The Rapids Development Academy secured their third straight Galway Cup Championship Saturday, as Marcelo Balboa’s U14 side defeated Sligo-Leitrim in penalty kicks to secure the trophy.
In the championship match, Maclovio Swett put the Rapids on the board early as he buried a penalty kick in the 22nd minute. Irish side Sligo-Leitrim evened the score in the second half from a corner kick. There was nothing to separate the sides at the final whistle, and the tournament was determined on penalties. The U14s would go on to win in PKs 4-2 as Swett, Yahir Carroen, Greyson Mitchell and Edgar Carrasco all converted for the Rapids.
The U14s went unbeaten in the tournament with a record of 2-0-3. Swett was a sizeable influence in the four-day tournament as he tallied six goals.
On the first matchday, the Rapids drew 1-1 to Irish side NESCL, as Darren Yapi finished a right-footed shot from the top of the 18-yard box. In their second match of the day, the Rapids earned their first win of the tournament by edging the Ireland Waterford Schoolboys 1-0 with Swett’s late PK marking the difference.
Two goals from Swett helped the Rapids earn their second win the following day against Irish side Athlone 2-0. Yapi found Swett in the run of play for the Rapids' first and Swett continued his stellar run of form by finishing off a set piece for his brace.
The semifinal match was much like the final with the match being decided on penalties. Before that was the case, Swett again opened the scoring from the six-yard box after receiving a bicycle kick pass from Yapi. Mitchell found the back of the net for a second and Swett added a third through a penalty. Balboa’s side was tied 3-3 against the local club, Galway DL at the end of regulation and the Rapids would advance on penalties.
“This tournament is a fantastic event,” Danny Stone said via the Galway Cup Facebook Page. “It serves fantastic pursues for us and it gives a cultural experience for the players.”
The Galway Cup is an association football National Youth tournament held in Galway, Ireland. It is a four-day tournament including 56 teams over two age groups. The Galway Cup provides room and board at the Galway University Campus, and three meals a day.
See more of the Rapids’ U14 Galway Cup experience through their photo journey series, Uncommon – My Life as a Rapids Academy Player by clicking HERE.