 0 0 16 2 14 6
Grasshopper club zurich GCZ 2 1 0 1 13 9 4 3
Cs olimpia   stels %28mda%29 CSO 2 0 0 2 3 21 -18 0
Group Stage - Group E
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Escudo futbol playa marbella 2017 final MARB 3 3 0 0 18 6 12 9
Emblema nazarenos GDON 3 2 0 1 10 13 -3 6
Screen shot 2020 09 05 at 09.27.47 BEM 3 0 1 2 13 17 -4 2
Sigla web ACS 3 0 0 3 9 14 -5 0
Group Stage - Group F
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Logo MUN 3 3 0 0 24 7 17 9
Bsc krylya sovetov KSV 3 2 0 1 15 7 8 6
Logo grap copia web ADP 3 1 0 2 11 17 -6 3
Fc vybor VYB 3 0 0 3 5 24 -19 0
Group Stage - Group G
Team P W W+ L GF GA GD PTS
Logo MLN 3 2 1 0 14 7 7 7
Rostockerrobben RSR 3 2 0 1 19 13 6 6
Cs djoker DJO 3 1 0 2 12 13 -1 3
Untitled design %281%29 SOT-B 3 0 0 3 13 25 -12 0
Round of 16
Logotipo sotao web SOT 4 - 2 GDON Emblema nazarenos
Logo MUN 9 - 3 NTB Untitled design 12.40.36
Logo MLN 6 - 4 GCZ Grasshopper club zurich
Kristall KRS 7 - 1 MAR Marseille
Sportingportugal SCP 3 - 6 KSV Bsc krylya sovetov
Braga SCB 9 - 1 DUS Screen shot 2020 09 05 at 09.27.22
Arturmusic ARM 8 - 1 RSR Rostockerrobben
Escudo futbol playa marbella 2017 final MARB 9 - 6 NPL Shmanapoli web
Play-off for 15th Place
Shmanapoli web NPL 0 - 3 NTB Untitled design 12.40.36
Play-off for 13th Place
Marseille MAR 4 - 6 DUS Screen shot 2020 09 05 at 09.27.22
Play-off for 11th Place
Rostockerrobben RSR 6 - 8 (AET) GDON Emblema nazarenos
Play-off for 9th Place
Grasshopper club zurich GCZ 3 - 5 SCP Sportingportugal
Play-off for 7th Place
Logo MLN 5 - 7 SOT Logotipo sotao web
Play-off for 5th Place
Arturmusic ARM 11 - 5 KSV Bsc krylya sovetov
Quarter-finals
Logotipo sotao web SOT 2 - 3 MUN Logo
Kristall KRS 13 - 3 MLN Logo
Braga SCB 6 - 0 KSV Bsc krylya sovetov
Escudo futbol playa marbella 2017 final MARB 7 - 7 (3 - 1) (PSO) ARM Arturmusic
Semi-finals
Braga SCB 6 - 3 MUN Logo
Escudo futbol playa marbella 2017 final MARB 0 - 8 KRS Kristall
Play-off for 3rd place
Escudo futbol playa marbella 2017 final MARB 6 - 7 MUN Logo
Final
Kristall KRS 3 - 3 (1 - 0) (PSO) SCB Braga
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