The AEGON Future Cup will be held again, for the fourth year in a row, at the Toekomst sports park during Easter weekend this year. In four reports, Ajax.nl will present the tournament participants. In this edition: first time participants São Paulo and Toronto.
FC São Paulo
The last club to join the total of eight participants is São Paulo, from the metropolis of the same name in south eastern Brazil. After Fluminense and Desportivo Brasil, São Paulo will be the third South American club to take part in the AEGON Future Cup. Tricolor Paulista’s youth team qualified on March 10th for the main tournament in the Netherlands after winning the AEGON Mongeral Cup (the Brazilian qualification tournament). First Cruzeiro and Santos were defeated, and then a tie against Flamengo was enough to earn a spot in the finals. Flamengo was the opponent once again, but this time the opponent from Rio de Janeiro was defeated.
The youth academy from São Paulo, which is the third most successful and popular club in Brazil, has produced some big names in recent years. Such as Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite, better known as Kaká, who left for AC Milan at age 21 for 6,5 million euro. Some other famous names which have a history with the club are: Cafú, Luis Fabiano, Leonardo en Edmilson. Their successors are undoubtedly bursting to show what they can do at the Toekomst.
Just as Sao Paolo, Ajax will welcome another participant from across the globe this Easter weekend: Canada’s FC Toronto, the club where Danny Koevermans is under contract. Another Dutchman besides Koevermans is at the club that appears in the American professional competition. His name is Thomas Rongen, and he’s the director of the youth academy. What’s special is that Rongen has a history with Ajax. He played there as a youth, but didn’t succeed in breaking through in Amsterdam. After that, he moved to the United States towards the end of the seventies in order to build up a gainful career in the football world. He did this first as a football player under contract with the Los Angeles Aztecs among others, and later as a coach, among which for DC United and the American – Samoan team.