skip navigation

USL Academy Team Defies Odds To Finish 3rd In National Tournament

By Inter CT, 12/26/23, 4:00PM EST


Traveling to Tampa to compete in the USL U20 National Tournament, it is fair to say that our USL academy team, made up of players from Inter CT FC and AC CT, were deemed underdogs against the big hitters and huge academies from across the country. Some of whom boast club with 20,000+ players. 

However, soccer is a funny game and with the right education, mentality and a talented group of players, we ended up defying the odds to finish third in the country. Enjoying some amazing victories along the way. 

The tournament itself comprises the best teams and wild card entries from the USL Academy leagues across the country and we achieved National Tournament attendance for the third year in a row by finishing top of our division. 

Game 1 saw a hard fought win vs Utah Red Wolves. Turning round a 1 goal deficit to win by 2 - 1 with Inter CT FCs Max Weiss scoring a wonder goal from distance to seal the win. 

In game 2 we faced New Mexico United and again we were ranked outsiders. Having seen New Mexico play after our game on Day 1, the strategy was to absorb all the pressure and allow them possession but to deny them clear opportunities to score. This counter attack plan worked to perfection as we nullified their attack and in turn were clinical in our few attempts to progress the ball up the field, culminating in Chancy scoring from a smashing drive into the top corner. 

In the semi final vs powerhouse Orange County who have a successful professional level team for which this academy graduates play, we were facing under age national team players who had recently competed for the USA in International tournaments abroad. In a tight game where their plan was to get it to their star player as much as possible, we resolutely defended with even our most creative players putting in a defensive shift. Ultimately we fell to a 2-0 defeat one game short of the final meaning we entered the 3rd vs 4th placed playoff. 

In that game we played San Antonio, another firm favorite. It was obvious from the game that both groups of players were fatigued going into their fourth game in four days and it was a tight, scrappy game. San Antonio edged the second half but the defense dug deep to keep it at 0-0 and take the game to penalties.  

In a long and nerve wracking PK shootout we eventually came out on top, winning 12-11 on PKs to cap a memorable week and amazing tournament achievement. 

To add to the elation of the tournament and the amazing efforts of the group. We had a few stand out players and moments. Inter CT FCs Max Weiss, getting the winner in the first game, will live long in the memories and Max also captained the team down there. 

In the days following the tournament, Inter CT FCs Trevor Pegg, who has been at the club from a very young age, representing Everton America before it became Inter CT FC, was named in the All Tournament 1st team. 

Trevor's journey has been a special one, from his days as a B team player to now competing at the collegiate level and getting the opportunity to showcase his talent at the national stage against top teams across the country. Trevor has always had a passion for the game and continuously put in the work to improve. We always knew he was a special player and person, and this recognition is just rewards for his investment in his game and his passion for soccer.