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See the Possible: New version of soccer in Akron

12:48 AM, Oct 7, 2013   |    comments
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AKRON, Ohio -- Where will the next sports super star come from? How about Akron, Ohio?

Former Cleveland Crunch goalie Otto Orf has been trying for years to connect inner city kids with the sport he loves. Now, with a new type of court and game, he sees the possible.

"The way soccer is played around the rest of the world is in the streets, in the small lots. This was a rollerblading rink that hadn't been used in 10 years," said Otto Orf, director of the HandsOnSports Foundation.

The foundation just opened one of the first public fusal courts in the country. Located in Lane Park, close to downtown Akron, the new court is a little larger than a basketball court and doesn't need a lot of fancy equipment.

Futsal is a version of soccer played around the world. The game is also the choice training method for soccer players, both amateur and pro.

"These courts are going to be built all over America. As being the National team coach, it's going to be great for me because the players are now going to be playing this at a young age and developing the skills needed for this," said Coach Keith Tozer, of the U.S. National Futsal Team.

"I really think that the inner cities is where our first, true American soccer star, our Pele, our Diego Maradona, is going to come from," said Orf. "This project was a labor of love. It took 3 years to get the court funded and built... but it was worth it."

 "What I would love to see is, just like when I was a kid, when you had some kids from that end of the street and some kids from this end of the street and they come down here... because that's what it's really all about, getting the kids out here to play," said Orf.

The HandsOnSports Foundation is organizing a number of programs to be held soon on the new court.

HandsOnSoccer on Facebook

You can check out the handsonsocccer.com website for more information.

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