In only its first year of inception, Inter Miami CF Academy will participate in the International Champions Cup Futures tournament from Wednesday, Dec. 11 to Monday, Dec. 16, featuring its U-14 boys' team at IMG Academy in Bradenton.
The tournament will feature 24 top academy teams from across the globe, including FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus FC, Paris Saint-Germain, Arsenal and others.
Coached by John Deeley, the Inter Miami U-14s will open ICC Futures tournament play at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 11 against the LA Galaxy, followed by a 7:30 p.m. ET game against FC Barcelona the same day. The team’s third group stage match will take place Thursday, Dec. 12 at 4 p.m. ET against Shanghai Football Team.
“For a young Academy player in America it doesn’t get any better than this,” said Deeley. “You have the chance to play against the top 14-year-olds in all of the world at a number of the top clubs in the world. Clubs that these kids grow up watching on television and idolizing their star players. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a player of this age.”
The group stage matches will stream live on InternationalChampionsCup.com with the remaining Championship bracket games broadcasting live on ESPN.
Matches will last for 50 minutes, consisting of two 25-minute halves. The first two days of games will consist of group stage games, following which all teams will qualify for a designated single-elimination bracket.
First-place finishers qualify for the Championship bracket, joined by the top two second-place teams. The remaining second-place finishers will qualify for the Trophy bracket along with the top four third-place finishers. All other remaining teams qualify for the Bowl bracket.
Inter Miami’s U-14s have gone undefeated in U.S. Soccer Development Academy league play to this point.
“The players will have a certain level of confidence because we’ve had a couple of big results,” Deeley added. “I think the guys will have confidence coming off some of those experiences, but they know this is a step up in level. They know the nature of the challenge, and I think they are very excited.”
Deeley shared his feelings on what Inter Miami fans should expect to see from his group.
“We have a combination of very skillful, technical players, with some very competitive athletic players. It gives us a certain blend which enables us to compete against high-level teams this age,” he said. "Everybody has always known about the talent in South Florida and now you have a real environment in which to bring together the top kids in the area, have them train together on a regular basis with professional training, conditioning, goalkeeper coaching, nutrition, everything that’s necessary to build a high-level team.
"There’s enough talent in this group that we can go out and compete against the best teams.”