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.
Fresh off their strong performance at the Region III Championships, FC Dallas 97 Premier is enjoying a fantastic week at the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Maryland.
FCD 97 Premier have gone 2-0-1 in their three group stage matches to advance to the national semifinals on Saturday where they'll play Cincinnati United Premier from Ohio.
In their first match of the week, Kamar Marriott and Sergio Lara scored for FCD in a 2-2 draw with LVSA. They then defeated Smithtown Arsenal 2-0 on Wednesday behind goals from Lara and Sergio Benitez. Lara scored in his third straight game on Thursday in a 3-1 win over Fullerton Rangers that sealed the group stage victory.
FCD 97 Premier will play in their semifinal match on Saturday at 9:00AM vs Cincinnati United Premier from Ohio and the game will be streamed live. CLICK HERE for more info on the US Youth Soccer national championships.
On Saturday, you can watch the national semifinal live right here.
Three FC Dallas players named to USSDA all-conference lists, FCD named best team in central conference
Now that the USSDA 2013/2014 season has come to an end, the U.S. Soccer Development Academy named its conference award winners and FC Dallas had a number of players and honors on that coveted list. Below are the awards FC Dallas and players won:
Under 15/16 Best Midfielders in Central Sonference: Coy Craft
Under 17/18 Best Defenders in Central Sonference: Jordan Cano and Kristoffer Reaves
Best overall club in Central conference: FC Dallas
Best over training facility in central conference: FC Dallas
Three FC Dallas Academy players have been called in to U.S. Soccer camps ahead of international youth tournaments for the United States. Defender/midfielder Shaquell Moore will join Tab Ramos' U-20 squad in Carson, CA as they play in the 2014 NTC Invitational Tournament against youth national teams from Australia, Bermuda and Chile.
In addition, Alejandro Zendejas and Weston McKinnie from the FC Dallas U-16s recently joined a 38-player U-17 National Team camp that will be used to select the players going to the Nordic Open Cup and Copa de Mexico in late July.
U.S. UNDER-20 MNT HEAD COACH TAB RAMOS CALLS 20 PLAYERS FOR 2014 NTC INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT
U-20 MNT to Play Australia, Bermuda and Chile in Carson, California;
Final Pair of Tournament Games to be Broadcast on ussoccer.com
CHICAGO (July 10, 2014) – U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team head coach Tab Ramos has named a 20-player roster for the 2014 NTC Invitational Tournament that will take place at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, California, from July 14-18.
The U-20 MNT will gather for training camp in Carson beginning July 10 before playing its first games of the NTC Invitational against Chile on July 14 and Bermuda on July 16 with both matches scheduled to kick off at 4 p.m. PT. The U.S. concludes tournament play against Australia on July 18, a match that will be broadcast on ussoccer.com at 7 p.m. PT. The day’s other match between Bermuda and Chile will also be broadcast on ussoccer.com beginning at 4 p.m. PT.
The U.S. roster for the tournament is made up of a solid group of players with extensive experience in the U.S. Youth National Team Program as 11 players have reached a minimum of 10 YNT call-ups already in their young international careers. Six of those 11, including Russell Canouse (TSG Hoffenheim), Conor Donovan (Carolina RailHawks Academy), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas Academy), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana) and Zack Steffen (Maryland) all have over 20 career YNT events under their belts, with Requejo Jr. leading the way with 33 to his name.
Dating back to last November’s international training camp in Verona, Italy, when this current iteration of the U-20 MNT was assembled, seven players have been included in a roster-high four U-20 MNT events: goalkeeper Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls), defenders Donovan, Moore and Requejo Jr., midfielder Marco Delgado (Chivas USA) and forwards Pfeffer and Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC). Steffen, who was part of Ramos’ squad for the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey, is also be making his fourth appearance on a U.S. U-20 roster.
The roster blends a good mix of foreign- and domestic-based talents with eight players plying their trade outside the U.S., including Club Tijuana trio Fernando Arce – receiving his first call-up to a U.S. YNT event – Paul Arriola and Requejo Jr., who represent the most players named to the squad from one club.
