The championship match between the league leaders, Phoenix Brazas FC and New Mexico Elite took place yesterday at 2:20pm (MST) in Mesa, Arizona. Although fans were still not allowed to watch in-person, the match was streamed live on the hosting clubs Facebook.
The USAFF president, Mark Brown, conducted the honorary coin toss, which was won by New Mexico Elite to initiate kick off. The match started off consistent, but slow. The score was 0 v 0 until a New Mexico Elite player was fouled in the box, resulted in a PK for New Mexico to be taken by #5 Yeremi Valdez. Yeremi took the PK and scored the first goal of the match, with the New Mexico club in the lead. The first half ended with a tight score line of 0 v 1. During second half the match picked up intensity and physicality for both sides. #7 Joao Alvarez scored the first goal for Phoenix Brazas FC and shortly after #6 Ivan Militar scored two goals, one after another, bringing the score to 3 v 1. The match continued and New Mexico Elite made the gap smaller with a goal from #9 Luis Rodriquez; Score 3 v 2. Shortly after #11 Nathan Beraldo scored making New Mexico Elite fight harder and their own #9 scored again. Score 4 v 3 with 5 minutes on the clock, and the title of CHAMPIONS so close for either club. With only minutes remaining, #11 sealed the fate for Phoenix Brazas with his second goal of the night bringing the score to 5 v 3. The buzzer went off and it was game, with Phoenix Brazas FC as the 2021 AFL Champions.
Phoenix Brazas FC has an impressive track record of wins over the past years;
2018: Southwest Regional Champions and Finalist at 33rd US Futsal National Championship
2019: Southwest Regional Champions
2020: AFL Cup Champions
2021: AFL Season Champions
For years New Mexico Elite has been a force to be reckoned with and is always a tough competitor against any club they go against.
Francisco Espinoza, owner of New Mexico Elite, will host a huge tournament, Elite Futsal National Cup on June 5th-6th. It appears both clubs will be participating in this tournament for $20,000 prize money. This will be the biggest futsal event for 2021 on a national level. Check out other clubs participating here https://www.facebook.com/elitefutsalchampionsleague/photos/?ref=page_internal
Phoenix Brazas FC
#7 Joao Alvarez - 1 Goal
#6 Ivan Militar - 2 Goals
#11 Nathan Beraldo - 2 Goals
New Mexico Elite
#5 Yeremi Valdez - 1 Goal
#9 Luis Rodriguez - 2 Goals
AFL with start preparation for the upcoming 2022 season immediately with registration opening July 1st, 2021. A new conference is anticipated to start as well, extending the reach from the western region to other parts of the US.