This month saw our staff take an under 14s academy side to Las Vegas, Nevada, USA to take part in the Mayors Cup international showcase tournament hosted by Downtown Soccer Club from Las Vegas.
The tournament had teams from all over the world including top professional academy’s like Borussia Monchengladbach, Germany and NEC, Holland as well as MLS academy’s like San Jose Earthquakes, Chicago Fire. It also saw nationally ranked teams from throughout the USA covering 32 states and with over 15,000 people in attendance it truly was a fantastic experience for our young academy side.
The 14s were drawn in a top seeded very tough group and came away with a very impressive 2-1-1 record overall with goals for..9 and goals against..4 finishing top of the group with 7 points and gaining a place in the quarter finals where they played again a high ranked team from Seattle, Washington sadly they lost 1-0 conceding a penalty in the first half but it may have just been a game to far for our young players.
“The boys have done very well for their first time in a very competitive tournament abroad, adjusting to the heat and altitude was one major factor to overcome, I also believe one of the best ways to learn the game is to travel, study and test your ability against other nations style and culture and we certainly had that. One team we played a Brazilian side in the group games had everything that sometimes academy development games don’t offer an attitude to win at all costs been one, hostile atmosphere been another. The boys will have certainly learned from the experience and we hope can take that into the rest of the season. I can also say they represented the club, there schools, parents and country very professionally with many positive comments of everyone who met them, we certainly made many new friends.” Said Dave Bailey Head of Academy Recruitment
The boys also had a chance to do other activity’s as part of the trip as the academy wanted the players and parents to have the opportunity to enjoy this dream trip. Some of the players went on a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon, they also visited the Las Vegas strip and the amazing hotels like the MGM, Caesars Palace, they went up the stratosphere and some parents attended the Brittany Spears show all adding to this once in a lifetime experience for all.
The Boys will be attending the game today and will be parading round the pitch at half time so give them a big clap and a well done.