U-15s reach CFU quarterfinals

The Cayman Islands Under-15 boys national football team topped their group and secured a spot in the quarterfinals of the Caribbean Football Union U-15 Championships with an 8-0 defeat of Anguilla on Monday afternoon. 

The tournament replaces the postponed, much bigger, CONCACAF U-15 tournament that was scheduled to be held in the Cayman Islands at this time. 

This tournament provides invaluable experience for the boys, some of whom have developed into fine players and have had tryouts with professional clubs in the U.K. and for U.S. colleges since the 2013 tournament in Cayman. Many from the 2013 tournament have graduated to the Cayman U-17 national side. 

Cayman played in the Anguilla capital of The Valley, and goals from Nicholas Chung (2nd minute), Gonzalo McLaughlin (18th), Kareem Foster (35th and 67th), Kameron Mendez (45th and 70th), Jose Ebanks (62nd) and Kion Parchmont (63rd) secured the win for Cayman. 

In Group 1 games, the Cayman Islands defeated St. Lucia 2-0 on Saturday and U.S. Virgin Islands 4-0 on Sunday before the Anguilla thrashing. Cayman scorers against St. Lucia were Foster (2nd) and Parchmont (83rd). 

Cayman scorers against USVI were Parchmont (4th), Cody Ebanks (penalty 12th), Foster (45th) and D’Andre Rowe (67th). 

The coaching staff consists of head coach Ernie “Gillie” Seymour, assistant coach Dion Brandon and assistant coach and manager Antwan “Chico” Seymour. 

Coach Gillie said, “We have met our objective of reaching the quarterfinals and the rest is left to God almighty. The boys have represented their country superbly and will do their best on Wednesday.” 

Twelve countries are competing in the CFU U-15 Boys Championships being played in Anguilla and St. Maarten this week. 

They are divided into three groups. Group 1: Anguilla, Cayman, St. Lucia and the U.S. Virgin Islands; Group 2: Bonaire, Dominican Republic, Grenada and St. Kitts & Nevis; and Group 3: Antigua & Barbuda, Curacao, St. Maarten and St. Vincent & The Grenadines. 

As Group 1 winners, Cayman will face the Group 3 runner-up in the quarterfinals, Antigua & Barbuda, scheduled for 5 p.m. on Wednesday in St. Maarten. 

The other quarterfinal matches are Dominican Republic (Winner Group 2) against St. Vincent (Best 3rd Place), St. Lucia (Runner-up Group 1) versus Grenada (Runner-up Group 2) and Curacao (Winner Group 3) versus Anguilla (2nd Best 3rd Place) 

Bruce Blake, Cayman Islands Football Association vice president and interim president, said, “I am tremendously pleased with the coaching staff and players for going undefeated in our group and advancing to the quarterfinals. 

“Following on from the inaugural CONCACAF U-15 Boys Championships in 2013 where the team performed very well, the goal for this group was to advance from the group stage. The team has met this goal. 

“The team and coaching staff are very talented and I have no doubt that they are capable of advancing to the finals. Cayman should be proud of our boys. Let’s go Cayman!” 

Cayman U-15 team against Anguilla.
Cayman U-15 team against Anguilla. Back, from left, D’Andre Rowe, Gonzalo McLaughlin, Louis Gordon, Albertini Holness, Kion Parchmont, Jalen Walters and Rohelio Wright. Front, Kareem Foster, Corey Mellaneo (captain), Francisco Murillo and Nicholas Chung.