The Queensgate U-13 League Champions, Future Sports Club, recently returned from Orlando, Florida where they represented the Cayman Islands at The Disney Cup International Youth Soccer Tournament. This is the first time that the team has ever had the opportunity to compete at an international level.
Future’s first game of the tournament was played against an under 13-team from Ecuador. The game began well for Future as they put strong pressure on their opponents. During the first 15 minutes of the game the Cayman team was unstoppable and Nikki Ebanks (forward) scored her first overseas goal from a corner kick taken by Nicholas ‘Powerhouse’ Ebanks who was playing in mid-field.
The game quickly became a battle of skill between the two teams with the Ecuador mid-fielders advancing and taking several shots on goal. Future SC goalkeeper Adryan Powell proved to the Ecuador team that he could stop their shots. In fact, Adryan’s overall performance was so impressive that several coaches have made enquiries about having him play for their teams.
In the 25th minute, the game came alive when Nicholas Bush (Future’s top goal scorer) received the ball from the midfield, dribbled his way up to the Ecuador goal area by beating six of their men and then kicked a powerful shot to the goal, also giving him his first international goal and giving Future a 2-0 lead over the Ecuador team. Then, 32 minutes into the game, Ecuador managed to score their first goal.
In the second half of the match the battle between the two teams became even more intense and 20 minutes later Ecuador successfully scored their second goal to equalize the score. In the dying minutes of the game Ecuador went on to score once more and when the final whistle blew the score stood at Ecuador 3 and Future 2.
On a more positive note for the Cayman players, the coach of the Ecuador team has extended an invitation to the Future U-13 team to come to play in Ecuador next year.
Future SC went on to play an excellent game of football against the eventual winners of the Disney Cup, ACFC Manchester United from Pennsylvania, USA. In the first half of the game Future put on a great performance against Man. U. when they made several unsuccessful shots on goal. It wasn’t until the final 10 minutes of the game that ACFC Manchester United managed to score two goals, giving them a 2-0 win over Future.
Despite the defeat, the young Future team was very optimistic about the experience they have gained through competing internationally. Team Captain, Jermaine Wilson, stated that he was happy with the way they had played the two matches and feels that continued exposure to top quality games and tournaments such as the Disney Cup will serve to strengthen the level of play here in Cayman. ‘It was a very valuable experience, not only for me, but for the entire team,’ he said. ‘We learned many lessons that will definitely help us to better our game.’
Coach Sylvester Coleman was also very pleased with his teams’ performance, especially considering the fact that they were playing against teams with much more experience. ‘What the Future Under-13 players experienced is how to act and play as a team by working together and developing a more professional attitude for the game,’ Coleman said. ‘As the tournament went on, the team level of play moved to a higher level of performance. In the last game the Future team made their best performance by only losing 2-0 to Man U who went on to win the tournament by beating a Brazil Club team 8-2. I think that the team has improved their game and will perform much better in the future.’
Team members thanked the sponsors who made contributions to make the trip possible for them. They also thanked Eye of the Tiger Productions for sponsoring new team uniforms and jackets and to PricewaterhouseCoopers whose sponsorship of $3,000 provided transportation in and around Orlando for the team and also allowed them to enjoy a day of fun at Sea World.