Bermuda under-17 academy beat Charlotte in Triangle Cup
The island’s under-17 football academy are celebrating winning the Bermuda Triangle after their emphatic 7-0 triumph over Major League Soccer franchise Charlotte FC’s academy.
Jekai Eve of the under-17 was voted as the most outstanding player of the tournament, while Connor Ulrich from Charlotte won the golden boot after scoring four goals.
Patrick Daka, the Charlotte head coach, shared his reflections on the tournament after his side were the first MLS-affiliated team to participate in the competition.
“Tournament experience was unique for our boys and staff,’’ Daka said.
“New culture, different country, excellent facilities and world-class hospitality at Grotto Bay Resort. Organisers were responsive and professional and they attended to every need we had.
“This was the first time the majority of our boys experienced older, well-coached teams and every game was super competitive. It was great to see our young team respond to that challenge and I was delighted with the level of opposition.
“We now know our boys are in decent condition. They lasted five 90-minute games with no break in between game days. We were also happy to see them adapt to the environment, the humidity, the local culture, and the late games schedule.
“Through these experiences, fighting through each game together brought the team unity to a new level. You could see them fighting for each other and suffering then celebrating together good moments.
“I am never happy with coming second but we have to remind ourselves the journey is more important than game outcomes and we are in the business of developing players.
“Part of that development is learning how to navigate life through adversity and failures. To that end, I am satisfied our boys showed resilience in tough times and rose to the challenges presented without showing any signs of giving up or retreating.
All is pointing to Charlotte making a return to the Bermuda Triangle Cup next year.
“Absolutely, given it fits in our schedule and if our club leadership sanctions it again, I see us back here,’’ Daka said.
“The experience of playing in a foreign country for these boys is not something you can replicate at home. They need to see and feel global football culture through different lenses. It’s such an enriching experience. Many thanks to the Bermuda Football Association, the Ministry of Sports, Clyde Best and BSI (Bermuda Sports International), we had a fantastic experience.”