Academy Sports Club teams find success in international tournament

Members of Academy Sports Club return home to Cayman to a rousing reception.

The kids from Academy Sports Club made a big impression on the Magic Kingdom.

Four football teams from Academy Sports Club traveled from Cayman to Orlando, Florida, to participate in the Disney International Youth Cup from July 14-22, and one of those teams returned a champion.

The U-15 team won the championship in its age bracket, scoring 13 goals and allowing just three.

The four teams, U-11, U-13, U-15 and U-17, brought 72 players to the tournament, and the Cayman delegation had 130 people in total. Academy Sports Club also included a few players from other local clubs to participate in the Disney International Youth Cup, continuing a tradition from other trips.

The U-11 team did not lose a game until the championship round, where it fell on the short side of a 2-0 score to Esporte Clube Pinheiros from Brazil. The U-11 team walked away with the silver runner-up trophy.

The U-15 team also made it to the finals, and it won 2-1 against Dallas Tigres to take home the Disney Cup title. Kameron Bennett was named Most Valuable Player by his U-15 teammates.

The oldest Academy Sports Club team at the tournament, the U-17 squad, made it to the semifinals in its age bracket before losing 1-0 to ICST Soccer Select team from Colombia. Paul Byles, Academy Sports Club volunteer U-15/U-17 coach, led the team to the tournament and was pleased with the performance.

The Academy Sports Club teams pose together in front of Owen Roberts International Airport.

“All of the players did extremely well,” he said. “They trained very hard for the tournament and the coaches saw many players improve over the course of the tournament. We will continue to expose our players to international competitions as this as a key part of their development, both on and off the field.

“Having three out of four teams making it to the semifinals at a major tournament says a lot about the consistency and quality we have achieved so far. But we are aiming even higher.”

The teams returned from their triumphant Disney experience late Monday night.

“We are very pleased yet again at the performance of our youth players,” said Virgil Seymour, Academy Sports Club’s technical director. “It takes a lot to make this happen every year and we owe much thanks to the many corporate and individual sponsors that helped to get us here.”

Academy Sports Club’s Under-15 team celebrates winning the Disney International Youth Cup in their division at a soccer tournament in Orlando, Florida.

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