SUNNY ISLES BEACH, Fla. (May 30, 2019) – This Memorial Day weekend, the City of Sunny Isles Beach U10 and U12 teams participated in the ESPN Wide World of Sports Memorial Day Soccer Tournament in Orlando, Florida with hundreds of teams from across the world. After three days of intense competition from May 25-27, the U12 team returned home champions, winning first place in their division, U12 Bronze – Gray.
“This tournament was unlike anything I have ever been a part of,” says Jermaine Barclay, City of Sunny Isles Beach Recreation Specialist and U12 coach. “It was our first time participating in an international soccer tournament, let alone one of the largest soccer tournaments in the country, and our team played to win.”
Throughout the weekend, U12 played five games in total, vying for the gold against 11 other teams. The team triumphed in their first two games, winning 4-0 on Saturday and 7-0 on Sunday. The third game on Sunday ended in a draw. Still, U12 advanced into the semifinals winning 3-1, and then to the finals, where they were crowned champions winning 2-1.
But the tournament wasn’t without its hardships. The U12 team found itself two players short, requiring Coach Barclay to adjust strategies on the fly.
“We had to adapt and play to our team’s strengths,” says Barclay. “Win or lose, I am immensely proud of the young athletes who gave it their all and left everything out on the field.”
Though the U10 team did not place, the group learned how to work together as a team in a more competitive arena. The players will keep working hard with the goal of returning to compete next year. Barclay, along with U10 coaches Pedro Krum and Lushane Brentharris, instructed the players throughout the year. Both lineups were made up of young Sunny Isles Beach soccer stars, ages 10 to 11 in U12 and ages eight to nine in U10.
Playing on the U12 team were Tiago Caetano, Bernardo Camara E Silva, Massimo Cinnante, Sebastian Diaz, Fabio Lombardo, Joaquin Lujan-Barbieri, Luka Macias, Eduardo Ribeiro, Manuel Ricci, and Gabriel Vinderman. Competing on the U10 team were Lucas Alvarez, Leonardo Donato, Alexander Halavenka, Daniella Ibanez, Ran Kashani, Oleg Levin, Dario Lombardo Gonzalez, Matthew Marchand, Felipe Marques, Pedro Marques, Lucas Muniz-Suarez, and Andre Nejad.
The City of Sunny Isles Beach travel soccer program is the highest-level soccer program in Sunny Isles Beach and runs from August to May each year. The City is now accepting players for the upcoming year who were born between 2006 and 2013. If your child is interested in playing from August 2019 to May 2020, contact the City of Sunny Isles Beach athletic programs coordinator, Nick Rakestraw, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 305.792.1799.
To learn more about all Sunny Isles Beach athletic programs, visit sibfl.net/youth-athletics or call 305.792.1706.