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Belize United Look to Secure Second Consecutive Mundialito Title

Jul 7, 2023

Belize United Look to Secure Second Consecutive Mundialito Title

The 2023 Anthony Mahler Mundialito Tournament is holding its final matches on Sunday inside the Berger Field in Belize City. The season saw ten male teams and six female teams compete against each other over the course of eleven weeks. The top four teams have been selected. Those teams will face off in the finals. Among them is defending champion Belize United, a football club that started as an after school program for Belize City youths. Poised to win a second consecutive Mundialito title, we stopped by their practice session this evening at the Marion Jones Sporting Complex ahead of Sunday to find out how they have been preparing for the big matchup.

Schae Gordon

Schae Gordon, Player, Belize United

“One day I was just watching the TV with my brother and he was just watching football and then I started to like it and started to continue playing.”

Paul Lopez

“What has it been like playing against all these other teams and actually winning?”

Schae Gordon

“It felt good defeating them and like the competition is very good, very structured and I just like playing football so. When they brought all of us together, I just like playing in the competition.”

Paul Lopez

“How often do you guys practice and how much practice do you think it takes to be as good as you guys are?”

Schae Gordon

“We practice three times a week and I think you just have to come to every practice to get better.”

Shefiu Olagunju

Shefiu Olagunju, Head Coach, Belize United

“Most of our boys are boys from Southside of Belize City. This program came into being in Februarys 2018 and since 2018 we have been here every Monday, Wednesday and Friday except during the COVID period. It has been a long journey for us. When we first started it was, the idea of this club is to get boys off the streets during the evening time after school. So it has always been an after school program and we are trying to create an avenue for young boys to have a safe space where they can express themselves through football afterschool so the streets don’t take them on. When they are idle nothing to do for them they tend to want to go out in the streets. When we started this in 2018 whenever we go out for competition we were always being beaten. Some teams beat us like seven nil, ten nil because we were just starting. But like what I told the players and parents at this time, don’t worry about us now, we are going to get there and when we start winning nobody is going to stop us. And, I don’t chase nobody away, we don’t do that, whether you are registered with our team or not, as long as you find your way here you are welcomed. It is a program for all of Belizean kids, not just players of Belize United.”

Tyler Arias

Tyler Arias, Player, Belize United

“I started to play football around 2015-16 so. On a Sunday my dad take me out to play football because I like to watch football on TV so I started to love it. I like to watch Lionel Messi.”

Paul Lopez

“You are one of the best teams that is no arguments there. What is it that makes you guys so good?”

Tyler Arias

”Passing around the ball and my coach sir, he dah the best coach, sir.”