SIERRA VISTA — A 7-on-7 coed adult soccer league is underway with a new season scheduled to start in May.
Playfooty.com is the organization behind the league. There are two games every Wednesday starting at 6 p.m. on the new turf soccer fields at the Cyr Center Park. Each game consists of two 25-minute halves. Each season runs for six weeks with a tournament at the end and a league champion being crowned. There are “Man of the Match” tokens that can be won every match along with some extra prizes.
“Footy is an adult soccer league (ages 17 and up) with the best fields in Arizona,” the website reads. “Our tournaments are played the seven-a-side style, on real-grass half-sized fields. We believe that soccer should be accessible to everyone, that’s why we eliminated all the extra stuff and kept only what matters, a passion for Footy. The concept behind Footy is to create a highly competitive league, which in turn is exceptionally easy to join and partake in. Footy is all the fun, passion and grit of a real soccer league without the time-consuming training sessions or matches at faraway locations. One match per week against a worthy opponent. Be challenged, hone your skills, and build your team. We’ll take care of the rest.”
Mart Nijland, the founder of Playfooty.com, resides in Europe while his sister, Diana, runs the league in Sierra Vista as well as a 24-team men’s league in Tucson that’s been in existence over a year.
“Having played 5-on-5 soccer with colleagues after work when I was working in London I realized there wasn’t such a thing in the Netherlands,” Mart said. “So I started with a 7-on-7 soccer league in The Netherlands back in 2010. It was a direct success. Since the start I have always thought about expanding to other countries. And because my sister lives in Sonoita, the possibility to organize leagues in the U.S. became a lot more realistic. And now it’s a dream come true.”
Nijland said as the U.S. is ramping up for co-hosting the World Cup 2026, soccer is winning terrain.
“In 2020 we started playing in Tucson on the brand new Kino Sports Complex, where 12 brand new soccer fields were built,” he said. “There we organized a men’s 7-on-7 soccer league and we are growing rapidly. Our goal is to get a lot more people interested. That is what these brand new Astroturf soccer fields are there for.”
Diana said the local league played its first match on March 17 and the season is scheduled to end April 21.
“The people we have playing really seem to like it,” she said. “The 7-on-7 seems to be a very popular thing. There are some weekend leagues that are 11-on-11 but the fact we play during the week and are 7-on-7 seems to be a plus. So far so good.”
Diana said there are five teams in the Sierra Vista league. Each team has a maximum of 13 players and there must be at least three females on the field at all times.
To play in the league in Sierra Vista, Diana said, it’s $40 per team per week or $240 for a full season.
“You take that amount and divide it by 13, it comes out to a little over $3 per player per week to play,” she said. “We also have individual fees for those who sign up and don’t have a team to play for. We find teams for them.”
Diana admits she’s impressed with the ability of Cochise County athletes.
“The level of play here is a lot better than I initially thought,” she said. “We’ve had some very competitive matches.”
Diana said officials with the city of Sierra Vista have been accommodating and supportive as far as getting the league started and reserving the fields they use.
For information about the league or to learn more about the upcoming season visit Playfooty.com.