Caymanian footballer training in the US

| 03/10/2018 | 0 Comments
CNS Local Life

Ackeem Hyde (centre) with CIFA president Alfredo Whittaker (left) and co-founder of the West Bay Sports Foundation Arden Rivers

(CNS Local Life): Ackeem Hyde, a member of the Cayman Under 20 national football team and Future SC defender, is on a professional tryout with United Soccer League (USL) team San Antonio FC in Texas. The 19 year old, who headed to the US Saturday, 29 September, is spending two weeks with the professional club under the guidance of San Antonio FC’s technical director and head coach Darren Powell.

San Antonio FC play in the Western Conference in the USL, which is the world’s largest Division II professional soccer league, with 30 teams in 20 US states and two Canadian provinces, explained a Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA)  press release. It is estimated that the USL reaches an audience of 75 million people.

Hyde’s opportunity came about through the West Bay Sports Foundation (WBSF), which invited the Under 15 team from San Antonio FC to participate in the recent 2018 Cayman Islands (formerly the Cayman Airways) Invitational Under 15 Tournament, which was hosted by the foundation in May. The foundation initiated talks with the club’s Under 15 coaching staff while they were in Grand Cayman participating in the summer tournament, as part of its goal of “always seeking opportunities for young Caymanian football players to excel”, the press release said.

During his time in San Antonio, Hyde will be given opportunities to train with the first team and the pro academy in what will “definitely be a very valuable learning experience for the young player”, the release said.

WBSF co-founder Arden Rivers said of the opportunity: “This is part of the relationship where we want to have players and coaches visit their academy and senior teams. We were given the opportunity that they would host one or two players in 2018. West Bay Sports Foundation had a commitment to identifying these players. We thought Ackeem possessed the qualities that would be a good fit for San Antonio FC.”

CIFA said in the release it “is very excited for Ackeem and welcomes the assistance from clubs and foundations such as the WBSF in efforts to better expose our players to higher levels of the game”.

CIFA president Alfredo Whittaker added, “With Ackeem’s quality and commitment for the game, I am sure he will be very successful in this opportunity that has been afforded him. Based on his performance in the local league this season, I have no doubt that this opportunity will allow him to expose not only his talent but also his leadership qualities. As an association and footballers at heart, we wish him all the best.”

Hyde is part of the Cayman Islands national team that will participate in the CONCACAF Men’s Under 20 World Cup Qualifiers scheduled for November 2018 in Bradenton, Florida. The Cayman Islands are in Group F and will play El Salvador, Guatemala, Curacao and Guyana.

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Category: Football, Sports

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