Lilavois to guide USNAST into Tunisia

by Sydney Nusinov

The American Association of Soccer 5-6-7 (AS567) announced today that US National Arena Soccer Team General Manager Bernie Lilavois will assume the title of interim Head Coach of the US six-a-side team that will compete in the World Minifootball Federation World Cup October 6-15 in Nabeul Tunisia.

Phil Salvagio will remain as the Head Coach of the US team in arena soccer competitions.  Lilavois will continue to oversee the entire national team program as GM and will begin the search for a permanent six-a-side replacement after the World Cup.

"As AS567 continues to grow and expand into all the forms of small-sided soccer sanctioned by WMF the ultimate goal is to have distinct programs for 5, 6, 7-a-side soccer and, of course, arena soccer," said AS567 President Kevin Milliken. "Phil Salvagio is still a very big part of what we're doing and was a big reason why we won the 2015 World Cup here when it was played under the arena soccer format."

Lilavois was the original coach of the USNAST when it was founded in 2008. "This is a big honor and a big responsibility to defend Phil's title in Tunisia," said Lilavois. "I want to thank him for all of his hard work in laying the foundation for the success we have enjoyed and carry the torch to proudly represent the USA."

"It wasn't an easy decision, but we all share a common goal of growing small-sided soccer in the US," said Salvagio. "I look forward to being a part of some big arena soccer tournaments that are on the 2018 calendar and I will be rooting on Bernie and the team next month on Tunisia."

Lilavois will coach the final two exhibition games this weekend as the team makes final preparations for Tunisia. The USNAST will host Mexico on Friday in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, and again on Saturday in Denver.