Future Stars: 5 names to know from Dallas Cup XXXII
David Beckham. Wayne Rooney. Chicharito. They all played in Dallas Cup as youth, solidifying the tourney's reputation as a showcase for the future stars of the soccer world. In honor of that tradition, we here at FCDallas.com decided to take a look at the participants of this year’s Gordon Jago Super Group to see who has the potential to be the next big name in soccer. Here are five outstanding players we think you can expect to hear from in the near future.
READ: Take a look at some of the superstars who have already come through Dallas Cup
Tigres – Moises Orozco (Midfielder)
The US U-20 midfielder had quite the week as part of co-champion Tigres. Unfortunately, some of that came at the expense of the FC Dallas U-18 side, who Orozco scored against in their 5-0 semifinal match. Orozco also scored the lone goal for his team in the Super Group final vs. Eintracht Frankfurt, and looked dangerous up until the game was called due to inclement weather in the 65th minute.
Orozco, who was born in California but has Mexican parents, joined Tigres in 2010 – the same year he first impressed US national team scouts by scoring against the U-20 side on a long-range free kick during the Copa Chivas tournament. Orozco’s star has been on the rise ever since, and he was part of the US U-20 team that fell just short of qualifying for their age group World Cup in the CONCACAF U-20 championship this spring.
Eintracht Frankfurt – Julian Dudda (Defender)
The eventual co-champions posted three shutouts in their five Dallas Cup games and conceded only three goals through the tournament campaign. Partial credit for that feat has to go to center back Julian Dudda.
The 18-year-old German has done well enough with Eintracht Frankfurt’s U-19 side to earn a couple of caps with Germany’s U-18s, contributing two goals in 15 matches. If his rise continues at its current rate, it’s feasible Dudda could be representing Deutschland in Brazil in 2014.
FC Dallas – Eduardo Cortes (Goalkeeper)
There’s no dancing around the fact that FC Dallas got beat in their semifinal match against Tigres of Mexico. It’s hard to find a way to polish up a 5-0 loss, especially from a goalkeeping perspective, but the argument can be made that ‘keeper Eduardo Cortes was the most consistent, and perhaps most valuable player for FC Dallas in this year’s Dallas Cup.
In three games between the posts against FC Barcelona, CS Cartagines and Japan’s U-18 National Team only two shots got past Cortes, both of which were scored from the penalty spot – and it wasn’t for a lack of shots on goal. Match after match FC Dallas’ goalkeeper came up with game-changing save after save to lead his side to victory.
It’s also worth noting that until that semifinal loss FCD never had to play from behind at Dallas Cup – perhaps suggesting that Cortes’ saves in the early stages of the games were critical in allowing the rest of the team to settle into an offensive rhythm without the pressure of playing catch-up.
Arsenal – Conor Henderson (Midfielder)
At 19-years-old, Henderson was the oldest player on the Arsenal side that crossed the pond to take part in Dallas Cup XXXII. He also came into the tournament having already made his first team debut in early March, in a 5-0 FA Cup win over Leyton Orient.
Henderson’s tournament performance lived up to expectations, as he commanded the midfield and tallied twice for the Gunners as they swept their bracket to advance to the Super Group semifinals. His performance may have fallen short in the team’s 2-0 loss to Eintracht Frankfurt in the semis, but with some progress and polish, Henderson’s name is bound to grow in the soccer world.
FC Barcelona – Alain Richard Ebwelle (Forward)
Ebwelle, originally from Cameroon, was discovered by Barcelona scouts in 2006 at an international tournament on the Canary Islands. The youngest member of Barcelona’s traveling roster, Ebwelle might also be the most well-known, as the 15-year-old forward turned in a YouTube-worthy performance vs. the Real Madrid Academy that has had hardcore Barca fans buzzing ever since.
Barcelona’s Dallas Cup run came to a disappointing end, as they did not advance out of the group stage despite a 2-1 record that included wins over the Japanese U-18 National Team and CS Cartagines. But in an incredibly deep development system, keep your eyes peeled for youngster Alain Richard Ebwelle to continue to impress on the international stage.