Bayside FC 2012 Boys Compete in Prestigious International Tournament in the Azores
The team medals and places 9th overall out of 24 teams
Many young kids dream about being a professional athlete. A group of talented soccer players, ages 10-11, from Bayside FC got to experience the adventure of a lifetime and get a taste of what it means to be a top athlete.
The boys were each selected to represent Bayside FC ̶ a premier youth soccer club based in East Providence, Rhode Island ̶ at the 15th International Football Tournament in Sao Miguel, Azores. After months of hard work and preparation, the players experienced a tournament unlike any other.
The prestigious tournament, hosted by Micaelense Union Club, is one of the largest youth sporting events in the Azores. Hundreds of young footballers from 24 teams, representing eight countries, competed in the tournament, and bonded on the field through their shared love of soccer. The Bayside FC team finished 9th overall, with each team member receiving a medal for finishing among the top 10 teams. The team played seven games over three days.
“Playing soccer against some of the highest-level competition in the world, while experiencing the amazing culture, people and beauty of Sao Miguel is truly an experience of a lifetime for these young athletes,” said Dominik Machado, who is a staff member and coach at Bayside FC and an assistant coach at Providence College.
The young athletes agreed. “It was unimaginable,” said Sebastian Tillinghast, who plays forward. “Playing soccer in the Azores, a group of islands I didn’t even know about before the tournament, was one of the best parts of my life so far. It was an amazing bonding experience with my team. Before this tournament, my teammates were my friends. Now, they are my brothers. I will never forget this once in a lifetime experience that I shared with my Bayside family, my favorite coaches, my family and my friends,” he added.
The bonding happened among players from other teams as well. Coach Machado recalled the awards ceremony when players from Cape Verde were standing next to his Bayside FC team. Suddenly, the kids just began dancing. “Dancing was their form of communication. They didn’t speak the same language, so they connected through dance.”
This dance even made its way into classrooms in the United States. Center back Sean Masse was asked by his fifth-grade teacher at Providence Country Day School to present to his fellow students about his experiences in the Azores. In addition to sharing highlights from the tournament, he talked about the culture and connections he had made. By the end of the presentation, he had many of his classmates dancing.
The players also had a chance to work on their leadership skills, including captain Samuel Chao, who was recognized as a Bayside FC player of the month for his role leading the team in Portugal. Samuel shared with Coach Machado that he enjoyed the trip so much because he was with his teammates.
In addition to the excitement on the field, the players also got to experience the natural beauty of Sao Miguel. The team went on sightseeing tours of the Azores’ most famous landscapes, including Sete Cidades, Terra Nostra Park and Furnas Valley.
Michelle Alves summed up the experience well. “The tournament was an amazing cultural and competitive soccer experience for the boys and their families. Each player’s passion, dedication and love for the game was even more evident on the pitch as they had the opportunity to play against teams across the world. They were able to build on their friendships, grow in their confidence, and strengthen their camaraderie as a team.” For Michelle, whose son Adriano plays on the team, it was extra special given her personal connections to Portugal. “Many of us are Portuguese, so it was truly an emotional experience to watch our sons and their teammates play the sport they love with pride and excitement in the Azores.”
Special thanks to Bayside FC and the many sponsors who made the trip possible and ignited a powerful passion for travel, soccer and cultural experiences in a talented group of young athletes.
Bayside FC 2012 Boys Team
John Mark Andrade - Bayside FC President
Kevin Bacher – Director of Coaching
Dave DeMello – Director of Player and Staff Development
Dominik Machado – Head Coach
Mac Steeves - Assistant Coach
Mark Franco – Director of Team Services
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