MADRID, Spain – It was a bitterly cold evening in Madrid today, as the FC Dallas Academy teams faced off against their counterparts from Real Madrid on their final full day in Spain. The U-18s kicked off first at 5:00 p.m. at the Ciudad Real Madrid training facility.
The home team got three quality scoring chances early on in the match. In the sixth minute Real Madrid was awarded a corner kick from the right side that was caught by FCD goalkeeper Eduardo “Pollo” Cortes. Dallas turned the ball over off the following distribution, but the shot deflected off the crossbar after Real Madrid broke in on a rush. Madrid was awarded another corner kick in the ninth minute, this time from the left side. The distribution was punched away from the goal by Cortes and cleared out by a defender to maintain the 0-0 score line.
In the 13th minute Home Grown forward Jonathan Top put together a dribble up the right side of the field and distributed the ball into the box before he made a run through the penalty area. As Top ran through the box, fellow Home Grown player Bryan Leyva returned the ball to the forward who finished the pass to put Dallas up 1-0.
READ: U-18 Madrid blog
Dallas had the chance to strike again in the 36th minute when Leyva sent in a shot that the ‘keeper blocked, but couldn’t hang onto. Forward Victor Pinal managed to get a foot on the rebound, but couldn’t put enough on the second attempt to get it past the Real Madrid goalkeeper.
FC Dallas went into the locker room at halftime with a one-goal lead. It wouldn’t last long into the second half however, as Real Madrid would knot the game off a set piece in the 49th minute.
Madrid was awarded a free kick just outside the top right corner of the box. The ball was sent in and redirected with a clean header to tie the game at a goal apiece. The teams would go on to exchange a couple of scoring chances each, but neither would convert until the 72nd minute of the match.
Once again, Real Madrid was awarded a free kick near the top of the box, this time from the left side. The strike knuckle-balled in and dipped to bounce off of the slick turf. Cortes managed to catch a piece of it, but couldn’t react fast enough as it trickled in to give the home team the lead.
READ: Behind-the-scenes Madrid blog
“In the second half they got more chances,” said captain Jack Coleman. “We were up 1-0 and kind of sitting back when we shouldn’t have been. They got one chance and it was 1-1 and the second chance was really just unlucky on [goalkeeper Eduardo] Cortes’ end.”
In an attempt to put more offensive pressure on the ball, coach Francisco Molina moved Coleman up from defense to the right wing. The adjustment nearly paid off when Coleman managed to let off a shot in the 89th minute, but the strike went just wide to the right of the Real Madrid net.
“It was a very tough game, [Real Madrid is] a very disciplined bunch,” Molina said after the match. “We tried to play with them, we played our style which is very similar to theirs and we struggled, but the boys played as hard as they could and that’s all we can ask for from our guys.
“The opportunity to come play in Europe is next to none. I think our boys have taken advantage of every situation. The adidas team travel organization has been great to us, and playing these four tough games has been great for us.”
FC Dallas – 13’ Top (Leyva)
Real Madrid – 49’
Real Madrid – 72’
FC Dallas starting lineup: Cortes, Ambrose, Coleman, Okwuonu, Rochowski (Hagan 61’), Ulloa, Guzman (Gamino 61’), Pinal (Ramirez 78’), Garcia, Leyva, Top (Estrada 85’)
U-16s: FC Dallas 0, Real Madrid 2
The U-16s kicked off immediately following the U-18 match on the same field. FC Dallas started the scoring opportunities in the fourth minute when Bobby Edet sent a cross into the box that Jairo Villalta struck well but missed just outside the top left corner of the goal.
Real Madrid got the next two chances, but FCD goalkeeper Caleb Underwood stood tall and made two quality saves to keep the game scoreless. Before the end of the half Dallas would get two more scoring chances off of headers by Villalta and Gabriel Cano, both of which flew just over the crossbar.
READ: U-16 Madrid blog
The teams were tied 0-0 at the end of the first 40-minute half, but the home team would break the stalemate eight minutes into the second half with a goal off an offensive throw-in. Following the goal, Dallas would make six changes over the next 16 minutes with the hope that fresh legs would produce more offensive chances.
“Our biggest challenge was that when we won the ball we didn’t have enough energy to keep it,” said coach Chris Hayden. “That’s something that is potentially related to us having played the night before. “
FC Dallas was unable to produce any more quality scoring chances however, and in the 68th minute Real Madrid would strike again from the top of the six-yard box to double their lead and win the game 2-0. Hayden said even though the final result wasn’t what the team had hoped for, the boys can still find value in the outcome.
“We can take this game today as an experience to make us a much better team back home because we have seen a team that is better than just about everyone that we’re going to play,” Hayden said. “No matter what challenge we’re faced with in the future, we can always say, ‘Well, we played Real Madrid and it was 0-0 at halftime and we defended very well.’
“I don’t see a challenge on the horizon that we’re not going to be able to confront without confidence. We’ll be prepared for any game that comes our way.”
Real Madrid – 48’
Real Madrid – 68’
FC Dallas starting lineup: Underwood (Gonzalez 68’), Coleman, Frankenfeld (Garcia 55’), Ashby, Herrera (Dunbar 64’), Ortiz (Garza 62’), Carrizales, Portillo (Rodriguez 64’), Villalta (Hyndman 55’), Edet, Cano (Chapa 58’)