Achieving their goals

Twin brothers Esteban Mariel ’09 and Manuel Mariel ’09 have introduced a new sport into the Dallas landscape.



It didn’t take twin brothers Esteban and Manuel Mariel long after graduating with bachelor’s degrees in economics in 2009 to launch City Futsal in 2011. The former SMU soccer players – who transferred as sophomores from University of Maryland-Baltimore County – wanted to translate their athletic skills into their professional lives.

Futsal – not to be confused with soccer – features four players plus a goalie, a hard court and a smaller ball.

“Futsal isn’t just an alternative to soccer – it’s a vital supplement that enhances a player’s capabilities,” says Manuel. “The small-sided nature of the game sharpens quick decision-making, enhances agility, and develops precision in ball control and passing. We encourage players to engage in futsal not as a replacement for soccer, but as a strategic enhancement to their game.”

The Mariel brothers had already been teaching youth to play soccer but wanted to pursue a dedicated futsal program in the Dallas area. One permanent location soon turned into three – with an outdoor location at the Dallas Farmers Market. Most recently, they’ve opened fields in The Colony and have their sights on Richardson.

It’s a family affair for the Mariels, who share an alma mater with their mother, Solange Mariel ’01 and work alongside their sister, Ximena; younger brother, Felipe; and dad, Federico.

Want to learn more? Read the full article from SMU Magazine fall/winter 2023.


Esteban and Manuel Mariel

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I believe SMU shaped our mindset. We were challenged but we were also in an environment to try things, to ask questions and to get help.

– Esteban Mariel ’09

Futsal player steals the ball
Futsal players huddle up

That passion for playing, for teaching other kids, being around the sport – that was our big thing.

– Manuel Mariel ’09

Kick things off with SMU

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