NFPL Matchweek 5 Preview
The National Futsal Premier League returns to the Midwest for Matchweek 5, featuring a massive Michigan derby between Grand Rapids OLé and Michigan Futsal Factory Academy. The second game of our Saturday double-header features in-form Ginga FS visiting Joy Athletic in Minnesota.
Grand Rapids OLé (h) vs. futsal factory academy (a)
High-flying Grand Rapids OLé currently top the NFPL standings after a fast start to the season, scoring 37 goals in their opening 4 games. After a rough opening game in Minnesota, Futsal Factory Academy bounced back in Matchweek 4 with a strong revenge win against Joy Athletic.
The Michigan Derby is a massive game for both teams, not just for the NFPL standings but for bragging rights in Michigan. The two teams are no strangers to one another, playing frequently at both youth and men's levels in competitive and exhibition games throughout the year. While there is a great deal of respect between the two, there will be no love lost in what will likely be a packed arena at MSA Sports Spot in Grand Rapids. Fans can expect each team to field a mix of youth and veteran players with fluid futsal, mesmerizing dribblers, experienced coaching, and aggressive defending. This should be a good one.
Keep an eye on Futsal Factory target man Nik Djokic and USA goalkeeper Robert Damron to create and prevent goals on both ends of the court. For OLé, the Diaz twins have scored in every game this season, while the match gets personal for Cole Russell, who will be playing against his former club.
A win for Futsal Factory Academy would see them go level on points for 2nd in the league, while a win for Grand Rapids OLé would strengthen their hold on the top spot of the NFPL table.
Joy Athletic (H) VS. Ginga FS (A)
Joy Athletic and Ginga FS sit 3rd and 2nd, respectively, moving into Matchweek 5. Both teams won their latest game, with Joy claiming a big scalp in Grand Rapids, defeating OLé 3-2 in Matchweek 4, while Ginga FS secured their second win of the season in a high-scoring affair at home to Futsal Indy.
Depending on what happens in the Michigan Derby, both of these teams have the opportunity to go level on points at the top of the NFPL table by the end of the weekend.
Keep an eye on Joy Athletic's Mike Folstad, scorer of two crucial goals in their victory over Grand Rapids OLé. For Ginga FS, TJ Manning has been scoring spectacular goals on a weekly basis, while Erik Hegerty will hope to continue his hot streak having scored 4 in Matchweek 4 against Futsal Indy.
Best of luck to all four teams in Matchweek 5!