August 3, 2021

Cayman Islands local Under 15 Team returns from Las Vegas Mayor’s Cup

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DSC_7007The Under 15 team from the Cayman Islands Youth Football Programme returned to Grand Cayman on Wednesday, February 18 after competing in the 2015 Mayor’s Cup International Showcase in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The team returned with a record of two wins, one draw and two losses, finishing in a disappointing fourth place in Bracket 3 in the Under 15 Chapman Auto Group. This was the third year in a row that the team competed in the popular youth football tournament in Nevada and the first year in the Under 15 division.

The 25 boys, four staff members – including three coaches Ernie “Gillie” Seymour, Antwan Seymour and Ken Downey and team manager Norman Joseph – and a number of parents, departed Grand Cayman on Wednesday, February 11 brimming with pride and high hopes that come with representing one’s Programme and the country.

The Mayor’s Cup International Showcase is one of two annual football (soccer) tournaments co-hosted by the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club and the City of Las Vegas, the other being the International Tournament, which is played in October. Each year, the tournament welcomes amateur and professional clubs from Brasil, Canada, Russia, the United Kingdom, Germany, China, Poland, France, Australia, Dominican Republic, Denmark and Africa.

The Under 15s from the Cayman Islands Youth Football Programme have been together since March 2011, training once per week and playing in as many friendly games and competitions with local and foreign teams in preparation for tournaments such as the Mayor’s Cup.

At the tournament, the Caymanian youngsters defeated Eastside Memorial from Canada 4-0 in a friendly game and Maryland United FC Red 3-1 in the consolation game, drew 3-3 with the California Rush Miglietti from California, and lost to America Colorado Inter from Colorado 1-2 and eventual group winners and semi finalists NSYSL Cordica 00 from Nevada 0-1.

Once again, our young men were true ambassadors for the Cayman Islands as they represented their country superbly on and off the field in Las Vegas. Tournaments such as the Mayor’s Cup serve as valuable tools in the development of the players as they encounter various teams from around North America and Europe who play with different styles and strategies.

Although disappointed with the results, Head Coach Ernie “Gillie” Seymour was positive when speaking about the experience by saying, “The games we lost were very evenly contested and if we had cut down on mistakes, we could have won both games and advanced, but that’s how cruel football can be. We played some good football at times and I was very pleased with the play from a majority of our players. Special thanks to the coaches who continue to work tirelessly in preparing this team for not only this tournament but for
what’s ahead. Many of these players will be representing their country in this summer’s CONCACAF Under

15 Tournament so we hope that this experience will be beneficial in their individual preparations.”

The trip to Las Vegas was financed through corporate sponsorship and fundraising efforts by the

Programme’s players, parents and coaches.

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