LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KRQE) – While New Mexico youth sports are on pause during COVID-19, a local soccer club has traveled out of state to compete in a massive tournament. Hundreds of teams from around the country are now in Phoenix to play in the controversial Desert Super Cup while COVID cases spike.

The local Sereno Soccer Club said its players are being safe because they just want to play.

“I’ve been playing soccer since I was four,” Joshua Fresquez with Sereno Soccer Club explained. “It’s what I focus- what I want to do in life. I want to go to college and play soccer somewhere.”

The effort to further Fresquez’s soccer career took a hit this year because of the pandemic.”Our high school season has been postponed so we haven’t been able to practice. Same with club,” he stated.

That’s why the Centennial High School senior from Las Cruces says his team was excited to be among more than 500 nationwide that are traveling to Phoenix to play in the Desert Super Cup.

It’s a controversial event but Arizona leaders are allowing it despite some pushback regarding all youth sports amid rising COVID-19 case numbers. “I think it’s time to put a timeout on all these major tournaments,” Steve Gallardo with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors told KPHO, an affiliate of KRQE News 13.

Frezquez said he feels comfortable competing in the tournament that has put COVID-safe precautions in place. “They have hand sanitizer laid out and they’ve even laid out spectator rules where it’s two per family,” he explained.

The team is set to play a minimum of three games.

Fresquez said he’s been preparing how he can because his goal goes far beyond the games this weekend. “This is a really big tournament for me, being my senior year, looking to be recruited,” he explained.

Fresquez said his team plans to quarantine when they do get back to New Mexico. KRQE News 13 reached out to the governor’s office for a statement about the team competing in such a huge event but did not hear back.

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