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Futsal brings a short and energetic football game to a small paved area

While the Cleveland Browns, Cavaliers, and Indians continued to lose the collective title in the 1990s, goaltender Otto Orff and the Cleveland Crunch professional futsal team had three championship victories.

Orff played for the Cleveland Crunch and the renamed Force from 1989 to 2004. But even while he was playing futsal in Cleveland, he also competed internationally in another sport, futsal.

He became the Goalkeeper of the Year during the 1996 Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Futsal Football Championship in Guatemala in 1996. His team won this tournament and qualified for the Futsal World Cup in Segovia, Spain.

Today, Orff is a passionate advocate for a sport that bears similarities to football.

“I think this is the best way to develop young players,” he said.

Otto Orff (right) with fellow US men's national futsal team coaches Pablo da Silva (left) and Dušan Jaquika (center) at the 2019 UEFA Workshop in Finland.  (Presented by Otto Orff).
Otto Orff (right) with fellow US men’s national futsal team coaches Pablo da Silva (left) and Dušan Jaquika (center) at the 2019 UEFA Workshop in Finland. (Presented by Otto Orff).

On July 1, 2021, he traveled to Kiwanis Recreation Park in Painesville to help open what the city’s newscast called “Lake County’s first community futsal courts.”

“Wherever there’s a community that wants to try and get involved, I try to make it easy for the game,” Orff said.

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