As 2020 comes to a close, so does the current phase of the season for the Inter Miami CF Academy presented by Baptist Health. Despite the difficult circumstances, the Academy coaches and athletes found room to develop and prosper.
The U-15 and U-17 groups closed the calendar year with a pair of home matches against in-state opponents Orlando City SC. Earlier in the season, the U-15 group managed a draw in Orlando while the U-17 team fell to a strong Orlando squad, but this time around it would be a different story. The Inter Miami CF Academy sides showcased their growth in the final matches of 2020, this time claiming both victories over Orlando City SC.
Both the U-15 and U-17 teams were also bolstered by younger Academy players playing up from their age group, proving the caliber of young players in the pipeline for Inter Miami. The U-15 group claimed a 1-0 victory over Orlando while the U-17s earned a thorough 2-0 win over their opponents at Inter Miami CF Training Center.
The pair of exciting wins served as a great cap to the year and team activities. Coaches, staff and players alike were able to grow in many ways throughout the year, but the final wins of the season reassured them that our teams are progressing at a rapid rate.
One of the players to score for the U-17 team was Felipe Valencia, the Club’s first Academy player to be signed to Inter Miami CF’s First Team on a MLS Homegrown contract. The winger’s growth in the Academy & USL team was evident both on and off the field as he completed a milestone week in his career, a sentiment he reflected on fondly.
“The environment Inter Miami has created has been really great for me to grow as both a person and a player,” said Valencia. “They’ve helped me be better both on and off the field.”
Academy U-15 Head Coach Victor Pastora, who took charge of both the U-15 and U-17 groups on the day, was proud of his teams. The coach took the opportunity to shine a light on the Club’s philosophy of development.
“We at the Academy – players, parents and staff – are very appreciative of the commitment and vision the ownership group and club directors have to develop young talent in South Florida. Winning is a rewarding consequence of the daily efforts to create a culture of excellence, and the pride we play with each time we represent the Club,” said Pastora.
Fans can follow the Inter Miami Academy journey online by following the Twitter account @InterMiamiAcad or via Instagram @InterMiamiCF_Academy.