The fourth edition of the Barça Academy Cup Las Américas is under way at the Los Establos polo grounds in Cap Cana (Dominican Republic). This year’s edition features 600 athletes from 7 to 18 years of age, a record in terms of both teams and players, who all paraded at the opening ceremony, with the music provided by some fifty members of a traditional Dominican carnival troupe, led by the colorful Diablos Cojuelos.
The opening speeches included a welcome from Jorge Ángeles Santana, a player from the Barça Escola República Dominicana who thanked all the families from around the continent for coming to enjoy these very special footballing days and to help spread the FC Barcelona values in his country. Iñaki Andreu, Head of Operations and Development for the Barça Academy program, and Bernat Villa, technical director of the Barça Academy in the American continent, officially opened the tournament.
One of the big changes for this fourth edition is the addition of an extra day, which means that the children, who are all living together in an enormous hotel complex, will get more time to exchange experiences and have fun with a series of beach and pool activities being arranged by the main sponsor of the event, ScotiaBank, along with other athletes from the Barça Academy program.
The nine countries competing in the Barça Academy Cup Las Américas are arriving from Canada, the United States (San Diego, Chicago, Columbus, Charlotte, Austin and Barça Academy PRO New York), Costa Rica, Mexico (Puebla), Colombia (Bogota, Cali, Medellin), Brazil (Sao Paulo), Peru (Lima), the Dominican Republic and Barcelona.
There is also a record number of participating teams, rising from 54 last year to 58 in the six categories this time round. Playing seven-a-side we have teams in Initiation (born 2013-2012); Formation (2011-2010); Pre-competition (2009-2008); Competition (2007-2006); and in eleven-a-side the teams are competing as U16 (2005-2004); and U18 (2003-2002-2001), with local clubs Punta Cana FC and Cibao FC also appearing as guests.
The Barça Academy Cup Las Américas can be followed online with stacks of information, image galleries and videos that will be shared on the Barça Academy official accounts on social networks:
The competition’s official hashtag is #BarcaAcademyAmericas
Events can also be followed on the official competition app, available for Android and IOS by searching for “FC Barcelona Events” or via the following links.