After a long, hot week in Rockford, Illinois, MVLA Pumas emerged as one of the four semi-finalists from a packed field of 32 teams from around the country during ENPL (Elite National Premier League) playoffs this past week.
In Bracket play, Pumas bested Villareal Virginia Academy, Wilmington Hammerheads Youth Football Club from Delaware and ACYS from Florida to reach the quarterfinals. “Our boys knew going into the competition that each head of the group would advance. I reminded the group that each game would be a battle and it was very important to take the lead”, Pumas head coach Carlos Menjivar said.
In the tight Quarterfinal match up, MVLA took Coach Menjivar’s advice and found themselves up 2-0 with goals by Chris Aguilar and Alexander Pena. They kept the lead until the 75th minute when their opponent AHFC from Texas, closed the gap 2-1. But GK Omar Figeroa and the team held strong and wouldn’t breach to allow an equalizer.
Coach Menjivar was adamant to give credit to his entire team saying that everyone was on their game. “[I] feel like our team approached each game with much focus and determination. Every play they were determined to leave everything out on the field.”.
The MVLA Pumas teams has been on fire this summer with a State Championship (NPL Champions League Champions) and now qualify for the ENPL national Semi-Final. They await their draw and the games which will be played July 11-15 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City.
Coach Menjivar also talked about what a whirlwind last few months have been like, “Playing State Cup, Norcal Champions League, and Manchester City Cup helped us prepare against the best teams from Northern and Southern California. The constant travel each weekend and dealing with with some injuries was not easy to manage, but in the end, the players rose to the occasion”.
Good luck to Coach Menjivar and the Pumas as they represent MVLA in Colorado.
MVLA Pumas 05B
Johan Granados Ortega