After both the under-14 and under-15 boys won their perspective Regions, their next challenge was just ahead of them. The President's Cup drew the champions from each region of the state for an all-out battle for supremacy. Confident in both teams, Coach Sheldon and Coach Vock went in expecting good results. They were not disappointed. A third-place finish for the 14s and a second-place finish for the 15s deserve a pat on the back.
Here is the game-by-game synopsis........
IMG vs. FC American Omni
President's Cup Semifinal
March 28, 2009 - Cocoa Beach, FL
The match started slow for IMG, which only created one opportunity in the opening 20 minutes. Disorganization in the back lead to FC America's first goal when the ball dropped to an opposing player inside the six-yard box, leaving Miyoshi stranded against a point-blank shot. FC America added another goal 5 minutes before the half on a free-kick from the corner.
The second half started with a new formation for IMG, adding another player up top to bolster the attack. Controlling the play, IMG put constant pressure on the opposition, but were unable to add a goal until 20 minutes left. Gianluca Carbone got free of his defender and slotted one past the goalkeeper to pull within one goal. Jeronimo Mata scored with 10 minutes to play, but the referee called the goal back. When the final whistle blew, the 14s had to stomach the result and accept the semi-final defeat. An unimpressive and uninspired first half put IMG in a hole that we were unable to recover from in the second half.
IMG vs. PFC
3rd Place Match
March 29, 2009 - Cocoa Beach, FL
The 3rd place match saw IMG perform at a much higher standard than the previous match, with changes to the starting line-up making an instant impact. Alex Aldana, Anthony Coit, Enrique Pena, Nick Pennebacker and Joshua Ruckdeschel were all added to the starting team and performed well throughout the match. IMG took the lead early in the first half, again on a goal from Gianluca Carbone. Substitute Jose Pablo Covarubbias added the second goal from IMG on his first touch, with a left-footed strike across the goalkeeper to the side-netting. PFC climbed back into the match to make it 2-1. Gianluca Carbone continued his solid attacking form, adding the third, and decisive, goal for IMG. PFC once again climbed back into the match with 10 minutes remaining, adding a second goal to put the score line at 3-2. Solid attacking play from Joshua Ruckdeschel, Stephen Ravazolli and Gianluca Carbone kept PFC from attacking and IMG finished the match with a well-earned 3-2 win, taking 3rd place in the state-wide tournament.
U 15 Boys
The IMG under-15 boys traveled to Cocoa Beach, FL this weekend to take part in the 2009 President's Cup. The teamhad been playing really well lately and had high hopes on the weekend. The first gamewas against Bay United Storm from Region D. IMG started off the game playing well, in the absence of a few starters.Harry Wilkins played a midfield role throughout the game and did a nice job in the replacement of John Bell, who was outwith a back injury, and Jose Navarro, who was serving a suspension. The teamcreated a lot of chances and at the half the game was 3-0. With Bay United having no answer, IMG continued to press and scored 4 more goals to end the game at 7-0. Mike Mitchell and Miguel Manriquez shared the shut-out. The team advanced to the finals and played versus Sebastian Soccer Club from Region B.
In the final match, the team started off a bit slow. Within 20 minutes of the first half, IMG had gained possession and was starting to play well. IMG outplayed the opponent and was awarded a goal that was called back for offsides. With ten minutes left in the first half, James Pendrigh put a hard tackle on one of the Sebastian players and was sent off. The 15s had to play a man down for about 50 minutes. IMG was able to possess the ball, but really did not create many chances to score. With 8-10 minutes remaining in the game, IMG conceded a goal off a long ball into the box. The ball dropped to an attacking player, who finished to the far post. The game ended 1-0, with IMG coming up short and taking the runner-up spot for the state.