USA aims for first berth in knockout phase

[BEACH SOCCER WORLD CUP] The USA looks to advance past the group stage for the first time at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, where it opens play on Thursday against Spain in Papeete, Tahiti (ESPN3, 10 p.m. ET). Eddie Soto's 12-player roster is mostly compromised of players based in Southern California.

The USA is playing in its fourth beach soccer world championship, having previously advanced to the 2005, 2006 and 2007 tournaments.

Defenders Anthony Chimienti and Francis Farberoff, the captain of the 2013 team, were part of the 2007 World Cup squad. The USA will be led by Spanish-born forward Nick Perera, who was the leading scorer of the Concacaf Beach Soccer Championship with 11 goals.

Following the USA’s opener against Spain, the USA faces host Tahiti on Saturday and United Arab Emirates on Monday. The top two teams of the four groups qualify for the quarterfinal stage on Wednesday.

U.S. Beach Soccer Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (2): 1-Chris Toth (San Diego Sockers; Fallbrook, Calif.), 12-Michael McAndrews (BS Team Zurich; Long Beach, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (5): 4-Michael Enfield (UCLA; Ventura, Calif.), 5-Lewie Valentine (US Sand Soccer; Oceanside, Calif.), 9-Anthony Chimienti (Sacramento Gold FC; Folson, Calif.), 10-Francis Farberoff (Florida Beach Soccer; Hollywood, Fla.), 11-Brendon Taguinod (Santa Cruz Beach SC; Santa Cruz, Calif.)
FORWARDS (5): 2-Jason Leopoldo (UCLA; Thousand Oaks, Calif.), 3-Ryan Futagaki (Chicago Fire; Fountain Valley, Calif.), 6-Tomas Canale (UC San Diego; Venice Beach, Calif.), 7-Nick Perera (Milwaukee Wave; Milwaukee, Wis.), 8-Andrew Feld (University of San Diego; Carlsbad, Calif.)
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