January 05, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Sports News
While the men's U.S. National Soccer Team has made tremendous strides in international competition over the last 15 years, they didn't quite meet expectations during last summer's FIFA World Cup. On the positive side, the USA did in fact win the World Cup last year – the World Cup of Table Soccer (a.k.a. "foosball"). And at this year's International Table Soccer Federation combined World Championships and World Cup tournaments, to be held January 6-9th in Nantes, France, the U.S. men's team is looking to win it's third title in a row!

But what's that you say? A World Cup… of foosball? As it turns out, there's much more to it than you might think, as some 500 of the world's most elite players from up to 40 countries will compete in the culminating event of a year-long, 50-tournament World Pro Tour. This year's U.S. National men's, women's, seniors and juniors teams, whose players have captured a total of over 30 World and 100 Major tour titles, remain the favorites to repeat their amazing 2009 and 2010 victories this week in France.

Not that the U.S. foosball team will have it easy: world #1-ranked team Germany, #2-ranked Netherlands and USA's arch-rival France have their sights on an upset. Each team, having selected eight of their nation's very best players, will be competing in a combination of doubles and singles events. In a true test of all around foosball skills, competition will take place on five different official styles of tables: Tornado Table Soccer™, Bonzini™, Garlando, Lehmacher Tech-Ball, and Roberto-Sport. (Oh, and yes, foosball's that game with the miniature soccer men attached to rods that spin around to hit a little ball on a kitchen table sized soccer field!)

Meanwhile, in the World Championships portion of the tournament, top name competition will include world #1 ranked Frederico Collignon of Belgium and defending ITSF World Singles Champion Ryan Moore of the USA. The women's side of the competition is also expected to be intense, with #1-ranked Sandra Ranff of Germany seeking to win her first World Singles title against a strong field of tour veterans and new challengers.

Preliminary rounds are on Thursday and Friday, with playoffs Saturday and finals on Sunday the 9th. A special opening ceremony will be held at 5:00 pm Friday. All press and spectators are invited to attend. The tournament is sanctioned by the ITSF and hosted by the French Table Soccer Federation (Fédération Française de Football de Table). Sponsors include Region Pays de la Loire, Ville de Nantes and SUBWAY® Restaurants, among others. Media partners include EuroSport2, Kozoom Production, Nantes 7 and Presse Ocean.

This combined event serves as both the final event of the 2010 ITSF World Pro Table Soccer Tour and the kickoff of the tour for 2011. Other major tour events for 2011 are already scheduled for Austria, the Czech Republic, Turkey and the United States. Even more qualifying events are planned for countries as diverse as Lithuania, Slovakia, Japan, Russia, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. Indeed, the 2011 tour is expected to be the largest world table soccer tour ever!!

For additional details about this event and the sport of table soccer, please see the following websites: - USTSF official web site/Pro Tour & U.S. National Team sponsorship opportunities - ITSF Website: World Rankings/Tour News/ITSF World Cup & Championships Event Information - Live video feed begins online January 6th!!
Or contact: Larry Davis, President, USTSF, Tel: +1-563-580-9485; Email:
Christine Cabrera, ITSF, Tel: +33-240-479-084; Email: