The opportunity to compete against top players from multiple countries is not an everyday occurrence for members of the Plantation Eagles girls' soccer club, but that's exactly what took place recently.
The Eagles' hosted the Under-17 Division women's national team from Trinidad and Tobago for a friendly match and also squared off against an Argentina soccer club.
"It's such a good experience for our players to compete at a high level and be exposed to a different style of soccer," said John Ramos, the director of coaching and player development for the Eagles. "The women's national team from Trinidad and Tobago has such a passion for the game and it's great to see that type of culture and learn from how they approach playing the sport."
The Eagles put together a select team from its under-16 and under-15 girls' age groups for the match. The Eagles dropped the friendly, 3-0, at Cypress Park in Coral Springs.
The Trinidad and Tobago squad was in South Florida training for the CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) Under-17 Division Tournament, a qualifier leading up to World Cup play in that age group.
"They were staying in the area near Plantation and were looking for a game to help prepare them for their upcoming tournament," Ramos said. "We knew of the situation and wanted the chance for our girls to play. It's always exciting to play international teams and it's really a good thing for our girls as far as to see what it takes to be at the next level."
That same Eagles girls' squad also recently played host to a school team from Argentina and earned a 3-0 win at Plantation Central Park.
"It's great to see our club do well against teams from the international level, and it really enlightens our kids on the brand of soccer played by international teams, and it hopefully rubs off on our kids," Ramos said.
The Plantation Eagles' program continues to be on the rise as one of the premier clubs in Broward County.
The Eagles had six teams—under-13, under-14, under-15, under-16 and under-18 boys; and under-17 girls—reach the State Cup round of 16.
The Eagles program is holding tryouts from May 29 through June 9 at Plantation Central Park. The tryouts will take place from 6-9 p.m. for all the various boys' and girls' age groups ranging from under-9 through under-18.
On weekends, tryouts will be held from 9 a.m.-noon.