Arriola, Castano, Delgado, Lopez, Moore, Pfeffer, Requejo Jr., and Steffen are among 12 players on the roster who helped the team to a second-place finish in the Gordon Jago Super Group at the 2014 Dallas Cup earlier this year in its last international competition.
After the conclusion of the NTC Invitational, Ramos and his staff will look to assemble the team again in early September for an international training camp.
U.S. U-20 MNT NTC Invitational Tournament and Broadcast Schedule:
Date Teams Time [PT] Location Broadcast
July 14 AUS v BER 1 p.m. Mooch Myernick Field none
USA v CHI 4 p.m. Mooch Myernick Field none
July 16 AUS v CHI 1 p.m. Mooch Myernick Field none
USA v BER 4 p.m. Mooch Myernick Field none
July 18 BER v CHI 4 p.m. StubHub Center ussoccer.com
USA v AUS 7 p.m. StubHub Center ussoccer.com
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (7): Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Conor Donovan (Carolina RailHawks Academy; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Maryland; Mitchellville, Md.), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.), Caleb Smith (Solar Chelsea SC; Arlington, Texas), Jesus Vasquez (UANL Tigres; San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Russell Canouse (TSG Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (Lorient; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Jacori Hayes (Wake Forest; Bowie, Md.)
FORWARDS (5): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson (LA Galaxy II; Los Angeles, Calif.), Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC; San Diego, Calif.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading; Muskego, Wis.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.)
The US Youth Soccer Region III Championships took place at the end of June in Baton Rouge, LA and FC Dallas Premier had a strong presence.
Seven FC Dallas teams advanced to the regional championships, four teams to the quarterfinals, three in the semifinals and one champion as the '97 Premier Boys took home the Region III Championship.
The big winners of the week were FC Dallas '97 Premier who won all five games in Baton Rouge including shutouts in the semifinals and finals to advance to the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Maryland. Sergio Lara and Reece Shattle led the way for Scott Dymond and Hank Wendorf's team scoring three goals each.
'97 Premier will start their quest for the US Youth Soccer National Championship on Tuesday, July 22 against LVSA in Germantown, MD. Click here for the full schedule.
FC Dallas '96 Premier had a fantastic playoff week making it all the way to the U-18 championship match in Baton Rouge.
'96 Premier won their first five matches of the week before falling 1-0 in the final to GSA Premier of Georgia. Morgan Dizney scored twice for FCD in the week.
FC Dallas '98 Premier advanced all the way to the semifinals in Baton Rouge falling 4-2 to eventual champions Sunrise Elite from Florida. Keegan McCombie led the way with three goals in the week while Gerber Chavez scored twice, both game-winning goals.
The semifinal appearance wrapped up a fantastic season for the U-16 side that won the Classic League and North Texas State Cup for the third straight year, were Dallas Cup finalists and also placed third at the Disney College Showcase tournament. In addition, '98 Premier won the U-16 Region III Fair Play Award.
FC Dallas '00 Premier advanced to Region III playoffs winning one out of three group stage games in Baton Rouge.
FRISCO - Just over two weeks removed from suffering a broken toe, forward Santiago Agudelo came off the bench to score two goals including a 94th-minute game-winner to give the FC Dallas U-18s a 3-2 win over Colorado Rush in the US Soccer Development Academy national quarterfinal match at Toyota Stadium.
FC Dallas opened up the game early in the 11th minute when Yannick Koffi sent a shot towards the box that was cleared off the goal line straight to Antonio Aguilar. He easily slid it past Colorado goalkeeper to give FCD a first half lead.
Dallas held possession of the ball for the majority of the first half not allowing Colorado to get much of a chance to put the ball in the goal and took a 1-0 lead into halftime.
“We were composed in the first half, got a deserved goal and we kept the shutout,” head coach Luchi Gonzalez said about the first half.
The second half saw a lot more action with FCD scoring their second goal of the game in the 58th minute when Santiago Agudelo received a long ball that he was able to flick in for the goal on his first touch of the game after substituting into the match.
Colorado staged a furious comeback, however, late in the match when they were granted two penalty kicks within ten minutes of each other.
