The Inter Miami CF Academy U-14 team began International Champions Cup Futures play today with games against the LA Galaxy and FC Barcelona. The matches presented the Club with the opportunity to further the development of its future stars by competing against top global academies.
The team, coached by John Deeley, kicked off against the Galaxy at 1:00 p.m. ET. The starting XI was comprised of Angel Fernandez; Jonathan Madeus, Tyler Hall, Milo Parquet, Jose Escobar; Fernando Sanchez, Miles Perkovich, Axel Perez; Wladimir Francis, Juan Quevedo, and Eduardo Rojas.
A positive team performance and a 38th minute goal by substitute Nyle Waugh saw Inter Miami claim a 1-0 victory. The win temporarily placed the Club in second in the group following the first round of games.
“I was very pleased with the effort of the kids this morning,” said Deeley. “We weren’t our sharpest; you saw a little bit of first game jitters, but I thought the guys really got the job done over 50 minutes and I was very proud of them.”
The final game of matchday one pitted Inter Miami against FC Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. The Inter Miami XI for the game consisted of Angel Fernandez; Milo Parquet, Tyler Hall, Fernando Sanchez, Jose Escobar; Axel Perez, Lucas De Paula, Miles Perkovich; Wladimir Francis, Nyle Waugh, and Eduardo Rojas.
Barcelona took the lead in the first half through a 15th minute own goal. A second goal just before halftime expanded Inter Miami’s deficit to 2-0. A scoreless second half saw the tightly contested game end 2-0
“This was more than just a game about winning and losing,” said Deeley. “This was a chance to remind the guys to measure themselves against the top young players in the world and take it the right way.”
“It doesn’t get much better for young players. We are so excited about the opportunity to play in this tournament.”
The results kept the Club second in the group following matchday one. With one group stage match remaining, Inter Miami remains in contention for qualification to the Championship bracket, Trophy bracket or Bowl bracket.
“I think we did good. It was a good experience,” said defender Fernando Sanchez. “Now that we see what [Barcelona] can do, we have to step it up and bring up our game.”
The Southern Legion, one of the Club’s official supporters groups, traveled to Bradenton, FL, to be present for the games and support the team throughout the day.
“You can tell already what the supporters are going to do for Inter Miami,” said Deeley.
Inter Miami will face the Shanghai Football Team tomorrow, December 12th, at 4:00 p.m. ET.
The Inter Miami Academy is comprised of 160 youth players from South Florida, playing across six age groups from 12 to 19. The U-14s, who are in the ICC Futures Tournament, have gone undefeated in U.S. Soccer Development Academy league play to this point.
The Academy is fully funded by the organization and aims to recruit and develop talented players, providing them with the best opportunities to continue advancing to the highest levels of the sport.