August 9th Waltham, MA, 2018; The 2003 National Team Program Elite Boys have returned to the USA after a successful week at the participating in the oldest football tournament in the World.
The Youdan Trophy is an annual International football tournament for professional youth teams which celebrates the rich football history of the host city, Sheffield. The Youdan Trophy itself was held in 1867 and the current iteration started in 2015.
GPS was one of eight teams invited to attend the event at the U16 bracket. After group games against Maiden City (6-2 win), Doncaster Rovers (2-0 loss) and Sheffield Wednesday (2-1 loss), GPS faced off against the Youth Academy of Premier League club Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) to earn a spot in the final four. In a terrific performance GPS tied 2-2 with both goals scored by New Jersey forward Gilberto Ferreira. Massachusetts goalkeeper Nicola Antic was the hero in the subsequent shootout saving two penalties in a 4-3 victory.
GPS was the only non-professional club that reached the final four, alongside Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Leeds United. GPS played Wednesday again in the semis and in a tight game unfortunately came out on the losing side 2-1. Wednesday went on to defeat Leeds 4-0 in the final.
“The tournament was a fantastic experience for the boys allowing them to compete against future professional players at some of England’s best youth academies,” said Coach Gavin MacPhee. “For the team who had never played together prior to the event to secure a final four finish was a great achievement,” said MacPhee.
In addition to the tournament, the team managed to catch Sheffield United's home opener in the EFL Championship, took a tour of Old Trafford stadium home of Manchester United and watched Liverpool defeat Torino at Anfield.
The GPS National Team program was established in 2015 to provide opportunities for GPS players to compete against elite competition in Europe and the USA. For more information please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.