Last night Portland City FC hosted their last home match against New Mexico Elite for the 2021 season. Everyone anticipating that New Mexico Elite would dominate against the Oregon club, with New Mexico Elite holding the 1st place spot in the AFL standings, while Portland City FC was in dead place. The match we witnessed last night was anything but a domination by the New Mexico club, and yet another surprising home match victory for Portland City FC.
The beginning of the match started as viewers thought, with New Mexico Elite scoring two goals right off the bat. Portland City FC responded well to the pressure and tied the match back up shortly after that. New Mexico scored again and just seconds prior to the first half whistle, New Mexico Elite put another ball in the back of the net; putting New Mexico Elite in the lead 4 vs 2. During second half, like déjà vu, Portland City FC tied it up once again and both clubs fought to take the lead with a 4 v 4 on the scoreboard. New Mexico Elite scored, then Portland City FC right after; 5 v 5 and anyone’s match with just minutes to go. #4 Isaiah Escobedo from Portland City FC, wanting the win for his club and state, scored two goals consecutively. The whistle blew with a final score of 7 v 5, the underdog club with the victory.
Despite Portland City FC's victory last night, they failed the viewers watching the live streaming video; not once, not twice, but for the third time this season. Since the opening match on February 20th, Portland City FC has had issues adhering to the guidelines set by AFL to provide a real-time, professional stream of their home matches. The camera was all over the place; sideways, horizontal, the floor, the ceiling, a finger over the lens. Comments poured in about the poor job and unprofessionalism of the cameraman to follow the match.
AFL announced on February 5th a sponsorship with the sports broadcasting app, Swishlive. This app allowed each club to film their home matches using an inlay scoreboard and other user-friendly features. AFL provided each club will requirements to ensure that viewers at home would be able to watch a pro futsal match in a professional and well put together format; that is far from what viewers watched last night and during every single Portland City FC match that they hosted. The club was given every attempt to fix their shortcomings, without resolve. Portland City FC has suffered two penalties and is under review by AFL’s executive committee due to their lack of care.
USAFF President, Mark Brown made a statement earlier this morning in regards to Portland FC's live streaming failure.
“Historically the USA Futsal Federation holds to high standards in its operations and decision-making process. The decision to sanction the Portland City Futsal Club in the American Futsal League is derived from the Federations focus on maintaining the high standards and professionalism that we want to see in Pro Futsal and for that which we owe to our fans, supporters and partners.”
AFL has made leaps and strides to ensure that each club has the tools they need to be successful, but if the club doesn’t utilize the tools appropriately the sport will seize to grow at the rate it has the potential to. AFL will continue to set high standards for the clubs within the league and make steps to avoid poor representation that puts the league in a negative light.
Current league Standings
New Mexico Elite- 12 points
Phoenix Brazas FC- 12 points
Portland City FC- 6 points
South Bay Originals- 3 points
Next week Phoenix Brazas FC will travel to California to play South Bay Originals FC at 11am (PDT). With only one match left and a large point gap between the top two and bottle two clubs, the championship match to determine the 2021 AFL Champions will be between New Mexico Elite and Phoenix Brazas FC. The championship match will be May 8th, with the location yet to be revealed until the results from the upcoming match. If Phoenix Brazas FC can win or draw against South Bay Originals they will take the first place spot in the standings and the championship match will be held in Mesa, AZ. If Phoenix Brazas FC loses in their next match, both clubs will remain with 12 points and the 1st place spot will be determine with the tie breakers.
New Mexico Elite
#18 Marcos Ramirez- 1 Goal
#9 Luis Rodriguez- 1 Goal
#7 Jim Cruz- 1 Goal
#5 Yeremi Valdez- 1 Goal
#23 Carlos Gutierrez- 1 Goal
Portland City FC
#13 Gabe Parrish- 2 Goals
#4 Isaiah Escobedo- 4 Goals
#15 Jean Graells- 1 Goal