On Thursday, June 28, the Montreal Impact will host the International U14, at Centre Nutrilait. From the eight participating teams, one of them will have the chance to be at home.
The Impact U14, coached by Eduardo Sebrango, will compete in the tournament again and play the opening game of the competition on Thursday, June 28, at 1:15pm, against the Chicago Fire. The other two teams of its group are the Houston Dynamo and the New England Revolution.
It will be the last competition of the season for Eduardo Sebrango’s group, who also took part in the Tournoi Sans Frontières in Sens, France, where they finished 12th out of 25 teams, playing against some of the best sides on the international scene.
“I would like the group to end the year on a positive note, by playing well and improving some of the details we lacked in France in March, by showing passion, work, a competitive spirit and personality during the whole tournament,” said Sebrango.
The first edition of the tournament only had 4 teams in 2016. The year after, it doubled to eight. Both times, the Impact couldn’t reach the final. This year, the group’s goal is clear.
“Our goal is to win the tournament by respecting our principles of play,” added the Impact U14 head coach. “We want the players to learn and gain experience in dealing with the reality of being a professional soccer player, where the result of a game or a tournament is really important.”
The Impact U14 will count on the contributions of many of their players that played with the Impact U15 during the Development Academy season. In total, six players had playing time with Serge Dinkota’s group during the season and many of them are currently in San Diego with the U15 group for the Development Academy Summer Showcase.
“The experience that these players gained with the U15 group since April should elevate the group’s level of play and help us deal with the stress of the competition,” added Sebrango. “But a Development Academy game is still not the same environment as a semi-final or final in an international tournament at home.”
The Impact will aim to write its name for the first time on the International U14 trophy. In 2016, D.C. United did it and the New England Revolution did it the year after. But with six games in four days, the task won’t be easy, and the team will need to be perfect in its three playoff games to succeed.