Brazil joins elite for CONCACAF U-15's return

Brazil is the latest country to commit to playing in the 2015 CONCACAF Boys’ Under-15 Championship in Cayman and Jamaica this summer.

The tournament runs from Aug. 11-23 and Brazil joins England and the Oceania Football Confederation’s Vanuatu as guest teams in the second staging of the competition, which has evolved into an intercontinental event.

Along with eight other teams in the group stage, Ni-Vanuatu will be based in Kingston, while England and Brazil will headquarter in Cayman.

The tournament boasts 37 squads, making it the single-largest tournament ever hosted in the region.

“Our teams will be competing against stellar international lineups at a youth level, assisting both sides in elevating the standards of the game and the quality of play,” said CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb.

“This is but one example of how we are using football to attract opportunities for our youth, and utilizing the power of the game to inspire a new generation.”

Marco Polo Del Nero, Brazilian Football Confederation president, said, “Football is the dream and natural path that youth from all over the world pursue. CBF is honored for the Brazilian Under-15 Team to participate in the CONCACAF U-15 Boys Championship.”

The tournament marks the third consecutive year that Cayman will host at least one major international youth competition, having staged the 2013 CONCACAF Boys’ Under-15, 2014 CONCACAF Under-20 Women’s, and the 2014 CONCACAF Girls’ Under-15 championships.

At the inaugural CONCACAF U-15 tournament two years ago, Cayman’s Leighton Thomas Jr. was top scorer with 11 goals. He has been to England for trials with pro clubs since and several of his compatriots have also been for tryouts. Cayman hopes more local talent will emerge this time.

Sport Minister Osbourne Bodden said, “To have Brazil and Vanuatu join an already packed and talented group of teams will add prestige and quality to the tournament and I’m sure now we will see an even greater economic impact because of this.”

The Kingston-based sides will compete Aug. 7-17. The other 24 teams will compete in Grand Cayman and four in Cayman Brac. The quarterfinals, semifinals and finals will take place in Grand Cayman Aug. 19-23.