Originally, Thursday night's FC Dallas ECNL vs Trinidad & Tobago Women's National Team match at the Toyota Soccer Center was simply a fun friendly to help the T&T WNT prepare for next week's 2014 CONCACAF Women's World Cup qualifiers, but it quickly became more than that.
T&T head coach Randy Waldrum, a long-time Dallas resident, Texas native and current Houston Dash head coach, put the notice out on Twitter early Tuesday morning that the T&T Women arrived with no money, food or equipment to Dallas where they would be training for the week leading up to the tournament.
The Dallas soccer community quickly mobilized with FC Dallas supporters Dallas Beer Guardians & American Outlaws Dallas supporters donating hundreds of dollars worth of supplies, FC Dallas donating equipment and fields for training as well as meals through both FCD's concessionaire, Legends and FCD's partners including CiCi's Pizza & Chipotle.
Thursday's match became a charity effort for the T&T Women with full proceeds going to the team and a chance to provide some normalcy to what has no-doubt been a wild week for the team known as the "Soca Princesses."
The well-played match ended 1-0 with T&T coming out victorious, and over $1,500 was raised for our guests.
The T&T women will be special guests of FC Dallas at Sunday's match against the Los Angeles Galaxy with team captain Maylee Johnson scarfing the Lamar Hunt Statue prior to kickoff, so be sure to arrive early and join the festivites at 5:30PM on the north concourse!
It was back to work for the FC Dallas Academy as they took the trip down I-45 to take on Texas Rush in a full set of weekend games on Sunday from U-18 all the way down to U-13. Here's a recap of the action(Stay tuned for our FCDTV Academy Update later this week talking to coaches and players about the games):
Texas Rush U-18: 1
The U-18s moved to 3-0-0 on the season with 5-1 win over Texas Rush. Homegrown signing Coy Craft joined the U-18s for his first game of the season scoring a hat trick in the win. Caleb Young added two goals to take his tally to three on the young season.
Texas Rush U-16: 0
Giovanni Montesedoca scored twice while Devin Vega, Toshiki Yasuda & Isaac Albaradei also tallied goals in the first shutout of the season for the U-16s who are 3-0-0.
The FCD U-16s head to Kansas City this weekend for the first round of Generation adidas Cup qualifying where they'll play Houston Dynamo & Chicago Fire.
Texas Rush U-15: 0
The U-15's moved to 2-0-0 on the season with a 5-0 win over Texas Rush. Abelardo Escalante, Jommar Reyez, Mandel Steward, Alonzo Molina and Carlos Garcia scored in the victory.
Texas Rush U-14: 2
The U-14s fell to Texas Rush 2-0, with goals scored in either half.
Texas Rush U-13: 2
Bryan Reynolds and Johan Gomez scored for the U-13's in their first win of the season over Texas Rush.
FC Dallas opened US Soccer Development Academy play on Sunday afternoon against Solar Chelsea at the Toyota Soccer Center. Here's a rundown of the results:
Solar Chelsea U-18: 1
The U-18s opened the season with a 3-1 win over their local opponents Solar Chelsea. Miguel Ojeda scored twice in the win while Jose Salas added the third goal in the win.
Solar Chelsea U-16: 1
Giovanni Montesedoca opened the scoring for FCD in the 13th minute while Toshiki Yasuda scored in the 34th and 65th minute in the victory. Isaac Albaradei rounded out the scoring in the 74th minute.
Solar Chelsea U-14: 0
The U-14s scored a shutout in their first match of the season with goalkeepers Michael Collodi & Trevor Jackson combining for the clean sheet.
The 2014-2015 US Soccer Development Academy season started across the country a couple weeks ago and this weekend FC Dallas has their first matches of the season fresh off last year's U-18 national semifinal appearance.
It'll be a great contest right off the bat for FC Dallas as the U-18s, U-16s and U-14s face off against local rivals Solar Chelsea in what is always an exciting matchup.
All three games are Sunday, September 21st on Toyota Soccer Center Field #4 and admission is completely free. The U-18s kick off at 11:00AM, U-16s at 1:30PM & U-18s at 4:00PM.
We are a family here at FC Dallas and we tragically and unexpectedly lost one of our own on Thursday. Please see the note below on "Fino" Garcia and consider donating to support the Garcia family after this unspeakably sad passing.
Delfino "Fino" Garcia, of FC Dallas' Premier 98s, was a gifted and tremendously talented young man. His passion for the game of soccer was evident in his play on the pitch. His style was nothing less than a graceful mastery of domination on offense. The young men who shared the field with him were more like true brothers than teammates. After a match, they often said "Fino had my back."
Well known and respected in our North Texas soccer community, Fino Garcia has a lengthy list of accomplishments, including playing for his current team, FC Dallas' Premier 98s, as well as FC Dallas' Pre-Academy from 2010-2014 and FC Dallas' Development Academy. Fino was part of a three-peat Championship win at North Texas' 2014 State Cup, wins at the 2013 Region III Championship and play at the 2013 National Championship in addition to another visit to this year's 2014 Regional Championship and the Dallas Cup Finals. He was also named ESPN's 2012 Copa Most Valuable Player.
