Cincinnati-based Ginga Futsal return to the National Futsal Premier League for the 22/23 season with a team competing in the Men's division.
As newcomers to the league last season, it's safe to say that the season didn't go entirely as planned or hoped for. A 7-2 loss on the road to in-state rivals Columbus Futsal ended the Ginga Futsal season in the NFPL Quarterfinals after a fifth-placed regular season finish.
Expectations are to improve on last season and finish higher up in the league, with Head Coach Satoru Matsushima saying:
"This season we have made drastic improvements with player signings as well as tactical decisions to set ourselves up for a better and more successful season."
The men's side return key goalscorers from last season: All-NFPL First Team ala Jorge Guinovart, TJ Manning, Nick Rumisek, and All-NFPL Honorable Mention and team captain Erik Hegerty.
Also returning are Rashawn Lamar, Toshi Shoda, and Will Bencic. New signings include Sydney Musoni at ala, who played for Columbus Futsal last season, and Upgrade Costello at goleiro.
Ginga Futsal will also welcome newcomers to the NFPL in Cristhian Ramires at pivo, Moses Lian at ala, and Yuta Umeda at fixo.
Ginga Futsal return to the league with a handful of players that made the difference last year. Will it be enough this season? An offseason that featured scrimmages against players from FC Cincinnati and frequent fall and summer trainings with key returners might give Ginga Futsal a lift in what will be a tough Eastern conference.
If last season's winners Grand Rapids OLé continue and take the first place, it leaves just one playoff berth available between Ginga Futsal, Columbus Futsal, and Michigan Futsal Factory.
A season opener that welcomes in-state rivals Columbus Futsal for the first Battle for Ohio might be an early indicator for where this team will finish the season. Head Coach Satoru Matsushima is looking forward to it, saying that "it's always an entertaining match for the fans and a fun one for the players."
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