On Thursday, the third annual IMG Cup - Boy's Invitational got underway at IMG Academy with Super Group action. Kicking everything off was a match between the U.S. U17 Men's National Team and the Guangdong FA U19. Guangdong scored an early goal, and hung on against the scrappy U.S. team to claim the first victory of the event.
The afternoon featured two matches. First, the IMG Academy U18 team faced off against the OGBC Olney Rangers out of Maryland. Led by George Freeman's two goals, IMG Academy defeated the former Dallas Cup champion OGBC team by a score of 3-1. The final match of the day saw Israel's Maccabi Haifa knocking off the Denver Storm for an early victory.
The teams to watch this weekend include:
The Guangdong FA U19 squad who comes to IMG Academy all the way from Guangdong, China, a massive metropolitan province along the South China Sea, northwest of Hong Kong.
The OGBC Olney Rangers U17 from Maryland, who have been dominant over the past several years, having won the Dallas Cup, the Disney Showcase, Region 1 Premier League and finished second in their National League flight.
The U.S. Men’s National U17 team is U.S. Soccer’s residency program based out of Bradenton, Fla., right on the campus of IMG Academy. Led by coach Richie Williams, the team has seen several of 19 of its alumni move on to the full national team, such as Freddy Adu, Jozy Altidore, DaMarcus Beasley, Michael Bradley, Landon Donovan and Eddie Johnson, to name a few.
Bermuda SSF is Bermuda’s Senior High School Select team, and is comprised of 19 carefully selected players who qualified for the team – many of whom play for the Bermuda National Team.
The U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program – Regions I (Northeast), II (Midwest), III (Southeast) and IV (West) teams, who are all part of a program formed in 1977 to identify a pool of players in each age group from which the National Team is selected for international competition.
The rest of the field will begin play on Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m., and features elite club teams from around Florida, New York, Virginia, Georgia, Michigan, Texas, Maryland and Colorado aiming to claim the Cup.
College coaches will be out in force at the IMG Cup, with many of the top programs in the country represented, including Boston College, Wake Forest, Duke, St. John’s, UCONN, Indiana, Penn State and more than 40 other confirmed schools to see the teams in action.
The event is open to the public and admission is free. Parking $5.
For more information on the event including schedules, accepted teams and more, visit the IMG Cup Web site by clicking HERE.