Total Soccer Cayman once again shined on the international stage by taking fifth place overall at the prestigious Rood-Wit International U10 Tournament earlier this month in Sint Willebrord, Netherlands.
The Cayman Islands club ultimately finished ahead of teams from renowned European academies like Manchester City, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Lille OSC, PSV and West Ham. Total Soccer took second in its group thanks in large part to an early win over perennial Dutch power Ajax.
“Finishing fifth at such a competitive tournament shows that with the right resources, support and investment from the community, Cayman’s players can compete with the best,” Total Soccer Cayman Head Coach Peter Reijn said. “Cayman football has a bright future.”
Total Soccer Cayman finished the tournament with six wins, three losses and two draws. Harry Heinicke led the way with five goals, while Teddy West scored four goals and Lawrence Maharaj added three. Jonny Jones, Finn MacBain, KP Mutomba and Toby Bell also scored in the tournament.
Oscar Shakespeare served as tournament captain.
“I want to recognize Jayden Wambugu, who’s endless running, stealing and distribution of the ball was key to our success,” Total Soccer Cayman coach Matthias Mijnheer said. “Jesse Duiker Daignault adapted to left centre back and did a great job and the tenacious Elias Reid is a rising Cayman talent.”
After opening tournament play with a scoreless draw with Finnish club Ilves, Total Soccer Cayman rattled off wins over Ajax and Manchester City in the tournament’s fast-paced, 15-minute matches. Cayman then rebounded from a 2-0 loss to Genk by beating Rood Wit, 8-1, to secure a second-place group finish and spot in the tournament’s second-stage Champions League division, featuring the top-12 group stage teams.
There, Total Soccer Cayman took wins over Borussia Dortmund, Club Brugge and Genk to secure fifth place.
This marked Total Soccer Cayman’s third invite to the tournament. The club placed eighth in 2022 and 21st in 2019.
Total Soccer Cayman participated in several friendlies outside the tournament, including a 4-2 win over an academy team from reigning Dutch champions Feyenoord Rotterdam, the club that produced Robin van Persie.
2023 Rood Wit International top-12
1. Royal Antwerp (Belgium)
2. Club Brugge (Belgium)
3. Ajax (NL)
4. FC Utrecht (NL)
5. Total Soccer Cayman (Cayman)
6. KRC Genk (Belgium)
7. Bayer Leverkussen (Germany)
8. AC Milan (Italy)
9. Borussia Dortmund (Germany
10. Feyenoord (Netherlands)
11. Lille OSC (France)
12. PSV (NL)