Friendly Football Academy Under-16 team will next week travel to the US for the FC Florida Invitational tournament.
By OUR STAFF
The tournament kicks-off on March 13 and ends two days later.
Twelve players and three officials are expected to make it to the tournament, which would have 14 teams participating in the Under-16 category including 2SV Academy from Brazil.
With scouts from various universities and high schools attending, the tournament is a chance for the teenagers to win scholarships to study in America and also a long-term opportunity to play Major League football.
“FC Florida are extending a very warm welcome and invitation to the Friendly Football Academy to take part in their annual soccer tournament,” wrote FC Florida director of coaching Tom Power.
“The players and officials from the Friendly Academy under the direction of Mr Richard Solobala and through the connection of [Mr] Barry Gorman will be hosted in the Treasure Coast Region by families in the FC Florida soccer programme.”
Friendly Academy has however managed to secure air tickets for only half of the players.
Club director Richard Solobala said they are racing against time to raise funds for the trip.
“Visas are in place for everyone. This is a great opportunity for the youngsters to better their football while studying in America. We are praying that we get funding and complete our travelling arrangements on time so that the boys fulfill their dreams,” said Solobala.
The academy team is scheduled to depart on March 9 and former national Under-17 coach Patridge Muskwe would be the head coach.
The team includes Ali Soma-Phiri, who is son to former Dynamos star Makwinji Soma-Phiri.
Tafadzwa Magombo and Dylan Chiwetu were part of the Friendly Academy team that toured Barcelona last year.
Selby Saurombe was scouted at such tournaments and is set to begin studies at North West Ohio University in April.
Panashe Nyabunga, Matthew and Mac Jack, Tinotenda Muringai, Munashe Kambarami, Dylan Chiwetu, Tafadzwa Magombo, Takudzwa Muskwe, Tendai Gomba, Munashe Jijita, Simon Solobala, Ali Soma-Phiri, Mavis Chiyambiro (medic)