In the middle of February, the ASIJ boy’s varsity soccer team travelled to Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in the annual Mayor’s Cup International Showcase Soccer Tournament organized by the Downtown Las Vegas Soccer Club. This is the third time that the high school boy’s first team has participated in this event and again came away with another great experience.
A showcase tournament provides the perfect opportunity for soccer players playing at the elite level to gain exposure to college coaches in the United States. This is especially important to our ASIJ players as they are afforded fewer athletic opportunities stateside due to our location overseas. The tournament is also a fantastic culminating event for the team as it helps to solidify bonds and foster friendships.
Participating teams, both boy’s and girl’s, ranged in age from under 14 to under 19. As the name suggests, there were teams from many different parts of the globe, not just from the United States. The international lineup included Argentina, the Netherlands, Mexico, the Cayman Islands and Australia, to name a few. Besides teams from the United States, the Mustangs played a team from South Korea and one from Canada.
The level of competition in Las Vegas is perfect for our Mustangs and made for some seriously spirited matches. Though they had to deal with jet-lag, the dry desert air and warm temperatures, the Mustang boys played some great soccer. Unfortunately, they didn’t advance through the group stages but played some competitive games. One college coach even commented on how skillfully and quickly the Mustangs play compared to the other teams.
The tournament also gave family members a chance to see their Mustangs play, as four sets of grandparents travelled from as far away as Ottawa and Washington D.C. Needless to say, they left Las Vegas very proud of their grandchildren.
The boy’s varsity soccer team represented ASIJ well, had fun and competed against some skilled athletes. (Peter Vergel, HS Soccer Coach)