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USL Academy Cup 2022

Academy Players Shine in Tampa

By INTER CT, 04/08/22, 10:00PM EDT


USL Academy Cup in Review

Flashback to Tampa

The sun wasn't the only thing shining in Tampa, FL this past week, as several INTER CT FC players made the trip to take part in the 2022 USL Academy Cup. 

In collaboration with AC Connecticut football club,  players from three representative teams  made the journey to compete in this National Tournament. Inter Connecticut is the affiliate club to USL 2 Franchise, AC Inter Connecticut, who in turn feeds Connecticut’s professional team, Hartford Athletic.

Inter CT FC had players pulled to compete directly with our USL U19s — last year's 7th-in-the-nation finishers — and the newest rising 2009s (U13's) at the Pre-Academy level. 

USL Pre-Academy Performance 

The 2009s are among the youngest participants in official, national competition at the USL level. The Pre-Academy team, comprised solely of AC CT & INTER CT players, drew a difficult schedule in the Elite bracket; they faced-off against such established USL sides as Indy Eleven, Charlotte Independence, & Weston FC. 

As a part of the USL "Pathway to Pro" initiative, two of our INTER players — Ronan &  Noah — were invited to compete with this team, backed by the AC Connecticut franchise. Their ticket was punched after stellar performances whilst impressing at monthly trainings held  by both AC &  Inter as part of the "Talent ID" process.

The experience proved to be a valuable time with both boys playing in all four games. 

The 2009s finished 7th of 8 between two groups — experiencing losses to mid-table Charlotte & Indy Eleven, while playing to a well-earned tie against top-placed Weston FC. 

Despite the end result, their persistence proved that the USL experience is valuable beyond the oldest U19, and newly-formed U16 team (added this year) as additions to our growing affiliate links & success with the AC CT franchise. 

USL U19 Academy 

Meanwhile, we must take the time to acknowledge the top-tier of the pathway program — our players' direct link to the USL Championship & beyond — the U19 Academy.  The 2009s (U13s) & 2007s (U15s) competing may have been seeking a taste of what Academy soccer offers, but the U19s were back for seconds! 

They opened the proceedings with the USL showcase, finishing 6th in the highest Elite bracket against the likes of seasoned USL veterans in teams such as Tampa Bay United, North Carolina FC, & Phoenix Rising — whose USL Championship affiliate attracted the likes of former Chelsea FC superstar & Ivorian international, Didier Drogba. 

In fact, it was against Phoenix which saw the U19s achieve their single victory, 2-1. Inter standout Mateo made the starting 11, and who else but our very own Max Weiss netted the winning goal. 

Despite no direct involvement (yet) by current Inter CT players, we also want to acknowledge the great success of the AC CT Boys U15 team & Girls U19 teams, who finished 2nd place in the Premier division & 5th place in the Elite division, respectively. 

Continuing on the Path

Aside from formalized teams & talent ID opportunities, our teams ranging from USL U16 to U19 Academies compete in regional, dedicated leagues vying for success & national recognition. 

We also offer U10, U12, & U14 opportunities for identified standouts & prospects — ranging from Soccer Camps to our Summer Select program to continue improving & expanding their on-field contributions. 

While still new in the grand scheme of US Soccer, its clear that the USL Academy & it's evolving pathways to professional opportunities continue to open doors for the incredible, dedicated youth in Connecticut — and we're proud to say the players at INTER CT are no exception to this growing success. 


Images from 2022 USL Academy Cup — featuring our U19 Academy players & 2009 (U13) Pre-Academy.