One of the world’s best soccer clubs claimed a small championship at IMG Academy over the weekend. Tottenham FC’s youth program capped a dominant weekend in Bradenton with a 2-0 win against Deportivo Toluca FC in the IMG Cup championship match Sunday at IMG Academy Field. Defender Jaden Brown and forward Kazaiah Sterling each scored once for the London club in the shutout victory.
Brown broke through first for Tottenham Hotspur off a pass by Sterling in the 17th minute, then Sterling found the back of the net in the 64th minute for some insurance. Goalkeepers Brandon Austin and Jonathan de Bie combined for Tottenham to blank the Mexican club.
Spurs, which shares an Under Armour sponsorship with IMG, has now won this tournament in two of the four years it’s been invited. In the other two, Tottenham was the runner-up.
Spurs was once again the dominant team through group play, posting a perfect 3-0-0 while outscoring its opponents by a combined 12-1. The United States men’s national under-17 soccer team, which is based out of IMG, was the runner-up in the group behind Tottenham Hotspur FC. The Ascenders’ IMGA 18DA finished at the bottom of Toluca’s group.
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The IMG Cup also featured nearly 40 other boys and mens divisions for age groups ranging from U13 to U19. Thirty of those division’s champions were from Florida and five were from teams based in Manatee County.
IMG Academy led the way with championships in the U15 blue, U18 blue and U19 blue divisions. The US Soccer team, which is based at IMG, won the U17 blue division and C3BRS Braden River SC won the U17 brown division. Four other clubs which occasionally draw players from the county also hoisted trophies. Tampa Bay United won in U13 blue, the West Florida Flames won in U16 white, CNFCT FC Tampa won in U18 red, and Chargers SC won U16 orange, U16 gray and U18 Orange. C1PL Plant City FC also won in U19 brown.
Krug falls short at Orange Bowl
Connor Krug, who teamed up with twin brother Jake for a United States Tennis Association doubles win, made it to the second round of the Orange Bowl last week before falling to the boys 14’s No. 9 seed. Krug, who is the grandson of ESPN’s Dick Vitale and attends Out-of-Door Academy, opened the tournament with a straight-sets win against Norway’s Jonathan Berling, then fell to Estonia’s Alexander Mandma, 6-2, 6-4.
The loss moved Krug to the consolation bracket in Plantation, where he lost to No. 17 seed Francisco Llanes, but rallied to beat Murphy Cassone and Oskar Erik Haknonen.