U.S. Soccer announced Tuesday that it had appointed Utica City FC coach Hewerton Moreira as the new head coach of the U.S. men’s futsal national team.
Moreira will take charge of his first camp from Sept. 13-17 in Philadelphia as the team continues its preparations for the 2024 Concacaf Futsal Championship which serves as qualifying for the 2024 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Uzbekistan.
He also will continue to coach Utica City FC in the Major Arena Soccer League.
Sascha Filippi, who served as interim head coach since May, will continue as an assistant coach to Moreira.
Moreira brings a wealth of experience to the position, having spent 23 years as a player in futsal, indoor and outdoor soccer and 17 years as a coach. A native of Santos, Brazil, Moreira played professional futsal in his home country for Santos Futsal Clube, Saldanha da Gama, Osan Futebol Clube, A.A. Portuarios and FEFIS-UNIMES FC, winning nine consecutive futsal league championships from 1997 to 2004. He was also part of the Brazil Futsal National Team player pool in 1995 and 1998.
In 2004, Moreira came to the United States where he carved out a hugely successful 16-year indoor soccer career, registering 198 goals and 174 assists in 301 matches for various clubs in the Major Indoor Soccer League and MASL. Moreira’s most successful spell as a player came during two different stints with the Milwaukee Wave, helping the club to three MISL championships in 2004-05, 2010-11 and 2011-12.
Moreira, 43, began coaching youth soccer while still playing professionally in 2006 and took his first professional management role as player/coach of the MASL’s Cedar Rapids Rampage in 2016. The following season Moreira was appointed head coach of the St. Louis Ambush, where he served for four seasons. More recently he worked as technical director of Chicago Street Futsal in 2021 before becoming head coach of Utica City FC in 2022.
“I’m incredibly honored to lead the U.S. men’s futsal national team,” Moreira said in a statement. “Futsal was the first version of the sport that I played, so this opportunity takes me back to my roots. I’m thrilled to work with a strong pool of players that has developed together through this cycle as we work towards qualification for the 2024 Futsal World Cup.”
Moreira takes the reins of a side coming off a regenerative cycle that saw the team finish as runners-up at the 2021 Concacaf Futsal Championship and earn qualification to the 2022 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania – the team’s first World Cup appearance since 2008.
The holder of a Brazilian CREF/CONFEF “A” Coaching License, Moreira also has a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education from FEFIS-UNIMES University in Santos, Brazil. A U.S. citizen since 2022, he is fluent in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
“Hewerton’s long-time futsal and indoor experience in both the United States and Brazil make him an excellent choice to lead the U.S. men’s futsal national team,” U.S. Soccer senior technical director of Extended National Teams Stuart Sharp said in a statement. “He is a great locker room leader whose knowledge of futsal and familiarity with our player pool will help us greatly as we look to qualify for our second consecutive FIFA Futsal World Cup next year. Additionally, we want to thank Sascha for his guidance of the futsal national team this year and we’re thrilled that he will continue to work on the staff as an assistant coach.”