This weekend, the Inter Miami CF’s Academy presented by Baptist Health is set to battle it out against Orlando City SC. Our U-15 and U-17 teams will showcase their skills at Osceola Heritage Park in a matchup between in-state opponents.
Our Academy is no stranger to MLS competition, either. In one of our most notable matchups this season, we traveled to take on Atlanta at a neutral site just a few weeks ago. Inter Miami’s teams put on strong performances against talented opposition that weekend, with three age groups earning wins, one earning a draw, and two falling to defeats; the U-12 White team earned a resounding 5-0 victory, U-12 Black team won by a similar score of 5-1, and the U-13 teams won its matchup 4-1. The U-14’s, meanwhile, fell to a narrow 1-2 defeat while the U-17’s fell 3-5 in a high-scoring match and the U-15’s played to a scoreless draw with the Georgia-based academy.
With the matches against Atlanta in the books, the Inter Miami Academy teams are looking ahead to this weekend’s matchups against Orlando and the end of the month’s matches against Charlotte FC.
Inter Miami CF Director of Player Development Darren Powell has been training the U-17 team this week with Victor Pastora and Julius James, prior to facing off against his former club. The former Orlando City SC Academy Director knows the challenge that lies ahead, as well as the importance of matches against MLS opposition.
“We are always excited to play our games and the games against Orlando always have an extra edge to them as we both are attached to MLS teams and have an in-state rivalry as well,” said Powell.
With the big matches quickly approaching, Powell shared his belief that the preparation the Inter Miami teams have done in training has prepared them for moments like these.
“Right now, I think our players are training haady for the challenge.”
While the matches against MLS academies may carry a different weight than an average match, the team prepares all the same, building on its own core philosophies.
“We want the players to play with a clear identity and clear understanding of their roles within our game model and core values. This is an ongoing process where we expect to see progression every week. This week we expect to see improvement from last week against Tampa,” stated Powell. “We want to impose our identity onto Orlando and make sure our players are giving the best version of themselves both on and off the ball.”
As it won’t be the first time Inter Miami Academy teams face Orlando, Powell knows what to expect.
“In the past, matches with Orlando have been highly competitive and close games. The team doesn’t expect anything different going into this Saturday. Players and fans alike fully anticipate a competitive game in both the U-15 and U-17 age groups.”
With a strong showing against Atlanta, the incoming test against Orlando, and the other tests that lie ahead, the Inter Miami CF Academy looks to continue to grow and develop its players.
Academy Weekend Schedule
Saturday, March 20
- U12's vs. ODP at 11 a.m. (HOME)
- U13's vs. ODP at 12 p.m. (HOME)
- U14's vs. ODP at 1 p.m. (HOME)
- U15's vs. Orlando City at 1 p.m. (AWAY)
- U17's vs. Orlando City at 3 p.m. (AWAY)
Sunday, March 21
- U13's vs. IMG at 1 p.m. (HOME)
- U14's vs. IMG at 3 p.m. (HOME)
- U15's vs. IMG at 3 p.m. (HOME)
- U17's vs. IMG at 1 p.m. (HOME)