During February half term members of Oswestry School’s 1st and 2nd football XI travelled to Las Vegas to compete in the Las Vegas Mayors Cup. The team competed in the competition twelve months ago and exited in truly British style by losing on penalties in the semi-finals (viz Italia 90').
The squad were determined to banish the ghosts of 2017 and they headed into the tournament with confidence on the back of impressive performances in the Shropshire league. In knockout competition, it is imperative that the first game is not lost and a below-par performance led to a 3-0 defeat by the Las Vegas Soccer Academy. In the 2nd game, the boys rallied and put in a much improved performance and despite missing 2 penalties, thanks to a superb solo run and finish by Fergus Yang, the team held on to beat Compton Futbol Legacy 1-0.
A favourable result between the group rivals and a win in the final group game would see the boys progress to the knockout stage. Everything was thrown at Twinstars Academy, but each time they emptied out the team left themselves susceptible to the counter. The boys fought back from 2-0 down, and then 3-1, and despite hitting the post and forcing the Twinstars keeper into making some excellent saves the game finished 3-2 with goals from Leroy Celotto and Ugo Ekwueme.
Defeat and exit from the tournament was hard to take, but the tour moved onto California. The boys played one more friendly game against the Orange County Slammers who were managed by the ex-Argentinian international Luis Balboa. 4 games in 2 days had begun to take its toll and despite a valiant effort Oswestry School finished 2nd.
Football coach, Mr Alun Morris, commented, “Despite results not going to plan, 9 of our 1st XI will meet with American college recruiters this term in the hope of securing a scholarship to play football (soccer) in the USA. We wish them the best of luck in their pursuit of the American dream.”