Last night in Stockholm, Cristiano Ronaldo captivated the soccer world with a heart-stopping hat trick, single-handedly punching Portugal's ticket to World Cup 2014 in Brazil in a 3-2 win over Sweden. While Frisco, Texas is about as far from a UEFA World Cup Qualifier as you can get, one member of the FC Dallas staff shared the field with Ronaldo long before the Portugese attacker was considered the best player in the world.
"I was doing pre-season with the Columbus Crew. I had just been traded from San Jose and I was with them for three months in pre-season," said under-18 head coach Luchi Gonzalez. "We were in Portugal for two weeks and played some exhibitions, one of which was against Sporting Lisbon in their training facility. I remember there was some hype about it, a young Portugese player who as the next big thing, Cristiano Ronaldo."
Ronaldo spent most of his formative years at the Portugese giants from Lisbon who have developed some of the biggest stars in world soccer.
"I see him warming up on their side. He’s 18 and I’m 22 and he’s got the orange [Nike] Vapors and you could tell he was very technical," said 33-year-old Gonzalez, who played for three different MLS clubs in his career. "We played the game, I don’t remember the exact score, it might have been 1-1."
Ronaldo's meteoric rise to stardom had began just months earlier as Ronaldo debuted with the Sporting first team in late 2002. In early August 2003, Ronaldo made his debut for Portugal and just over a week later would be sold to Manchester United for a reported 15 million Euro.
"I remember him taking people on the wing. I think [Columbus Crew defender] Duncan [Oughton] cracked him a few times, because he was a handful, but you could tell there was something there that was special. He did a lot of the stepovers then. He just had a change of speed, a good cross, it was clear that he was a different level and he was young and fearless. Literally a month later, I read that he got sold to Manchester United and I saw his debut and sure enough it was him and he was a beast. Still a skinny frame and nowhere near the machine he is now, but it was pretty cool."
The rest is history.
HEAD COACH HUGO PEREZ CALLS 30 PLAYERS TO U.S. U-15 BOYS’ NATIONAL TEAM TRAINING CAMP
U.S. U-15 BNT Camp Runs from Oct. 26-Nov. 3 at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif.
CHICAGO (Oct. 23, 2013) – Thirty players will join U.S. U-15 Boys’ National Team head coach Hugo Perez and his staff at U.S. Soccer’s National Training Center in Carson, Calif., for a week-long training camp from Oct. 26-Nov. 3.
The camp will feature four games against U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams. The U.S. U-15 BNT will play a pair of matches against local club side Chivas USA, which is splitting its U-15/U-16 Academy team to field a U-15 and U-16 side on Wednesday, Oct. 30. The U.S. also has two matches on Saturday, Nov. 2, against Northwest Division club Crossfire U-15/16 and Southwest Division club Real Salt Lake AZ U-15/16.
Twenty-four players invited to the U-15 BNT training camp currently play for U.S. Soccer Development Academy teams, eleven of whom represent six different MLS club academies, including the Colorado Rapids, D.C. United, FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, New York Red Bulls and Philadelphia Union. The roster also includes two players from Liga MX side Club Tijuana’s youth ranks.
Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (3): David Abonce (FC Dallas; The Colony, Texas), Carlos Avilez (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Eric Lopez (LA Galaxy; Westminster, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (9): Carlos Alvarado (New York Red Bulls; Queens Village, N.Y.), McKay Eves (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Kyle Gruno (Philadelphia Union; Saddle River, N.J.), Almir Kurtanovic (Jacksonville FC; Jacksonville, Fla.), Antonio Nava (De Anza Force; Redwood City, Calif.), Mark Salas (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Cody Sundquist (Placer United; Lincoln, Calif.), Angel Uribe (Club Tijuana; San Diego, Calif.), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Raul Aguilera Jr. (OCYS; Sanford, Fla.), Jose Alfaro (Chicago Magic PSG; West Chicago, Ill.), Leonel Alvarenga (Real So Cal; Canoga Park, Calif.), Jose Carranza (D.C. United; Manassas, Va.), Luis Carrillo (Dallas Texans; Tyler, Texas), Ernesto Espinoza (Club Tijuana; San Ysidro, Calif.), Roberto Hernandez (Texas Rush; Houston, Texas), Nicholas Taitague (FC Richmond Magic; Midlothian, Va.), Juan Pablo Torres (Georgia United; Lilburn, Ga.)