On Sunday, August 24, 2014, while at home, Fino suffered a ruptured blood vessel in the brain, depleting his brain of oxygen, leaving him with no brain activity and unable to breathe on his own. He was placed on life-support at Children's Hospital of Dallas. After extensive testing, doctors determined the condition was present since birth and could not have been prevented. No treatment was possible. Fino passed peacefully on Thursday, August 28, 2014.
The sudden and tragic loss of this young man has been felt by so many. Family, friends, former and current teammates and coaches, Fino touched all of our lives. Out of this great heartache, Fino still finds a way to bless others. It was his wish to be an organ donor. In this way, Fino's spirit will live on.
Please consider donating to support the Garcia family. All donations will go toward Fino's medical expenses and related costs. Please share this link with others to increase the opportunity for others to give their support.
Our deepest thanks to everyone for your amazing generosity and continued thoughts and prayers. Our soccer community is rallying for support. This time Fino, we have your back.
FC Dallas 01 ECNL forward Hollyn Torres is currently in Orlando, Florida, having been recently called up to the US U-14 Girls Training camp. Torres is one of 36 players called into the camp which runs through Saturday.
"Being called to the National Team means the world to me," said Torres. "It makes me feel like all my hard work and dedication is paying off."
Torres has been with FC Dallas for four years, since she was nine, and says her favorite part about being with FC Dallas is the quality coaching and first class facilities.
"By going to National Camp, I hope to learn and grow as a player," said Torres. "I also hope to represent Texas and my FC Dallas club well."
CHICAGO (August 18, 2014) – U.S. Under-14 Girls’ National Team head coach April Kater has called up 36 players for the second U.S. Under-14 Girls’ National Team training camp of the year which will run from August 23-30 in Orlando, Fla.
All the players invited were born in 2000 or 2001. The U-14 GNT is scheduled for one more training camp this year in November which should also feature 36 players.
U.S. U-14 Girls’ National Team Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (4): Katherine Asman (Concorde Fire; Roswell, Ga.), Mattison Interian (Arsenal; Pasadena, Calif.), Alyssa Minnick (Premier Soccer Club; Baltimore, Md.) Madison Murphy (FC Stars of Massachusetts; South Grafton, Mass.);
DEFENDERS (11): Addison Clark (Minnesota Thunder Academy; Plymouth, Minn.), Isabella Cook (Chicago Magic; Elmhurst, Ill.), Chai Cortez (Surf Hawaii; Wailuku, Hawaii), Sierra Enge (Carlsbad United; Cardiff, Calif.), Naomi Girma (Central Valley Crossfire; San Jose, Calif.), Emily Gray (Penn Fusion; Sewell, N.J.), Karlina Sample (Solar Chelsea; Frisco, Texas), Kailey Smith (West Coast FC; Lake Forest, Calif.), Skylar Smith (So Cal Blues; Coto De Caza, Calif.), Jillian Wachira (PDA; Plainsboro, N.J.), Kennedy Wesley (So Cal Blues; Rossmoor, Calif.);
MIDFIELDERS (10): Croix Bethune (Concorde Fire; Alpharetta, Ga.), Luisa Delgado Heinz (Real So Cal; Manhattan Beach, Calif.), Hannah Gallegos (Rio Rapids SC; Albuquerque, N.M.), Madison Mercado (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Alexandra Palangi (Santa Barbara SC; Arrayo Grande, Calif.), Brianna Pinto (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Mackenzie Pluck (FC Bucks; North Wales, Pa.), Jordan Taylor (Ohio Premier; Wadsworth, Ohio), Summer Yates (Pac NW; Pasco, Wash.), Sakura Yoshida (Crossfire United; Redmond, Wash.);
FORWARDS (11): Olufolasade Adamolekun (Lonestar SC; Spicewood, Texas), Erin Hohnstein (Colorado Rush; Broomfield, Colo.), Rebecca Jarrett (World Class F.C.; Washington Township, N.J.), Nikki Lee (De Anza Force; Hillsborough, Calif.), Catiana Lychywek (Solar Chelsea Elite; Plano, Texas), Amelia Paternoster (Gunners; Wall, N.J.), Nicole Payne (Concorde Fire; Birmingham, Ala.), Allison Schlegel (Colorado Storm; Parker, Colo.), Sophia Smith (Real Colorado; Fort Collins, Colo.), Hollyn Torres (FC Dallas Youth Premier; Frisco, Texas), Audrey Weiss (Colorado Rush; Greenwood Village, Colo.)
After FC Dallas' 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids ealier this month, the FC Dallas Special Olympics team played the Colorado Rapids Special Olympics squad in the second match of a doubleheader that evening.
