Mexico’s LFA kicks off for first time in two years

After nearly two years of no activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico’s top professional American football league, the Liga de Fútbol Americano Profesional (LFA) is finally scheduled to resume for the 2022 season. However, in the same way that the pandemic changed the foundation of the world, the LFA’s makeup of teams has changed too. 

Before the cancellation of the remainder of the 2020 season on April 29, the league sported eight teams. However, only four of those teams, (the Dinos, Fundidores, Mexicas and Raptors respectively) will be playing this season. As for the other four teams from 2020, one of them, the Pioneros de Querétaro decided to return to the rival league, the Fútbol Americano de México (FAM)

Due to continued financial conditions, the Artilleros de Puebla and Osos de Toluca postponed their return to the league to 2023. This was also the case with Mayas CDMX (who also did not participate in 2020). Finally, the Condors CDMX was bought by the Querétaro F. C. ownership group, moved and was rebranded as Gallos Negros de Querétaro, which the LFA considers as a new franchise.

To make up for some of the losses caused by the pandemic, the LFA added two new expansion teams, raising the total number of teams participating for 2022 being seven. The two new teams are the Galgos de Tijuana and Reyes de Jalisco. 

Dinos de Saltillo – 2020 record: 3-2 (2nd in North Division) (Season canceled)

Based in: Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, Home Stadium: Estadio Francisco I. Madero

Head coach: Javier Adame

Key Players:

Offense: #13, QB, Erick Niño (rookie), MEX; #1, RB, Omar Cojolum, MEX; #19, RB, Bryce Viera, CAN; #3, WR, Gerardo Álvarez (captain), MEX; BC Lions, #17, WR, Jaylon Mosley, USA, #22, WR, Jesus Rendon, MEX; #53, OL, Mariano Vergas, MEX; #58, OL, René Brassea, MEX ^

Defense: #5, Osvaldo Zumalacarregui, MEX ; #8, DL, Ricardo Yañes (captain), MEX; #2, LB, Adrián Martínez, MEX; #11, LB, Daniel Carrete (captain), MEX, Edmonton Eskimos / Elks; #56, LB, Anthony Patrick Jr., USA; #24, DB, Sergio Schiaffino (captain), MEX, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Special Teams: #42, K, Enrique Yenny, MEX, Montreal Alouettes

Click here to view a full roster

Fundidores de Monterrey – 2020 record: 3-2 (3rd in North Division) (Season canceled)

Based in: Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, Home Stadium: Estadio Borregos

Head Coach: Carlos Strevel

Key Players:

Offense: #8, QB, Shelton Ross Eppler, MEX; #12, RB, Xavier Johnson, USA; #1, WR, Malik Love, USA; #54, Rickey Benson Jr., USA

Defense: #93, DL, Arthur Jorge Pinheiro Trigueiros, PRT; #3, DL / LB, Uriel Martinez (captain), MEX; #2, LB, Hermes Mireles, MEX; #5, LB, Christian Hernandez (captain), MEX; #11, LB, Ashari Goins, USA; #13, DB, Juan Carlos Escalante Gutierrez, MEX

Special Teams: #28, P, Oscar Hugo Silva Reta, MEX

Click here to view full roster.

Galgos de Tijuana – New this season

Based in: Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, Home Stadium: Estadio Caliente

Head Coach: Guillermo Ruiz Burguete

Key Players:

Offense: #4, QB / WR, Luis Araujo, MEX; #3, WR, Anthony Benson, USA; #6, WR, Cody Smith, USA; #55, OL, Edgar Cavazos Avila, MEX

Defense: #10, LB, Emanuel Serna Miranda, MEX

Special Teams: #19, K, Paul Ortiz, USA

Click here to view full roster.

Gallos Negros de Querétaro – New this season

Based in: Querétaro City, Querétaro, Mexico, Home Stadium: Estadio Olímpico de Querétaro

Head Coach: Félix Buendia

Key Players:

Offense: #1, QB, Diego Pérez Arvizu (captain), MEX; #37, RB, Marco Cisneros, MEX; #79, OL, Hector Venegas, MEX;

Defense: #2, LB, David Aceves (captain), MEX; #34, DB, Edwin Ibarra Bahena, MEX

Special Teams: #9, K, Alberto Gonzalez, MEX

Click here to view full roster.

Mexicas CDMX 2020 record: 2-3 (2nd in Central Division) (Season canceled)

Based in: Mexico City, Mexico, Home Stadium: Estadio Jesús Martínez “Palillo”

Head Coach: Héctor Toxqui

Key Players: 

Offense: #5, QB, Ricardo Quintana, MEX; #6, QB, Alejandro Marquez (rookie), MEX; #84, WR, Guillermo Villalobos, MEX;

Defense: #3, DB, Ricardo Razo (rookie), MEX; #4, DB, Gerardo Ramirez (rookie), MEX; #32, DB, Jerónimo Arzate, MEX

Special Teams: #9, K, Javier Ochoa, MEX

Click here to view full roster

Raptors Naucalpan 2020 record: 4-1 (1st in North Division) (Season canceled)

Based in: Naucalpan, State of Mexico, Mexico, Home Stadium: Estadio José Ortega Martínez

Head Coach Guillermo Gutiérrez

Key Players:

Offense: #13, QB, Bruno Márquez (captain), MEX; #3, RB, Dan Ávila (captain), MEX; #16, WR, Iván García, MEX; #29, WR, Ricardo Sainz, MEX; #86, WR, Enrique Barraza, MEX; #78, OL, Dario Martinez (captain), MEX

Defense: #6, LB, Gonzalo De la Rosa (captain), MEX; #34, LB, Andrés Espinoza, MEX; #8, DB, Karrheem Darrington, USA;

Special Teams: #31, K, Axel Perches, MEX

Click here to view full roster.

Reyes de Jalisco – New this season

Based in: Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, Home Stadium: Estadio Tres de Marzo

Head Coach – Ernesto Alfaro

Key Players:

Offense: #15, QB, Joathan Mullin, USA; #38, RB, Jordan Shippy, USA; #88, WR, Alan García, MEX; #55, OL, Tavita Hamilton, USA

Defense: #1, DE, Demetrius Harris, USA; #9, DL, Zach Curry, USA; #6, DB, Salvador Cabrera Minutti, MEX; #23, DB, David Richardson, USA

Special Teams: #4, K, Gabriel Amavizca, MEX, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

Click here to view the full roster.

A recent graduate of Hofstra University in New York. He is currently a sports freelance journalist and podcaster