*Cover photo by Jen Larsen
In the sweltering heat of Boston on Saturday July 29th, our USL U20 Academy team played their final league game of the season against the highly rated Boston Bolts.
Having qualified for the National Championships in December with a win two weeks ago, the boys could not relax as a seeded position against the country’s best USL Academy’s was at stake, especially as this year, the third year in a row in which we have qualified will be a knockout competition in a win or go-home scenario.
The afternoon looked as if it was going to go all our way when Inter CT FC Alumni and Conn College student Max Weiss opened the scoring after 20 minutes. The Academy boys, made up from a collaboration between Inter CT and AC Connecticut doubled the lead not long after to give a little breathing room in a contest that had the intense humidity take it’s toll.
A mistake in midfield led to the Bolts scoring with essentially the last kick of the first half and set up an exciting second half.
The unimaginable happened 15 minutes into the second half when a talented run cut through our young academy defense to make it 2-2.
This year, the third year of the collaboration between AC CT and Inter CT saw a rebuilding process with new younger players being brought in. This saw a number of Inter CT players in the squad and take advantage of this higher level platform. The first place finish was particularly enjoyable as USL Championship side, Hartford Athletic have joined the league as their own entity, having previously collaborated with us, and Boston Bolts and Western Mass Pioneers, two very strong Northeast clubs joining also.
With the game starting to fizzle out, we injected some much needed pace with Inter CT’s Larsen twin’s joining both sides of the attack. This started to sway the game in our favor and Kristen, having also scored in our first league game in Albany back in March, got the winning goal with just four minutes remaining.
Our USL Academy is now becoming a full time, fully funded program for U13 and above playing in the ECNL and adding another layer for our players to strive for.
Our girls teams will also have a similar pathway, taking advantage of the talent in our branches in Milford, Shelton, Litchfield and Norwalk to play CT’s Zone 1 League. ( More information to come )
See our USL Academy Page for information on USL Clinics, Tryouts, Leagues and other news stories - https://www.interctfc.com/uslacademy