It's been a tough road for Richard Sanchez and Mexico in the 2013 Under-20 World Cup, but there was certainly a light at the end of the tunnel.
After losses to Greece and Paraguay left the Mexicans on the brink of elimination, they've clawed their way back to the knockout round by defeating Mali 4-1 today.
Sanchez, who has started all three games for Mexico, had another strong performance in goal and with the top four third-placed teams qualifying for the round of 16, the emphatic win has Mexico in on goal differential.
With three points and a +1 goal differential, Mexico is currently in second place out of the six third-placed teams and with only Uruguay and England able to top them, Mexico is guaranteed a spot in the knockout stage.
It's unknown who Mexico will play until tomorrow's final group stage games are played, but Mexico will play on either July 2 or July 3.
Congratulations to Richard and Mexico!
Congratulations to our FCD Instagram 5K celebration winners and thanks to everyone who submitted an entry!(especially Casey Loyd for the picture on the bottom right)
The FC Dallas under-16 academy headed into the final game of the USSDA playoffs needing a draw against RSL-AZ to advance to Finals Week. In a wild, back-and-forth battle, FC Dallas fell to their MLS rivals 6-3, ending the FC Dallas run in this year's playoffs.
In an indication of what was to come throughout the match, the goalfest started with RSL jumping out to a quick 2-0 lead. A pair of uncharacteristic defensive mistakes from FC Dallas resulted in Sebastian Saucedo sneaking in for two huge goals to open the match.
Real Salt Lake grabbed a third goal through a long-range shot in the 36th minute to stunningly take a 3-0 lead. Needing a spark before halftime, FC Dallas got it on a well worked corner that eventually found its way into the net through a scrum of players to send the teams to halftime with RSL up 3-1.
In the second half, RSL seemed to put the game out of reach finishing a rebound off a fantastic save from goalkeeper Estevan Vasquez to restore their three-goal lead.
The fightback from FCD began, however, with Patrick Khouri bundling in another set piece opportunity from FC Dallas with 20 minutes to play. Soon after Santi Agudelo headed in his fifth goal of playoffs week to pull FCD within a goal sparking wild celebrations.
As FC Dallas pushed for the goal that would take them through the group, Real Salt Lake hit the U-16s on the counter restoring their two-goal advantage. They would soon grab another as Sebastian Gordillo took down an RSL attacker in the box and as the last man back, Gordillo was shown a red card. The penalty kick was converted and FC Dallas fell to RSL 6-3 ending the season for both academy teams.
Despite falling at the final hurdle before Finals Week, both the U-18 & U-16 teams can hold their heads high as they finished at the top of the Frontier Division. They'll return to action for the 2013-2014 season with a new U-14 division in late September.
By Beth Anne Carroll & Daniel Robertson
Under-18s fall just short in comeback attempt, finish USSDA Playoffs 1-1-1
FRISCO, Texas - The FC Dallas under-18s needed to win by two goals to advance to finals week, but the home team only managed a 1-1 draw against Albertson SC.
The game was mainly a defensive battle, with both teams struggling to score for most of the match. Both teams had plenty of opportunities, but a combination of defense in front of the goal and strong performances from both goalkeepers made it a low-scoring affair.
Albertson had a couple of opportunities in the first, but two went wide and Dallas keeper Caleb Underwood saved another two. FCD also missed a chance in the closing minutes of the half when a shot hit the post, sending the game into halftime scoreless.
Needing to win by two goals to advance, FCD was forced to push forward leaving them exposed at the back. Albertson finally opened the scoring on a counterattack, giving them a 1-0 advantage with 30 minutes left in the game.
FC Dallas never quit and finally got a goal of their own, but with just seconds left in the match it wasn't enough and the 1-1 draw means the under-18s won't be advancing to Finals Week for a fourth straight year as they finished 1-1-1 in the group.
Under-16's lead group with one game remaining
As FC Dallas battled the Portland Timbers inside the stadium last night, the under-16s continued their solid playoffs run beating FC Delco 4-0 in their second USSDA playoff game.
Santiago Agudelo was the star again for FC Dallas scoring goals in the 15th and 28th minute to put FCD out to a quick 2-0 lead.
Coy Craft and Christian Ramirez added goals in the second half to give FCD the emphatic 4-0 win.
That win, coupled with RSL-AZ's 0-0 draw with Sockers FC, means that FC Dallas under-16s can advance to Finals Week for the first time since 2009 with a win or a draw against RSL-AZ on Friday. That game will be played at 11:00AM on field 7.
By Beth Anne Carroll & Daniel Robertson
Agudelo Double Propels Under-16s to 4-2 Win Over Sockers FC
FRISCO, Texas -- The FC Dallas under-16's kicked off group play in the 2013 US Soccer Development Academy playoffs with a bang, recording a 4-2 win over Chicago's Sockers FC.
