NFPL 2023/24 Season Preview: Midwest
2023/24 NFPL Season Preview
As the 2023/24 National Futsal Premier League season kickoff approaches, we'll take a minute to dig into each team in the two conferences to go over their expectations, rivalries, and players to watch.
Futsal Factory Academy
An ever-present member of the NFPL, Futsal Factory Academy returns to the courts this winter with their eyes set on dethroning their in-state rivals and heading to the championship game, rumored to be played in their region.
Head coach and owner Drew Ducker expects to finish in the top two of the Midwest Conference, having added several exciting new players and returning experienced NFPL stars such as team captain and goalkeeper Robert Damron, pivo/ala Ben Pritchard, and Marlon De Freitas.
Keep an eye out for those players in addition to the younger players that Futsal Factory Academy are known for bringing through their ranks. Last season, youngsters Josh Jasinkiewicz, Charlie Lacy, Abdisa Kabeto, and Lucas Yessayan all stood out. If they've progressed as much or more from the prior season, Futsal Factory Academy have a real shot at making the playoffs.
Grand Rapids OLé
Reigning conference champions and runners-up last season, Grand Rapids OLé will enter the season looking like the favorites to win the conference and possibly the league. They return several of their key starters including captain Lito Esquivel, ala Cesar Martinez, ala Gabe Villagomez, ala/fixo Sammie Esquivel, and head coach Fabian Rodriguez.
Grand Rapids OLé will probably have the most talented and most experienced side on the court in every match they play in the Midwest Conference. They also kick off the 2023/24 season with a matchup against Detroit Imperial Futsal, an unknown entity.
We'll be eagerly looking forward to that matchup to see who's who in this conference - does Detroit Imperial Futsal have what it takes to compete at the NFPL level? Can Grand Rapids OLé repeat as conference champions? We'll have a better idea after Sunday, December 3rd.
Detroit Imperial Futsal
Despite being newcomers to the league this season, Detroit Imperial Futsal are not newcomers to the court. They've been competing in the FCS in recent seasons, most recently demolishing Midwest United FC 12-4.
Owner and coach Pearse Branigan said, "our club is ecstatic to be taking this next step forward into the NFPL. We look forward to every game this season and cannot wait to get the season underway!"
Keep an eye out for goalkeeper Christian Sipley after a huge performance as the US Futsal National Tournament in Las Vegas, as well as Omar Lahbiki's shifty feet and uncanny ability to use his body in tight spaces for ball retention. Experienced players Davide Di Poce and Costa Wells form the spine of the team and between them, Detroit Imperial Futsal is expecting to compete for the title right away.
Cadence SFC makes up the final team of the NFPL this season. After a disappointing showing in a tough division last year, they will be the only team outside of Michigan.
Known for frequently fielding a young core of players, Cadence SFC will be returning a number of players who were responsible for their brightest and best moments last season: pivo/ala Edrick Padilla, pivo/ala Matthew Maciulis, and pivo/ala Josue Pfrommer will all be hoping to stay on top of the goalscoring and assisting leaderboards this season.
Led by head coach and captain Gui Nunes, we'll have to wait and see if the young players of Cadence SFC can hold their own in a division dominated by physical, fast play.