Decatur, AL ‘The Academy’ ’02 and ’03 teams did well to reach the semi-final stages of the Open Cup in Decatur, Alabama this past weekend before taking their bow from a very competitive tournament. The ’02’s were beaten by a narrow 1-2 scoreline against Mexican professional club Monterrey putting in a great effort but just failing to pull off a shock result. Director of Player Development Carl Reynolds was pleased with the performance saying, “I just wish we could play teams at this level every week. Winning and losing isn’t as important as performance and development and I was happy with both today”.
The ’03’s qualified from their group stage in a three-way head-to-head tie with the Mississippi Rush out of Jackson and Birmingham United (BUSA). ‘The Academy’ team lost narrowly to the Rush (1-2) but downed the BUSA team by 1-0. The shut-out was enough to give qualification to ‘The Academy’. Rain delays on Saturday meant the BUSA tie wasn’t finished until 9.30 pm and ‘The Academy’ team had to quickly hit their beds before rising to play the early morning semi-final game against Vestavia, AL. Although scoring the first goal to lead 1-0 the ’03’s eventually lost by 2-4. Coach Nigel Boulton was disappointed but proud of the team, “We lost a couple of players to injury during the game and also one before kick-off, so we were a little short of cover and legs after the rain delay from Saturday. However, the kids did well and I’m proud of their overall performance”.