FRISCO, Texas -- It was perfect soccer weather at Pizza Hut Park in Frisco, with temperatures in the 70s and a light but steady wind from the south as the FC Dallas U-16 Academy team took on the U-16 team of Santos Laguna from Mexico in an international friendly this afternoon.
The match was tightly contested and largely restricted to the midfield as scoring chances were few and far between. Ultimately, the Texas side would surrender an own goal in the second half to fall to their Mexican counterparts 1-0.
The first half provided only a handful of scoring opportunities for either side as both defensive corps did well to keep their respective ‘keepers out of harm’s way. FC Dallas goalkeeper Caleb Underwood was tested just before the intermission, but proved up to the task as he held onto a strike sent in by a Santos forward in the 40th minute.
FC Dallas came out strong to start the second half, but the Santos ‘keeper came up with three saves in a matter of 10 minutes to keep the game tied at nil. The lone goal of the game would come in the 65th minute in favor of the visiting team.
“They had a corner kick and the ball made it through a couple of our players,” said FCD defender Mark Ashby after the match. “They were able to get a shot off and we blocked it, but unfortunately the ball went over the line by a couple inches.”
FC Dallas had a chance to tie the match in the 84th minute, but the Santos ‘keeper would make another diving save to hold onto the win for his team. Despite the loss, coach Chris Hayden said he was proud of the effort his team put into the match.
“I felt like throughout the game, for 90 minutes we worked very hard,” said Hayden. “I felt like up top we had some good movements from Bobby Edet. I thought Victor Portillo gave us a lot of energy up front as well. He created space and opportunity for us to play the ball forward.”
Hayden also said he thought midfielders Will Coleman and Marco Ortiz did well to keep the team balanced and not show any vulnerability in the back. But he said the strong effort still doesn’t take away the harshness of losing on an own goal.
“It broke down on a dead ball. We’re disappointed that we lost the game on a dead ball.”
The FC Dallas U-16 Academy team will have another international friendly tomorrow at 12:00 p.m. against the U-16 team from Tigres on Field 8 at Pizza Hut Park.
Follow @FCDallasYouth on twitter for in-game updates during tomorrow's match.
FC Dallas U-16 lineup: Underwood, Frankenfeld, Toledo, Ashby, Herrera, Ortiz (Rodriguez), Coleman, Portillo, Mejia (Tamayo 61), Hyndman, and Edet (Villalta 61)
Santos - own goal (65')