FORWARDS (9): Luis Arreola (FC Athletico; Wheeling, Ill.), Lucas Del Rosario (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Omir Fernandez (New York Red Bulls; New York, N.Y.), Jonathan Gonzalez (Atletico Santa Rosa; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Wilfred Inalien (Boca United Academy FC; Tammarac, Fla.), Edwin Lara (Unattached; San Leandro, Calif.), Jeanpaul Marin (New York Red Bulls; Rego Park, N.Y.), Jesus Nunez (LA Galaxy; Anaheim, Calif.), Adolfo Trujillo (De Anza Force; Livermore, Calif.)
CHICAGO (Sept. 24, 2013) – U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Richie Williams named a 20-player roster to travel to the 2013 ASG Cup in Alicante, Spain. The U.S. will face academy teams from La Liga clubs Real Madrid and Rayo Vallecano, respectively, as well as a team yet to be announced.
The U.S. departs for Spain on Sept. 25 and will train for four days before its opening match against Real Madrid Academy on Sept. 30. The U.S. will then face a to-be-determined opponent on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at 3 p.m. local time, followed by Rayo Vallecano Academy on Friday, Oct. 4, at 6 p.m. local time. The team returns to the U.S. on Sunday, Oct. 6 for Fall Break.
Fifteen of the 20 players traveling to Spain are currently registered in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, including Tyler Adams, Hugo Arellano, Eric Calvillo, Edwin Lara, Thomas McCabe, John Nelson, Matthew Olosunde, Logan Panchot, Christian Pulisic, Abraham Romero, Kevin Silva, Alexis Velela, Haji Wright, Brian Zelaya and Alejandro Zendejas. Four other players (Daniel Barbir, Luca De La Torre, Joe Gallardo and Joshua Perez) have previous ties to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, while, Pierre Da Silva has never played with the Academy.
It will be the first tournament of the current cycle of players that will prepare for the 2015 CONCACAF Championship. Eighteen of the players on the roster were born in 1998, while two, Adams and Lara, were born in 1999.
U.S. U-17 MNT ROSTER BY POSITION:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Abraham Romero (LA Galaxy Academy; Altadena, Calif.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (8): Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls Academy; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Daniel Barbir (PDA; Allentown, Pa.), Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Edwin Lara (San Jose Earthquakes Academy; San Leandro, Calif.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Tanner Deiterich (TN Soccer Club; Nashville, Tn.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca De La Torre (Fulham; San Diego, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Brian Zelaya (De Anza Force; San Mateo, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (4): Joe Gallardo (Monterrey FC; San Diego, Calif.), Joshua Perez (Fiorentina; La Habra, Calif.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Haji Wright (LA Galaxy Academy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
Recently, FC Dallas welcomed a delegation of teams from their new affiliate in Monterrey, Mexico.
The trip and the new affiliation have been spearheaded by FC Dallas Under-14 Development Academy Head Coach Francisco Molina, a Monterrey-native.
“I think they’re going to represent our brand very well in Monterrey,” said Molina. “[Liga MX clubs] Monterrey and Tigres had both approached them and that’s not what they want. They want to be able to take advantage of our tournaments and try to promote the Bobby Rhine Fall Invitational to make it international.”
After nearly a two-year process, the club formerly known as Virgin Soccer officially became an FC Dallas affiliate recently. Led by club directors Gabriel Moreno, Patricio Guerra & Miguel Mendoza, the club has six teams from U-15 to U-9 level and over Labor Day weekend brought teams to scrimmage the FCD U-16, U-15 and U-14 sides.
“It was competitive and more than I thought because that older age group that they had was only four months old,” said Molina. “All the kids we’re excited to be here and wanted to prove to us that they could play. I knew they were going to be organized, but the quality of the players they brought was really very exciting for me.”
Molina added that one player will be invited to Frisco to join the FCD ‘98’s and that he’s extremely excited about how the affiliation will develop over time. Coaching clinics with FC Dallas Academy coaches traveling down to Monterrey is planned for the future and also in the plans is using the FC Dallas ECNL teams to help start a girls team.