Neither team was able to get much going in the opening minutes of the game. Each team had a few shots on goal, including a freekick for FC Dallas, but were unable to finish. Santi Agudelo finally opened the scoring in the 20th minute with a header to put FC Dallas up 1-0.
The Sockers wouldn't give up that easily, though. The visitors had multiple shots on goal in the closing minutes, as well as missed chances on a freekick and a corner kick within a couple minutes of each other. The Sockers managed to find the back of the net late in the half, but the goal was called back due to offsides, giving FC Dallas the one-goal advantage going into halftime.
The second half got off to a much quicker start than the first, with FC Dallas getting their second goal of the game just minutes into the half through a Miguel Ojeda strike. This time the Sockers had an answer, scoring a minute later to bring the score to 2-1. The Sockers had several more chances to tie the game, but could never quite finish, thanks in large part to a series of fantastic saves by FC Dallas keeper Estevan Vasquez.
After the score remained the same for most of the second half, Santi Agudelo got his second goal of the night, firing into an open night after drawing the keeper out of the goal. Agudelo's score put the home team up by two late in the game, but FC Dallas weren't finished yet. Alex Radilla added to the scoring with a shot across the goal to put the score at 4-1. A last minute penalty kick for Sockers FC cut the lead to two, but it was all FC Dallas with a final score of 4-2, leaving them with a great start to the playoffs week.
The U16s will have a quick turnaround with a game tomorrow night at 9:00 PM against FC Delco on Field 8.
U-18's take back control of their destiny with 3-0 win
FRISCO, Texas - After yesterday's 1-0 loss to Columbus, FC Dallas needed a better performance on Tuesday plus some help from elsewhere to remain alive in the USSDA Playoffs.
They got both.
While Dallas struggled to find the net yesterday, it took them just 30 minutes to take the lead a night later. Diego de la Tejera found some space 25 yards from goal and let fly, curling an incredible strike around the keeper and into the upper 90 to put FCD in front. Ten minutes later, Luchi Gonzalez's men doubled the lead as Marco Carrizales scored a similar goal to Tejera's strike smacking one low and hard past the keeper from 20 yards out to give Dallas a 2-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, Dallas, knowing goal differential could play a huge part in who advances to Finals Week, pressed hard for a third goal and found it in the 68th minute as Yomeri Reyes rose to head home a corner from Carrizales. FCD pushed for a fourth, but couldn't find it, though they'll surely be thrilled with the 3-0 victory over Concorde Fire.
That win, coupled with Albertson SC's 4-1 victory over Columbus Crew, means FCD, on three points with a +2 goal differential, can advance to Finals Week if they can manage a two-goal victory over Albertson SC on Thursday morning. While it's certainly a tall task, after Monday's loss it's one they'll gladly accept.
FC Dallas will look to advance to yet another Finals Week on Thursday against Albertson SC at 9:00 AM on Field 11.
This week's power rankings results come with good news and bad news. The good news: After a thrilling 2-2 draw against Sporting KC on Saturday, FC Dallas is a unanimous top five team according to power rankers. The bad news: FC Dallas is no longer at the top of the league or or their division, which was enough for them to drop at least one spot in the rankings. However, FCD is still in great a great position heading into their final game of June, a month with only one MLS home game, sitting just one point behind Portland and Real Salt Lake.
ESPN FC kept FC Dallas in the number five spot:
Two goals in the final two minutes of regulation allowed FCD to salvage a 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City. The second came from defender Walker Zimmerman. Uh, shouldn't he be in Turkey with the U-20s?
Fighting back to score twice at the death in order to earn a result is what champions do. Dallas are still flying under the radar, but they are also the real deal.
Soccer America moved FC Dallas down to number 4:
FC Dallas rallied from a 2-0 deficit with two goals in the final few minutes to salvage a 2-2 tie with Sporting Kansas City. Andrew Jacobson headed home a Michel serve in the 88th minute, and Walker Zimmerman got his head to a corner kick in stoppage time.
Avi Creditor of Sports Illustrated dropped FC Dallas all the way to number four from his last rankings two weeks ago:
Dallas looked left for dead trailing Sporting Kansas City 2-0 in the final minutes Saturday night, but two late goals, including an equalizer from rookie and U.S. U-20 snub Walker Zimmerman, salvaged a point. Dallas is still winless in three matches and has only beaten struggling D.C. and San Jose in its last eight games, but that is a point that can go a long way in changing the club's mentality, as opposed to dropping a home game to a 10-man opponent.
MLSsoccer.com also dropped FC Dallas one spot to number four.
We're not going to say that the bottom has dropped out, but FCD have won just once in their last five and looked good to take another "L" before some late set-piece heroics.
Finally, Soccer by Ives dropped FCD from third to fourth after Saturday's draw.
