FC Dallas hosts first-ever College Showcase at Pizza Hut Park
FRISCO, Texas – Over 1,600 players and 120 college soccer coaches descended on Pizza Hut Park this weekend for FC Dallas’ first annual College Showcase. Eighty-six teams from all over Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Kansas and Canada competed in the three-day event.
FC Dallas Youth College Director Scott Dymond organized the Showcase. He said the success of this weekend’s event bodes well for future editions of the FC Dallas College Showcase.
“The games were very good, very competitive,” said Dymond. “Most importantly, in speaking with a lot of college coaches, they were very happy with the level of play and the environment. I’m glad for not just FC Dallas players, but all the players who participated to be given the opportunity to be recruited.”
In fact, those players had the chance to get noticed from not just schools in the Metroplex, but all over the country. The Showcase was attended by coaches from top college programs at the University of North Carolina, Notre Dame, the University of Akron and Creighton, just to name a few.
Clemson University men’s assistant coach John Murphy coached for three different MLS teams over a nine-year span before joining the college ranks. He said the caliber of soccer talent in Texas made the decision to attend the Showcase an easy one.
“Texas is a very important area,” said Murphy. “I think you ask any major college program and they would have Texas in their short list of regions of the country that we feel are very, very important. It’s a nice mix of athletic kids and technical kids who always seem to go on to top programs and then make that next step into the pros.”
That sentiment was echoed by Hardin-Simmons University women’s head coach Marcus Wood, whose team won the Division III National Championship last December.
“We don’t leave Texas for recruiting,” said Wood, whose school is located in Abilene. “We recruit primarily out of the Classic League, and FC Dallas has one of the best Classic League teams available.”
The notoriety of Texas talent helped draw coaches in for the inaugural Showcase, but it was the on-site execution that planners of the event hope will bring coaches back year after year.
“It was very well-organized,” said Brian Tompkins, the head coach of the men’s soccer team at Yale University. “The games were spread out enough that we could see a variety of teams. There weren’t too many games going on at the same time. That’s often a problem with these types of events, but that wasn’t a problem here.”
One FC Dallas player even finalized a verbal commitment to a college over the weekend, but Dymond said the true barometer of the event’s success will be the collegiate opportunities that FC Dallas creates for youth soccer players in the months and years to come.
“We achieved our goal of giving kids the opportunity to be recruited,” said Dymond. “Obviously, it was important to put on a great event, and most of the coaches said they’ll definitely be back next year, which is fantastic.”