MADRID, Spain – It's not easy to find youth opposition in Madrid on a Saturday. Most teams are already committed to league games and can't afford to alter their schedule. As a result, today the FC Dallas U-18s took on a team who won the championship of a tournament between 10 local adult leagues here in Madrid in a shortened game with 40-minute halves. The elder team gave the Dallas side its share of trouble, but the U-18s would ultimately win 3-0 off a pair of goals by Victor Pinal and a penalty kick tally by Jose Perez.
FCD's eventual goal-scorers would threaten the opposition early, with Perez sending a shot just over the crossbar in the second minute and Pinal rocketing a shot a little to the left in the fifth. The team from Madrid would quickly get a chance off a set piece in the sixth minute, but U-16 goalkeeper Caleb Underwood - who played up with the U-18s in today's match - punched away the shot to keep the game scoreless early.
READ: U-16 Madrid blog
The first goal of the game came in the 23rd minute when Dallas was awarded a free kick from about 22 yards outside of the left side of the box. Pinal took the kick for FCD and sent the ball over the wall and just under the crossbar to give his side the 1-0 lead.
The adult squad would get two chances to tie the match before the end of the first half. They were awarded a corner kick in the 29th minute that would be cleared out of the box by Dallas defender Nick Rochowski. Their next chance would come three minutes later when a strike that was sent in deflected off the right post.
READ: U-18 Madrid blog
A minute before the first half expired Dallas subbed on defender Michael Ambrose for Byron Ramirez. For the start of the second 40-minute half coach Francisco Molina would also replace defender Christian Garcia with captain Jack Coleman on the back line.
Five minutes into the second half Pinal doubled his personal goal count and the FC Dallas lead after putting the finishing touch on a pass from Ambrose.
WATCH: Pinal reviews his second goal of the game
A minute later Dallas’ two-time goal-scorer was shown a straight red card on a questionable call at the bench side of midfield. With Pinal out of the game, FCD would be forced to play a man down for the remaining 30 minutes of the match.
After the match, coach Francisco Molina admitted he actually thought his team showed a higher level of technical play after going down a man. “We dropped back behind the ball better and we took care of it,” said Molina. “I liked the way we played the last 30 minutes, even with a man down.”
READ: Behind-the-scenes Madrid blog
FC Dallas played solid defense following the ejection, and in the 70th playmaker Jose Perez was fouled in the opposing box to earn a penalty kick.
“I was dribbling the ball and I thought I could cut in and get in front of the defender, but he pushed me away from the ball and I fell, so I got the PK,” said Perez. “I shot to the right and the goalkeeper went the same way, but it got in just underneath him.”
After his side gained the three-goal lead ‘keeper Caleb Underwood would be forced to make three more saves in the final four minutes of the match to maintain the shutout and get the win for FC Dallas.
The U-18s will see action again on Monday evening when they face Atletico Madrid.
FC Dallas – 23’ Pinal
FC Dallas – 45’ Pinal (Ambrose)
FC Dallas – 70’ Perez (PK)
FC Dallas starting lineup: Underwood, Pineda (Okwuonu 56’), Garcia (Coleman 41’), Rochowski, Ramirez (Ambrose 39’), Estrada (Carrizales 56’), Gamino, Hagan, Perez (Cano 72’), Soto, Pinal (Ejection 46’)
U-16s: FC Dallas 6, Federaligas 0
Prior to the U-18 match, the U-16s faced a special team from Madrid made up of players of Latin American descent. The match was played in two 35-minute halves. FC Dallas dominated the game, with forward Erick Chapa contributing four of the team’s six goals. Fellow forward Bobby Edet assisted on Chapa’s first goal, before scoring one of his own, and midfielder Jacob Garza rounded out the scoring for Dallas.
WATCH: Chapa talks about his four-goal game
The U-16s also return to action on Monday night, when they will face the academy team from Rayo Vallecano.