“With the guys who are running FC Dallas in Monterrey, I think it’s going to be very successful,” said Molina. “Monterrey and Tigres both have academies here in Dallas and we’re definitely more organized in Monterrey than they are here.”
With school back in session, the traditional summer camps have departed the numerous fields outside FC Dallas Stadium and the morning sounds of FC Dallas Academy training have once again taken over.
Head coaches Luchi Gonzalez(U-18), Josema Bazan(U-16) and Francisco Molina(U-14) have opened their pre-season camps this week in preparation for the 2013-2014 campaigns, but six of the players are enjoying a head start.
Wilfred Williams, Alex Radilla, Jordan Cano and Coy Craft from the under-18 squad and Martin Salas and Christian Ramirez from the under-16 squad recently returned from a five-day Under-18 Men's National Team combine at the Nike headquarters in Oregon.
"They’re very valuable," said Luchi Gonzalez. "I spoke to all the boys and it was a good experience for them. The level of competition was with some of the better players in the country. They also did some fitness, so it was a win win for us."
The six players selected from FC Dallas were the most of any team in the country and coach Gonzalez said there could have even been more worthy of selection. For the FCD players at the combine, the comfort of having familiar players around them certainly helped.
"It’s awesome because you had players from your team and they had players from their same club but not from their same team," said Craft. "So it was great for us."
For Martin Salas, a player who spent his first year with the U-16s last year and will be one of the leaders of the squad this year, he had to watch from the sidelines with a minor injury, but the experience was still beneficial.
"I was hurt, but watching from the side it was pretty intense," said Salas. "It was just seeing the guys play and it keeps me going because I don’t want to sit out any camps."
With both an under-18 and under-16 squad loaded with players competing for national team spots, don't be surprised to hear of more callups for FCD players in the near future as we head into the US Soccer Development Academy season starting in mid-September.
In a five-day camp designed to build the core of the Under-18 Men's National Team pool, U.S. Soccer, in association with Nike, has called together a 64-player national combine of players aged 15-17 and six FC Dallas players have been included, most of any team in the nation.
Fresh off winning the Frontier Division of the 2012-2013 US Soccer Development Academy, defenders Wilifred Williams and Jordan Cano have been called into the camp. Williams, a dynamic left back, has started the last two MLS Reserve League games for FC Dallas while Cano started all three USSDA Playoff games playing up with the U-18's.
Also called into the combine were midfielders Coy Craft, Alex Radilla and Martin Salas as well as Christian Ramirez. All four were major parts of the U-16 team with Craft, Salas and Ramirez as '97's who have three years left with the FC Dallas Academy.
In all, the six players are the most of any team in the nation, two more than the next-closest team, Real Salt Lake-AZ.
CHICAGO (Aug. 7, 2013) – U.S. Soccer has invited 64 of the country’s elite 15- to 17-year-old players to participate in a National Combine from Aug. 9-13 at Nike’s World Headquarters in Portland, Ore. The event is part of U.S. Soccer’s expanded Training Center program launched in partnership with Nike in 2013.
This five-day camp is designed to evaluate and build the core for the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team pool. Led by U.S. Soccer Director of Scouting Tony Lepore, men’s Youth National Team staff will run the sessions.
The player pool was selected by U.S. Soccer scouts through assessment at Training Centers and Local Combines, Development Academy events and other youth soccer programs over the past year. This National Combine is a premier opportunity for the nation’s top high school-aged boys to be evaluated by National Team staff and scouts from around the country.
Many players were selected for the National Combine through a series of seven Local Combines in the following locations: Los Angeles (June 7-9), Chicago (June 10-11), Dallas (June 14-16), Philadelphia (June 14-16), New York/New Jersey (July 5-7), Washington, D.C. (July 8-10), and most recently San Francisco (July 26-28). The Combines targeted key markets to evaluate players in youth national team-caliber training sessions held over three days.
Each year, U.S. Soccer holds more than 200 Training Center sessions, which are a one-day National Team player identification program that connects the top local players with Youth National Team scouts. The Training Centers are free and invitation-only, featuring the best local players and competing in a quality YNT environment to open the door toward U.S. Soccer’s youth national squads, college and the professional level.
