Caymanian youngsters lost to a visiting English youth football academy Tuesday night.
Swindon Town, an English League 1 outfit, defeated the Cayman Select team 4-0 on Tuesday night at George Town’s T.E. McField Sports Centre, also known as the Annex. The visitors had scores from Ryan Woods, Samuel Fletcher, Jordan Morris and Tyreke Johnson.
Swindon’s Caymanian players, Sebastian Martinez and Nathan Borde, were substitutes, with Martinez coming on first in the 43rd minute. The other local player based in Wiltshire, Kray Foster, was on the bench but did not play due to injury.
It was a dominant display from the visitors, who controlled the majority of ball possession and had the edge in critical aspects from corner kicks and free kicks to shots on goal. The scoring started early as Woods headed in a cross from the right, on the edge of the box, past Cayman keeper Finnegan Huffington.
In the second half, a loose ball in the penalty box fell to Fletcher, who gathered it and slotted home the game’s second score in the 75th minute. The other goals came within the next 10 minutes.
The Cayman boys – most of whom were part of the national team at the recent CONCACAF Under-15 Championships – were on the defensive most of the game. As a result, defenders like Dante Ramoon and captain Kory McLean had plenty of work trying to subdue determined runs and penetrating passes, especially from the flanks. Zachary Scott made good decisions with the ball in midfield and forward Leighton Thomas Jr. showed good pace and footwork throughout the night but missed a wide open shot on net.
Tuesday’s contest opened for the C3 Cayman International Youth Football Tournament, with Grasspiece Promotions serving as tournament organizers. The youth academy of Major League Soccer’s Houston Dynamo also featured.
On Thursday, Swindon face the Dynamo at 7 p.m. The tournament finale on Saturday, Feb. 22, pits Cayman against Houston at the Annex.
Tickets for the tournament are $10 for the three games or $5 per game, available at the gate. Children under 13 will be charged $1.