The event was a resounding success, and one part of what made it all possible was the volunteerism of a handful of FC Dallas Youth players. With 10 players on the roster, the Special Olympics team needed a few volunteers in order to accomodate an 11v11 full-field game.
They got the extra players they needed in FC Dallas U-18 ECNL players Jordan Mulnix, Makenna Johnson and Ashley Bishop and ECNL U-23 forward Hannah Higgins [above, bottom row, left four].
"It was an incredible atmosphere," said Higgins, a recent University of Texas graduate who has played for FCD's U-23 team for the past three summers. "I know the [Special Olympics players] were super excited to get out there and play."
Higgins' younger brother is a Special Olympics athlete and her father is president of the Flower Mound Special Olympics. She said as soon as the opportunity came up she knew she wanted to help any way she could.
"I definitely try to give back to Special Olympics," she said. "Whenever I can I try to go out and help coach my brother’s Special Olympics team or just volunteer, whether it’s hanging out with the kids or coming to cheer them on."
That kind of volunteerism is something encouraged through the PRACTICE program, which is a character-building initiative FC Dallas Youth uses to reinforce traits such as Compassion, Respect and Integrity in players both on and off the pitch.
"It was a really fulfilling experience for me," said High School senior Ashley Bishop, a midfielder for the U-18 ECNL team. "[The Special Olympics players] were so pumped to play in the stadium. They were super excited and I think they all had a lot of fun. It was a really good experience for everyone."
With the support from FC Dallas Youth, the front office and the thousands of fans who cheered the team on throughout the match, the Special Olympics athletes got the memorable night they deserved.
"To have the opportunity to play on a professional field in front of professional athletes; I think they felt like superstars that night. For all of us that volunteered, that’s what we wanted; we wanted them to feel like superstars."
It's about that time again. The college soccer season starts this weekend with exhibition matches before things truly get ramped up across the nation and here at FCDallas.com we'll do our best to keep you up to date on everything our FCD Academy alumni are doing in the college game.
One of the brightest stars for FC Dallas is Boyd "OC" Okwuono, a senior defender at North Carolina. The Edmond, OK native who was a part of the FCD U-18 team that went to the USSDA national championship in 2011, has had an illustrious college career earning ACC Defender of the Year in 2013, two-time All-ACC honors and a national championship in 2011 playing next to a defender FCD fans might be familiar with named Matt Hedges.
In this, his senior season, OC has been named to the pre-season watch list for college soccer's version of the Heisman, the MAC Hermann Trophy. Certainly one to watch for FCD fans as a possible Homegrown signing after his senior season is done at UNC, Okwuono and the Tar Heels begin 2014 season play on Friday, August 29th as they'll host California and UCLA over the first weekend of the season.
Four FC Dallas Academy members had the amazing honor of being called into the Generation adidas ESP Showcase taking place in Portland around the MLS All-Star Game activities this week and for one FC Dallas U-14 Academy member, the experience was made even more special.
Defender Mark Salas was invited to play on the Bayern Munich U-16 team for the second half of one of the ESP Showcase games, an experience he'll never forget.
"It was a great experience because I was playing with older guys who were born in 1998 and in our first game my team was going to play against Bayern Munich but they needed extra players so they invited me to play with them," said Salas. "I played the second half with them and it was a great experience because they’re to me the best club in the world and it was great because they’re really good with the ball. What I learned from them is how important it is to keep the ball in tight spaces with high pressure."
Salas, a defender with US U-15 National Team experience, was also one of four FC Dallas players who had the amazing chance to be taught from one of the best. Bayern Munich's legendary coach Pep Guardiola led the boys for 15 minutes in a 7v7 training session.
"We played 7v7 and he emphasized that if you can play the ball with one touch to do that and to always take quick touches," said Salas. "It was really fun."
Salas and the three other FCD youngsters, Carlos Avilez, Damian Hernandez and Lamar Batista will watch Wednesday's All-Star Game vs Bayern Munich in person before coming back to Dallas on Thursday.
(Salas, Hernandez, Avilez, Batista)
In addition to all the festivities that are taking place in Portland for the MLS All-Star game this week, the Portland Timbers held two Generation Adidas ESP showcases this past weekend and some FC Dallas Academy players were invited to take part.
In the '98/'99 category, the league was divided into three conferences based on location - East, Central, and West. FC Dallas was in the central conference along with Houston, RSL, Colorado, KC, and Chicago. Each conference played the other two in addition to playing FC Bayern Munich's U16 youth team. FCD had four players selected to be a part of the Central team -- Carlos Avilez, Mark Salas, Damian Hernandez, and Lamar Batista.
In the first match of the night last Friday, the East ESP team defeated the West 1-0.
In the second match of the night, the Central ESP team played Bayern Munich and the match ended in a 2-2 draw. Carloz Avilez, Damian Hernandez, and Lamar Batista started during the match and Mark Salas of FCD was loaned to Bayern Munich for the match and played the entire second half for the German team.