Pro Player Profile—Juliet Onufrak

In the Fall of 2019 ASA launched a Professional Futsal program with women’s and men’s teams. In the inaugural season the teams are playing an exhibition match schedule and competing in two tournaments in early 2020. As we lead up to the USFF Northeast Regional Tournament we’ll be highlighting players in this program! Thank you to Sebastian Hendi for conducting this interview!

What is your background with futsal?

I don’t have a background with futsal at all actually, my first time playing was at pro team tryouts in October! I grew up in Florida where the weather allowed us to play soccer year round.

How would you compare the futsal environment at ASA to any other you have experienced?

It feels good to be on a team again—I missed that sense of community after college ended. All of the women are really supportive and competitive, which makes for an intense but fun environment.

[L]: Juliet poses with her ASA U10 girls team. [R]: Juliet’s team at Catholic University celebrates a conference championship.

What are some differences or similarities you can describe between soccer and futsal?

They’re really different. Futsal is more direct offensively, and defending in Futsal is often man to man, so you are constantly changing your position. Communication and working hard off the ball is really important in both though.

Tell us about your playing experience, whether its soccer or futsal and what that brings to the team.

I played soccer basically my whole life and in college at Catholic University in DC—I graduated in 2018. There are some serious futsalers on our team who have been playing for years and at first it was really hard to keep up with them. Even practicing with the ASA 2003 girls Futsal ID team had me seriously out of breath. Now I actually have a grasp on what’s going on; showing up to practice consistently and working through the drills to learn the nuances of futsal helped a lot. Mark, Katie, Emily, and all of the women on the team are really patient and supportive too. I try to just work hard and stay humble and hype everyone up so we can win games!

Which one of your teammates has the best sense of humor? And which one has the best skills?

Besides myself…?

The Women’s Pro Futsal team after a November 2019 exhibition match.

How does it feel to be an example to the younger generations of the ASA futsal community?

It feels amazing! When I was a kid, nobody talked about the possibility of playing after college unless you were like Alex Morgan or something, but female athletes now are lucky to have more options. I hope younger girls see our pro team and realize that they can keep soccer/futsal in their lives for as long as they would like, it doesn’t necessarily have to end after high school or
college is over.

Thank you Juliet! Good luck at the upcoming Regional Tournament!

p.s. we created the fun graphic at the top of this post with a little help from a cool feature called Trace by our friends at Sticker Mule!

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