The Little Haiti Football Club from South Florida will participate in activities around the tournament
MIAMI, Florida – The Concacaf Boys’ Under-15 Championship is well underway at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which is providing a valuable opportunity for over 750 young players from nearly all the Confederation’s Member Associations.
“I’m really encouraged by the development of football in Concacaf at this level and it is a continuation of putting a focus on development and placing football first,” said Concacaf Director of Development Jason Roberts in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
“I am proud that we are encouraging competition at this level and I think we are the only confederation that has competitive football at this age level for boys and girls. They receive all the benefits of competition. IMG is a great facility and what a wonderful opportunity for Member Associations to experience competing and training in that kind of environment,” added Roberts.
Concacaf has involved three Ambassadors to be present during the tournament: Former English Premier League player and current Bermuda Head Coach Kyle Lightbourne, former Jamaica international, FIFA World Cup goal scorer and current Jamaica Head Coach Theodore Whitmore and former Honduras international Amado Guevara have all had a chance to share their invaluable experiences with players and coaches alike.
“These are men who have all performed at the highest level and so they all have something to offer players and coaches. We want young players to learn from them and be inspired because of the people they are, how they give back to the game,” said Roberts.
The tournament is also providing a ray of sunshine to a group of players that have endured tragedy. Last May three members of Little Haiti FC in the Miami area passed away in a car accident on their way to a competition, greatly impacting the Haitian community in South Florida.
Concacaf has stepped in and invited Little Haiti FC to the Under-15 Championship to give those players a chance to use football to help recover from such a devastating loss. Team members of the Little Haiti Soccer Club will be participating in friendly matches on August 9-10, followed by an award ceremony on August 11, 2019.
“Football can be part of a healing process and so Concacaf wanted to give back to Little Haiti FC to help them recover. They have been invited to IMG to train and with the idea of also setting up friendly matches. But ultimately, it is about using football to bring people together and help that community heal from tragedy,” concluded Roberts.