Thirty-two elite teams descended on the campus of the world renowned IMG Academy for the first-ever IMG Cup Boys Invitational event. Throughout the weekend, teams from around the globe competed on the fields of the IMG Academy soccer program's brand new state-of-the-art soccer complex.
Competition kicked off Thursday, December 9, with the U.S. U 17 National Team, who train at IMG, claiming an early victory against Prepa Tec, Mexico in the Super Group division. They continued their momentum into Friday, the first full day of competition, with a second win. They were joined by premier clubs like the Fusion Futbol Club of Tampa Bay, who advanced past the Brooklyn Italians in the U15 division by a score of 8-0. In the same division, the U 14 Indian National Team tied the Florida-based CFK Kraze.
Competition heated up Saturday as teams looked to advance to Sunday's finals. Rain and howling winds further contributed to Sunday's intensity, while teams battled for the limited trophies. The U.S. U 17 National Team maintained their dominance in the Super Group division, while IMG took home the U 19 title. The Weston club claimed two second place trophies in both the U 17 and U 16 divisions, with Norcross (Georgia) and the Sports Clinic Academy (Mexico) taking the titles, respectively.
Perhaps the day's most meaningful win came from the U 14 Indian National Team, who beat Tampa's Fusion 3-2 in overtime Sunday afternoon to claim victory among the U 15s. The Indian team arrived at IMG Academy several months ago through the IMG Reliance scholarship program, aimed at developing sport within India. The young but talented team has made tremendous progress since arriving at IMG in September, but had seen little in the way of competition on U.S. soil before this weekend's tournament.
"It was a pleasure hosting the first IMG Cup. From the feedback of the participants, the event was a huge success and we hope that it will develop into one of the premier showcase tournaments in the country." said Tom Durkin, Director, IMG Academy soccer program. "The field of teams was very competitive, the venue and fields received rave reviews, and the organization and service was top-notch. We are looking forward to the girls version this spring."
IMG Academy soccer program will host an IMG Cup Girls Invitational, April 22-24, 2011, on the campus of IMG Academy. For more information, or to register, visit: http://www.imgacademies.com/socceracademy/img-cup/img-cup-girls/.
The IMG Academy soccer program, directed by Durkin, is one of the world's most advanced and successful training institutions in the world. Home to the U.S. Soccer Residency program, as well as a full-time student-athlete program, the Academy is dedicated to developing the TOTAL ATHLETE across all performance disciplines, on and off the field. Durkin and his staff have contributed to the collegiate and professional success of countless MLS, U.S. National Team and International league players.