Colorado Futsal Academy - 2022/23 Season Preview
We are ecstatic to welcome Colorado Futsal Academyto the Southwest Conference for their first NFPL season!
ABOUT THE CLUB
Colorado Futsal Academy are the first and only futsal academy in the state of Colorado. Operated by Odías and Claudia Valenzuela, CFA was established in 2009/10 and is based in Aurora. The goal of the academy is to improve the technical skills and athletic ability within their local community through fun, safe and competitive play.
Odías and Claudia also manage the Colorado Futsal League, which includes competitive leagues and events for all ages from youth to adult. When asked about what they're most excited for in joining the NFPL, Claudia said:
"We're trying to teach, train, and show people what futsal is. We're really working hard to grow our academy here, and we want to get more local clubs to play futsal and grow the sport, especially in Colorado where it's not so popular."
-Odías Valenzuela, CFA Co-Owner
Odías is originally from Guatemela and grew up playing futsal in the 1980s and 90s. Back then, there was no professional league and it was all just for fun and local bragging rights against other schools.
When a local club introduced players to the game more formally, Odías, who had already been in love with it, allowed it to take more of a role in his life. When he came to the States when he was 19, he didn't have the chance to paly futsal in Colorodo. Despite the popularly of indoor soccer, futsal wasn't popular there simply because it wasn't very well known.
Odías knew that futsal could be a really good tool to develop players, so when his eldest son was ready, he put together a futsal tournament in 2009 with some friends - just for fun. Eventually, that developed into the Colorado Futsal League as it continued to grow with youth teams every year.
In 2012, the Valenzuela's were looking to push the game further beyond the confines of the state and go in contact with US Futsal, creating a premier adult side to test themselves against better opposition from the surrounding region. One thing led to another and in the past few years they joined the American Futsal League (AFL) with Brusa FC before the teams made the leap to joining the NFPL in 2023.
The leap to the AFL was a daunting one, and the step to the NFPL the same. However, the Valenzuela's are ready to take on the challenges and make the jump together. Describe by Odías as "his right hand" and that he "couldn't do anything without her," Claudia informed the NFPL that despite the risks, knowing that they are one of the first four teams to join the NFPL from the Southwest, they knew they simply had to do this and couldn't pass up the opportunity. Claudia said, "it hasn't been easy, but we are joining the league and hope to bring more futsal into our youth league, bring more futsal to Colorado, and bring more futsal to the NFPL."
At the NFPL, we're trilled to have the Valenzuela's on board and can't wait to see the team in action in just a few weeks.
The Colorado Futsal Academy is formed from international players that moved to the United States. They have a mixture of primarily South Americans playing there, with the influx of those various and diverse styles and skill sets noticeable on the court.
Venezuelans, Brazilians, Peruvians, Mexicans, and Americans with Latino background make up the core of the team, which is rounded out by younger local players from the youth academy.
"We are really excited for a new challenge, a new league. We might not be as well-trained or as experienced as some of the other teams that have been together for longer, but we are good and continually getting better, especially at home in Colorado."
-Claudia Valenzuela, CFA Co-Owner
The co-owners in particular are excited about new Venezuelan coach Juan Carlos joining the team for the NFPL season. They believe it will be a very competitive division and season, but are aiming to win the league, not just one game or the home games.
Colorado Futsal Academy are no strangers to the other teams in the division, earning mixed results in the past. Despite promising first-half leads on the road against San Diego Voyagers and Brusa FC in recent AFL matches. An unpleasant beatdown in Albuquerque at the hands of New Mexico Flagship FC will look to be avenged in the upcoming NFPL season.
Ultimately, CFA have beaten the #1 and #2 teams in the AFL division at home most recently. In the NFPL, Joy Athletic and Grand Rapids OLé have shown that the best teams in the league win on the road. Colorado Futsal Academy will have to find ways to grind out their results to pick up those critical away points in what will be a competitive league.
One thing is certain: we'll find out for ourselves soon enough. Colorado Futsal Academy's first game is Saturday, January 28 against Brusa FC.