One win in five qualifies as a slump, but FCD has to feel good about rallying back to salvage a point against a tough Sporting KC side. Things don’t get much easier though, not with another meeting with red-hot Portland, and a road trip to take on a surging Philadelphia side. Having Walker Zimmerman score a big goal is good news though, as he looks more and more like a viable option in the team’s centerback rotation, which is needed given how often George John and Matt Hedges take knocks.
FRISCO, Texas - In the opening match of the 2013 US Soccer Development Academy Playoffs, the FC Dallas under-18's were unable to recover from a first half goal by Columbus' Noah Hutchins and fell to the Crew 1-0.
FCD started the match brightly with Bobby Edet leading the way up front, but an early chance went just wide and, playing against the wind, Luchi Gonzalez's men were unable to muster up much else in attack. The Crew hit Dallas on the break mid-way through the first half and a deep cross flashed across the box to Hutchins. Goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez was able to get a hand on the low, hard shot, but was unable to keep it out of the net and the Crew took a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Dallas pushed hard for the equalizer with Gonzalez bringing on Diego de la Tejera to inject some punch into the FCD attack. The hard-working Crew side kept Dallas at bay, however, and despite holding the majority of possession, Dallas couldn't convert that into meaningful scoring chances.
FCD mustered one final attack late in the second half and a cross from Kris Reaves found Yomeri Reyes, but his hard shot was right at the Crew goalkeeper who did well to hold the shot. A couple late set pieces went begging for Dallas and FCD dropped a disappointing 1-0 result to Columbus.
Dallas must regroup quickly as they'll face the Concorde Fire tomorrow night at 9:30PM on FC Dallas Complex Field 5. FCD is still alive to finish top of their group, but they must win their final two games and hope for some help elsewhere. The under-16's begin their quest for Finals Week tomorrow night against Sockers FC at 7:15PM on Field 11.
Do you follow @FCDallas on Instagram? The club recently hit 5,000 followers and as a celebration, we're offering five (5) FC Dallas fans the opportunity to win an adidas duffel bag and FC Dallas scarf.
How can you win? Follow these steps:
- Take a photo of yourself holding up five fingers as a symbol of our 5,000 followers mark
- Upload your photo to Instagram
- Tag @FCDallas and use the hashtag #FCD5K
The contest runs through Friday, June 28 at Noon. We'll announce the five (5) winners Friday afternoon at 3PM. Good luck, happy Instagramming (get creative!!), and DTID!
The United States Under-20 National Team continued their quest in the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup today earning a point against European powerhouse France in a 1-1 draw at the Ali Sami Yen Arena in Instanbul.
Heading into the match, the US needed a point to keep any realistic hopes of a spot in the knockout round alive and things were looking bleak for the United States when France forward Yaya Sanogo smashed home a controversial 48th minute penalty kick.
It looked like the United States' bad luck would continue when Luis Gil had a penalty kick saved with about 20 minutes to play, but second-half substitute Daniel Cuevas eventually finished a free kick in the 85th minute to steal a priceless point for the US.
Given that the four highest-placed third place teams in the group stage will advance to the round of 16, today's point means a win over Ghana on Thursday would almost certainly put the United States into the knockout stage.
From an FC Dallas perspective, Danny Garcia, a starter in the first match, did not feature in today's as he was out with an unspecified injury suffered in Friday's game against Spain. Kellyn Acosta has appeared on the bench for both matches, but has yet to play.
The United States will look to advance to the round of 16 in an all-important game against Ghana on Thursday, June 27 at 12:45PM on ESPNU.
This week on FCDallas.com you're going to be getting a healthy dose of what we call the USSDA Playoffs, so I thought it'd be effective to give everyone a primer on the event that will be filling up the FC Dallas Complex fields for the next five days.
The US Soccer Development Academy is the national league that consists of an under-18 and under-16 league including all the MLS academies as dozens of others, with 80 teams in total. The top 32 teams out of those 80 have qualified for the playoffs which take on the form of eight groups with four teams in each group drawn by national seeding(I.E. seeds 1-8, 8-16,17-24, 25-32). The winners of each group move on to the Development Academy Finals Week played in Houston in mid-July.
In all, a staggering 125 games will be played at the stadium complex in the next five days as every playoff game plus a number of showcase games featuring non-playoff teams will be played. The games start at 5PM on Monday and will be in the evenings on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday while morning games will be played on Thursday and Friday.
For FC Dallas, this week is a huge one as both the U-18 and U-16 teams have real chances to advance to Finals Week. The U-18's just missed out on a top seed finishing 10th overall and their draw includes the Columbus Crew, Concorde Fire and Albertson SC. The U-16's finished as the #2 overall national seed and will play Sockers FC, FC Delco and Real Salt Lake-AZ during playoffs week.
Admission is completely free to every game and even if you can only make it out for an hour, you really should come up to the complex at some point this week to see the USSDA playoff juggernaut in action while cheering on the future FC Dallas first team stars.