Elite kids enjoy flawless start

After a week of positive national results, local youth football kicks into focus. 

A number of competitions are back in action across Grand Cayman. Among them is the 2013-2014 Under-23 League, put on by the Cayman Islands Football Association. Games are expected to continue on Wednesday and Feb. 28 at locales including the Ed Bush Sports Center in West Bay and the T.E. McField Sports Center, also known as the Annex. 

Through week six, Elite Sports Club top the charts at 4-1-0 with 13 points. The West Bay club have allowed the fewest goals (four) in the league. Prior to the C3 Cayman International Youth Football Tournament, Elite had a 1-0 win over Bodden Town Football Club. 

Other recent results saw Academy Sports Club thrash Roma United Sports Club, 5-1 and East End United Football Club clobber Tigers Football Club, 5-1. 

As a result, the rest of the Under-23 standings shows Cayman Athletic Sports Club in second at 3-1-1 thanks to a league-high 18 goals scored and Academy rank third at 3-1-1 ahead of 3-2 Future Sports Club, 3-2 Bodden Town, 2-1-2 East End, 1-1-3 Tigers, 0-1-4 Roma United and 0-0-4 Scholars International Sports Club. 

Andrew Browning of East End is top scorer with five goals, with Future’s Denver Barnes, Cayman Athletic’s Christopher Ebanks and Elite’s Roshaun Frederick all level at four goals apiece. 

The Under-17 Boys League sees a double-header on Thursday, Feb. 27. At 5 p.m., Elite take on Cayman Athletic at Ed Bush while Bodden Town are at home against Academy. Future have a bye. In the Under-15 Boys League, three matches are scheduled for Wednesday at 5 p.m. Scholars face Academy at Ed Bush, Sunset Football Club challenge Cayman Athletic at the Annex and Bodden Town battle Elite in Bodden Town. An additional match is scheduled for March 1 in the Sister Islands as Cayman Brac Football Club take on Future at 10:30 a.m. 

The Under-15 Girls League resumes March 6 and the Under-13 League goes into action March 3 as Academy challenge Cayman Athletic at Academy field from 4:30 p.m. before Sunset face East End United at the Annex from 5 p.m. 

News of the local leagues comes after a Cayman Select team finished second with three points in the international tournament. That squad, featuring most of the national team at the recent CONCACAF Under-15 boys tournament, lost 4-0 to eventual winners Swindon Town (who had four points) before beating the Houston Dynamo, 2-1, to send the Americans – who had a 2-2 draw with Swindon – home with one point. Swindon, an English League 1 outfit, and Major League Soccer’s Dynamo both had youth academies competing in Cayman at the Annex.  

Organized by Grasspiece Promotions, the tournament also featured aspiring local talents as the Under-13 national program members and Under-14 players from the Cayman Islands Youth Football Program competed in exhibition matches. 

Among the local players of note during the competition were Sebastian Martinez and Nathan Borde of Swindon, with an injured Kray Foster making the trip back home. Kory McLean and Zachary Scott excelled for Cayman select while Joshua O’Garro excelled for the youth football program. 

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Kory McLean, No. 2, helped Cayman beat Houston.

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Zachary Scott was a consistent performer.

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Kray Foster came down with Swindon.

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Youth football is taking center stage. – PHOTOS: MATTHEW YATES