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SOCCER

Soccer: Jack Green of Anchorage helps Team USA win futsal gold at Pan American Maccabi Games in Argentina

by | Jan 4, 2024 | Cover Story, Soccer

Anchorage’s Jack Green looks to pass on the futsal court. Photo by Pan American Maccabi Games.

Anchorage’s Jack Green on Wednesday bagged three goals and assisted on another score to lift Team USA to historic heights in futsal at the Pan American Maccabi Games.

Led by Green’s monster game, the Americans defeated host Argentina 6-4 in the gold medal match in Buenos Aires.

“Winning the first-ever medal in futsal for the U.S. at any Maccabi Games is historic and for it to be the gold is the cherry on top,” said Green, who also played on last year’s squad.

“To put our team on the map, it’s a true honor.”

The 2019 Alaska Gatorade Player of the Year out of West High wrapped up a fabulous final season of college soccer two months ago and looked sharp at the Pan American Maccabi Games, especially in Wednesday’s championship match.

Futsal is a soccer-based sport that pits five players aside and is usually played indoors on a basketball court. The action is fast and nonstop, except when the clock stops after the ball goes out of bounds. The game resembles 3-on-3 on the hardwood or 7-on-7 on the gridiron, but for soccer.

Green is a masterful midfielder who is adept on the ball and can deke and dance around defenders in traffic, a must-have skillset for futsal.

The 5-foot-8 Alaskan showcased several highlight-reel plays in the gold medal match that was streamed on YouTube.

He scored Team’s USA’s first goal after firing a shot on goal with his left foot and cleaning up his own rebound with a rocket off his right foot.

Green assisted on a goal that tied the match 2-2 late in the first half. Midway through the second half he scored his second goal of the match on a corner kick after blasting a shot near post off the goalkeeper to give Team USA a 4-3 lead and silence the partisan crowd.

Home fans packed the gymnasium and made their presence felt.

“It was surreal,” Green said. “The intensity was incredible. They were yelling. They had everybody on their side.”

He capped his hat trick by scoring into an empty net with 4.5 seconds left that secured victory over previously undefeated Argentina.

Green finished as the top scorer in the tournament with nine goals in five matches.

“The Maccabi Games are one of the few opportunities I’ve had in my athletic career where I have had the chance to combine culture with sport,” said Green, who played collegiately at American University and Binghamton.

“Representing the United States and being surrounded by other Jewish athletes from around the world is a surreal and special experience. On the court we are fierce competitors with our opponents and off the court we are friends and share our similarities with each other.”

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