It's only December, and somehow Manchester City is already all but assured of winning this year's English Premier League title. Led by Kevin de Bruyne and David Silva, the club only appears to be getting better—bad news if you're a fan of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal or any other top flight club left in the dust by Pep Guardiola's side.
Some more bad news if you don't support Manchester City: Even Sheikh Mansour's U-12 team is dominating its competition.
On Friday, Manchester City won the 2017 Prospects Cup, a U-12 tournament in Kissimmee, Fla., featuring 16 elite youth teams—eight from the United States and eight from the rest of the world. Manchester City beat Real Madrid 1–0, drew AS Roma 3–3 and dismantled Borussia Dortmund 4–0 to qualify for the semifinals, where the English side topped Fluminense on penalties.
In the final, Manchester City faced Weston FC, a South Florida club that had won all of its games entering Friday, picking apart MLS youth teams like LA Galaxy and FC Dallas. But City eased past Weston in the final, earning a 3–0 victory behind dominant possession and compact defending—the type of performance that would surely make Guardiola proud.
The typical youth soccer match consists of a bunch of kids chasing a ball around a field. That's what I initially expected from the Prospects Cup. But this was not your average youth tournament. These teams were extremely disciplined and organized. Manchester City in particular possessed the ball with the ability we've come to expect from their senior side, but every team I watched seemed to have incredible chemistry—not to mention highly impressive talent. The finishing ability from players like Manchester City's Justin Oboavwoduo and the skill of Weston FC's Juan Quevedo was legitimately fun to watch. Weston FC goalkeeper Diego Kochen, who won the Golden Glove as the tournament's best keeper, made some incredible saves to help propel his team to the final.
"I wasn’t paying attention to the badge on the opponents’ jersey. I was only focusing on what was in front of me," Kochen said. "But this was a challenge to test ourselves against great competition."
The players are still young, and I imagine they were inspired by Christian Pulisic's presence at the final. The Borussia Dortmund star, who served as a global ambassador for the event, is only 19. He could have played in the tournament just a few years ago.