In the 76th minute, FCD goalkeeper Charlie Furrer fouled a Colorado player inside the box. Eduardo Reza took the penalty kick and was able to get the away side within one of the lead.
The referee awarded a second penalty kick to the visitors in the 86th minute to the dismay of the Dallas crowd as two players jostled for a long ball in the box. Eduardo Reza took the PK for Colorado again and was able to notch the game at two all with his second goal in ten minutes.
It looked as if the game was going to go into extra time as the clock was winding down, but Agudelo scored the game-winning goal in what was to most likely be the last possession of the game. Agudelo received the ball at the top of the box, turned and found a way to toe-poke the ball into the back of the net in the 94th minute sparking wild celebrations on the Dallas sideline.
For a team that has overcome adversity all season, it was a fitting cap to their playoff run which will now extend into the final weekend of the Development Academy season for the fourth time in the last five years.
“What we did today was a result of us learning a lot of lessons throughout the season and never stopping believing,” said Gonzalez. “They were composed. They were determined, and they didn’t let anyone take this from them.”
"I want to congratulate Colorado Rush on a great season," Gonzalez added. "They are a great team and unit that made the game very difficult for us. I give those players and coaches a lot of credit with the way they played today.”
FC Dallas will travel to the StubHub Center in Carson, CA for their national semifinal on Thursday, July 17th with the semifinal winners playing in the national final on Saturday, July 19.
Under-18s defeat Chicago Fire 1-0 in do-or-die USSDA Playoff, advance to quarterfinals
FC Dallas was 2-0-0 heading into Thursday's final USSDA Playoff Week match against the Chicago Fire, and needed a win to advance to the national quarterfinals.
That's exactly what they got with Tony Aguilar scoring his second goal of playoff week in the 40th minute sending Dallas to a 1-0 win over the Fire.
The FCD backline of Cesar Murillo, Jordan Cano, Shaquell Moore and Kris Reaves held their second straight shutout of the week and U-16 goalkeeper Charlie Furrer, playing up with the U-18s for the first time, led Dallas to a 3-0-0 record in playoffs week.
With passage secured, Luchi Gonzalez's side will host Colorado Rush in Frisco on Monday, July 7th in the national quarterfinals. Stay tuned for info on when and where the match will take place.
Under-16s complete USSDA Playoffs undefeated, but fail to advance
The FC Dallas U-16s also enjoyed a strong USSDA Playoffs week going undefeated with a 1-0-2 record.
Heading into Thursday's playoff finale, FCD needed a win over Orlando City and either a draw or loss by San Jose to advance. Dallas was only able to manage a 1-1 draw with Orlando City, meaning a trip to the quarterfinals is not on the schedule for the U16s this year, but a strong squad showed they will be a team to be reckoned with over the next couple seasons as many of the players move up to the U-18 level.
In all, FC Dallas went 4-0-2 at USSDA Playoffs week, finishing undefeated.
Own Goal propels FCD U-18's to 1-0 win over Portland Timbers
The Under-18's continued their strong run through playoffs week with their second win in two days, defeating the Portland Timbers 1-0 by way of a 76th minute own goal. The FC Dallas defense led by Jordan Cano, Cesar Murillo, Shaquell Moore and Kris Reaves have allowed just one goal so far in two matches with U-16 goalkeeper Charlier Furrer moving up to play for the U-18s in these playoffs.
Despite having six points and a +4 goal differential, FC Dallas will need to beat the Chicago Fire on Thursday morning to advance to the final eight with the Fire holding a superior six points and +5 goal difference.
U-16s come from behind to defeat Shattuck-Saint Mary's in playoff opener
Ranked #4 nationally, the FC Dallas U-16s got off to the best possible start in Tuesday's USSDA Playoff opener scoring in the first minute against Shattuck-Saint Mary's. However, they would concede two goals in the first half to take a 2-1 deficit to halftime.
In the second half, Luiz ZuaZua scored in the 56th minute to tie the match and Mario Ramirez Sansabas won it for FCD right at the death in the 80th minute to secure a priceless victory.
The U-16s continue playoffs week on Wednesday at 4:00PM against the San Jose Earthquakes.