The National Combine in August features players who were born in 1996, 1997 and 1998. The following players have been invited:
West Region (6):
No previous combine:
GOALKEEPERS (1): Avery Miller (Crossfire; Selah, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (2): Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake AZ; Tucson, Ariz.), Quentin Pearson (Colorado Rapids; Longmont, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS (1): Joshua Doughty (Real Salt Lake AZ; Phoenix, Ariz.)
FORWARDS (2): Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake AZ; Phoenix, Ariz.), Sebastian Saucedo (Real Salt Lake AZ; Park City, Utah)
Northern California Region (6):
San Francisco Combine participants:
GOALKEEPERS (1): JT Marcinkowski (San Jose Earthquakes; Alamo, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (2): David Chavez (De Anza Force; Redwood City, Calif.), Luis Urias (SCC Breakers; Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (1): DJ Villegas (Davis Legacy; Sacramento, Calif.)
FORWARDS (1): Amir Bashti (San Jose Earthquakes; Cupertino, Calif.)
No previous combine:
DEFENDERS (1): Sam Junqua (De Anza Force; Saratoga, Calif.)
Southern California Region (10):
Los Angeles Combine participants:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Justin Vom Steeg (Real So Cal; Santa Barbara, Calif.), Dakota Havlick (Irvine Strikers; Murrieta, Calif.)
DEFENDERS (3): Felipe Liborio (Strikers FC; Chula Vista, Calif.), Alex Ramos (LA Galaxy; Reseda, Calif.), Juan Reyna (LA Galaxy; San Marcos, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (1): Joab Santoyo (Arsenal; Fontana, Calif.)
No previous combine:
DEFENDERS (2): Malcolm Jones (Chivas USA; Chino Hills, Calif.), Pablo Pelaez (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (1): Amirgy Pineda (Fullerton Rangers; Santa Ana, Calif.)
FORWARDS (1): Alejandro Vergara (Chivas USA; Long Beach, Calif.)
Southeast Region (6):
Chicago Combine participant:
MIDFIELDERS (1): Abuchi Obinwa (Chicago Magic PSG; Gotha, Fla.)
No previous combine:
GOALKEEPERS (1): Marius Heislitz (Georgia United (Cumming, Ga.)
MIDFIELDERS (1): Tommy Redding (FC America; Ovieda, Fla.)
FORWARDS (3): Sebastian Elney (Boca United; Lake Worth, Fla.), DeAndre Robinson (Concorde Fire; Miramar, Fla.), Dembakwi Yomba (Concorde Fire; Lithonia, Ga.)
Midwest Region (13):
Chicago Combine participants:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Carter Richardson (Crew Soccer Academy; Dublin, Ohio), Parker Siegfried (Crew Soccer Academy; Granville, Ohio)
DEFENDERS (2): Shannon Seymour (Chicago Fire; Bourbonnais, Ill.), Mauricio Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.)
MIDFIELDERS (4): Cameron Lindley (Indiana Fire; Carmel, Ind.), Collin Fernandez (Chicago Fire; Downers Grove, Ill.), Kosti Moni (Crew Soccer Academy Wolves; Grand Rapids, Mich.), Brad Dunwell (Vardar; Grand Rapids, Mich.)
No previous combine:
DEFENDERS (1): Peter Schropp (Omaha FC; Omaha, Neb.)
MIDFIELDERS (1): Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (3): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Andrija Novakovich (Chicago Magic PSG; Muskego, Wis.), Mark Segbers (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.)
Northeast Region (10):
Philadelphia Combine participant:
DEFENDERS (1): Brian White (PDA; Flemington, N.J.)
N.Y./N.J. Combine participants:
DEFENDERS (3): Brandon Tetro (New York Red Bulls; Freehold, N.J.), Henry Martin (New York Red Bulls (New York, N.Y.), David Manzinares (Albertson SC; Hempstead, N.Y.)
No previous combine:
GOALKEEPERS (1): Austin Aviza (New England Revolution; Medway, Mass.)
DEFENDERS (1): Miles Robinson (FC Bolts Celtic; Arlington, Mass.)
MIDFIELDERS (1): Declan McCabe (New England Revolution; Weston, Mass.)
FORWARDS (3): Matt Vasquenza (Oakwood SC; East Hampton, Conn.), Brendan Constantine (Oakwood SC; Glastonbury, Conn.), Mohamed Kenawy (FC Bolts Celtic; Boston, Mass.)
