Super Y League Finals - FirstPoint USA Visit

3 min read

This week in Bradenton, Florida, marked a new beginning for FirstPoint USA. As the Official Soccer Scholarship Partner of theSuper Y League, we were invited to attend their National Finals held at the IMG Academy in Bradenton.

Four of our sports consultants (Callum Macaulay, Annabel Prior, Matt Johl and Ross Leebody) were in attendance along with head of Clearing and Promotions, Brendan McGroarty. This week not only gave our staff a chance to attend such a prestigious event, but to also experience one of the most exclusive and impressive high school campuses in the United States.

Our first day ( Thursday ) consisted of conducting a recce of the campus, having a look around the incredible, state of the art facilities that are at IMG. The one thing that stood out was the size and scale of the infrastructure, as well as the impeccable conditions of the 12 full size football pitches that would be used for the event.

Day two ( Friday ) was the first day of the tournament. 48 separate games took place, between under 12 - under 18 year olds, both boys and girls. There were quite a few fans and parents in attendance, and the FPUSA staff were on hand to chat to families and players about our service - something that a lot of them, being from America had never heard of. Whilst sports scholarships are at a huge premium in America, our service at FirstPoint USA which offers guidance through the complex recruiting process, seemed unique to them.

The third day was a miserable, Scottish-like winters day in terms of the weather, with a biting wind and torrential rain covering the campus for most of the day. The few that did brave the weather, were covered in big jackets and ponchos, watching their children fight the elements.

On Day 4, the weather was much kinder to us, and we started having some great interaction with teams who would pass by our FirstPoint USA branded tent, where we handed out brochures and chatted with many parents. We were lucky enough to see some great talent on show, some fantastic goals; the team spirit and passion of these kids was incredible to see.

Our penultimate day ( Monday ) was also semi final day. We were fortunate to witness a bitter rivalry semi final at U-16 level between IronBound and Westchester Flames. Both teams are based in New York, and following 90 mins of regular time, and 20 mins of overtime, the sun was down, and the score was 1-1. Daylight was gone and the only option to hold the penalty shootout, was on the state of the art American football stadium under the floodlights. This added to the drama. Over 700 fans raced to the bleachers to take in the shootout, which the Flames, arguably the underdogs, prevailed in. It was a great experience for our consultants to be in such a hostile atmosphere with singing and chanting, by 700 or so fans supporting a team of 15 year olds.

Our final day (today) will see us witness the final matches, before heading back to the UK. We have had a great week and productive in the sense that we have introduced our fantastic service, to over 5,000 kids and families, who didnt know such a service existed.

This was a guest blog written by FirstPoint USA Sports Consultant, Callum Macaulay.

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