Academy makes good start in youth cup

Swindon Town and Cavalier Soccer Club players jostle for position.

Cayman’s young footballers made a creditable start to their Cayman Airways Invitational campaign with a 1-1 draw against Club Deportivo Victoria of Honduras on Wednesday night.

Jahmai Griffiths scored the equalizing goal for the Academy Select XI on day two of the tournament at Ed Bush stadium in West Bay.

Manchester City FC and the Cuba National U-15 team each posted their second victories of the tournament, while Orlando City and LA Galaxy remained unbeaten through two days of the tournament.

Games continue at the Ed Bush Stadium Friday and Saturday, with the finals slated to begin at 5 p.m. Sunday at Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town.

Cavalier Soccer Club 2, Swindon Town FC 1

Cavalier Soccer Club rebounded from an opening loss against LA Galaxy with a win against Swindon Town FC. However, it required a come-from-behind effort after forward Harvey Flippance put Swindon Town ahead when he found the back of the net in the 21st minute for his team’s only goal in its first two outings. That would be the only goal in the first half.

Michael Allen equalized for the Jamaican side, tapping the ball into an open net after Thomas Haddrell was caught out of position, having defended another shot.

Midfielder Jamari Robinson put Cavalier Soccer Club ahead for good when he scored in the 77th minute.

This was Swindon Town’s second loss after being blanked by Orlando City (4-0) the previous day.

Cuba's Ivo Fundora tries to get past DC Utd.'s Augustus Sam.
Cuba’s Ivo Fundora tries to get past DC Utd.’s Augustus Sam.

DC United 1, Cuba National U-15’s 2

With both teams failing to make the most of their early chances, in part due to stellar work from Lorenzo Gordon (DC Utd.) and Carlos Laferte (Cuba) between the pipes, the game remained scoreless for the first 35 minutes.

That changed when a shot from the boot of DC Utd.’s Everson Amaya-Mejia from about 30 yards out sailed past Laferte to put the club from the U.S. capital ahead.

Cuba leveled the score on a penalty kick from Ribaldo Moreno. Then, moments after coming into the game as a substitute, Maykol Rosabal scored the game-winning goal.

It was Cuba’s second consecutive victory, having beaten another Major League Soccer academy – Houston Dynamo by an identical score on the opening day.

An LA Galaxy player and an Orlando City defender battle for control.
An LA Galaxy player and an Orlando City defender battle for control.

Orlando City 2, LA Galaxy 2

An even first half saw a number of opportunities for both sides, but the scorers were not troubled before the break.

LA Galaxy took the 1-0 lead early in the second half thanks to a penalty kick conversion from Efrain Alvarez, his third goal of the tournament.

Cade Hagan doubled the LA lead before midfielder Wasswa Robbins gave Orlando City some hope as he cut the lead to one.
Roberto Ydrach scored in his second straight game to level the score.

It would end 2-2, as both teams remained unbeaten through two matches.

Academy SC Select 1, Club Deportivo Victoria 1

The Ed Bush Stadium came fully to life when the Academy SC Select, the lone team representing the Cayman Islands, took to the pitch for the first time to face CD Victoria from Honduras, which also had very vocal supporters in the stands. Both teams missed early chances as they settled into a rhythm.

Jose Angel Martinez drove down the right flank and shot past Amal Bell in the Academy SC Select goal to put the Honduran side ahead.

After a few missed opportunities by both sides and even possession for the remainder of the first half, the game went to the break with CD Victoria holding a 1-0 lead.

Jahmai Griffiths headed one home from inside the box to pull Academy SC Select level.

After much tactical play, the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

Houston Dynamo 0, Manchester City FC 9

Manchester City’s youngsters continued their dominance with a goal-scoring clinic against Houston.

Taylor Richards led the way with a hat trick and in the process became the tournament’s top goal scorer through the first two days with five goals.

Bobby Duncan scored his third and fourth goals of the competition, Thomas Doyle scored in his second straight match, while Henri Ogunby, Rowan McDonald and Kayendrah Simmonds also ensured their names were known to the scorers.

It was the second win for the English club after beating DC United 5-1 on the opening day. Manchester City has scored 14 goals in its first two matches and surrendered one goal.

The result saw Houston Dynamo on the losing end for the second consecutive day after being edged 2-1 by the Cuba National U-15 Team on Tuesday.

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  1. Its a real pity, the legacy that Jeffrey Webb created and has left the Cayman Islands saddled with.
    But…Jeff did not do this on his own…he had help from many quarters, many of whom are still heavily involved in whatever is left of Cayman’s football.

    It is also a pity that the young Caymanian players at this age group will have nothing more than these memories to cherish, while their young compatriots from these other clubs and countries are on the start to flourishing and lucrative professional careers in football.

    And don’t let the impressive rhetoric from some quarters fool anyone…

    These young Caymanian footballers are only being used to cement and further along the interests of the same elements that have controlled and profited from the game of football being played in Cayman from at least two generations ago.

    The same clique from which Jeffrey Webb emerged and worked very hard to maintain for 20 years or more.

    What a pity that Cayman’s young footballers have nothing more to aspire to than to serve those elements.

    A real pity.