Mid-Atlantic Region (6)
Philadelphia Combine participant:
DEFENDERS (1): Chris Gomez (PDA; Jamison, Pa.)
Washington, D.C., Combine participants:
MIDFIELDERS (1): Connor Smith (Baltimore Bays Chelsea; Baltimore, Md.)
FORWARDS (2): Jeremy Ebobisse (Bethesda Olney; Bethesda, Md.), Umar Bangura (Baltimore Bays Chelsea; Sykesville, Md.)
No previous combine:
DEFENDERS (1): Chase Gaspar (D.C. United; Alexandria, Va.)
FORWARDS (1): Coy Craft (FC Dallas; Glade Springs, Va.)
Texas Region (7):
Dallas Combine participants:
DEFENDERS (1): Wilfred Williams (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas)
MIDFIELDERS (1): Martin Salas (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas)
FORWARDS (1): Christian Ramirez (FC Dallas; Farmer’s Branch, Texas)
No previous combine:
DEFENDERS (3): Alex Radilla (FC Dallas; El Paso, Texas), Jordan Cano (FC Dallas; Frisco, Texas), Sergio Ruvalcaba (Alianza Houston; Austin, Texas)
FORWARDS (1): Christian Lucatero (Houston Dynamo; Pasadena, Texas)
While on summer break from US Soccer Development Academy play, Homegrown goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez has stayed busy joining up with the Mexico Youth National team to play in the Milk Cup in Northern Ireland. Playing in a four-team division with the US, Denmark and Northern Ireland, Mexico needed a win on the last day of the tournament over Northern Ireland to take home the Milk Cup and that's exactly what they did.
Goals from Kevin Gutierrez & Hirving Lozano gave Mexico a 2-1 win over the hosts to win their second Milk Cup in a row. It's tough to find any lineup information, though it does seem as if Gonzalez did not feature in the final match against Northern Ireland. Click here to see highlights from the match including Gutierrez's stunning free kick.
In addition, click here to view a Facebook photo album from the event featuring more of the awesome celebration photos.
Another FC Dallas Academy player has been named to a national team, but this one is a first. Eric Davies, an outside back for the FC Dallas Under-15 pre-academy squad that advanced all the way to the US Youth Soccer national championship game has been called up to Canadian Under-17 National Team camp.
The 24-player roster will meet up in Sunrise, Florida from August 2-12 as Canada continues their preparation for the 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup that takes place in UAE in October and November.
Davies, who will become an integral part of the FCD Under-16 USSDA squad next season, has a Canadian father and will be appearing in the Canada youth side for the first time.
“This camp is a great opportunity for the players who are already in the team to show that they deserve to keep their places – and it is also a great chance for the new players to stake their claim to being part of this team heading towards the FIFA U-17 World Cup,” Head Coach Sean Fleming told the Canada Soccer website.
“We are definitely looking to create competition for spots on this team. That is important to us.
CANADA's Men's U-17 Team Roster for training camp in Sunrise, FL (August 2013):
GK- Marco Carducci | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
GK- Daniel Milton | ENG / Blackpool FC
D- Kevon Black | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
D- Alex Comsia | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
D- Eric Davies | USA / FC Dallas Academy
D- Ian Fernandes | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
D- Mathieu Laurent | CAN / Mississauga Falcons
D- Aron Mkungilwa | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
D- Elias Roubos | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
M- Rida Abdoulhamid | CAN / Braves d’Ahuntsic
M- Adam Bouchard | Unattached
M- Marco Bustos | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- Mikaël Cantave | FRA / Orvault Sport Football
M- Matthew Chow | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- Marco-Leonel Dominguez | CAN / Braves d'Ahuntsic
M- Jordan Haynes | CAN / Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
M- José Lopez | CAN / FC Edmonton Academy
M- Ali Musse | CAN / WSA Winnipeg
M- Nevello Yoseke | CAN / Académie Impact Montréal
M/F- Hanson Boakai | CAN / FC Edmonton
F- Andrew Gordon | CAN / Woodbridge Strikers SC
F- Matt Greer | USA / Philadelphia Union Academy
F- Jordan Hamilton | CAN / Toronto FC Academy
F- El Mehdi Ibn Brahim | CAN / Braves d'Ahuntsic
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.