Several MLS Youth Development systems were on display over the weekend as the FC Dallas Pre Academy continues to prepare for its upcoming inaugural season. The FC Dallas ‘99 Premier Boys, the ‘98 Pre Academy and the ‘97 Pre Academy traveled to Chicago, Illinois over Labor Day weekend to play a series of friendly matches against their counterparts from the host Chicago Fire, as well as Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew.
Senior Director of FC Dallas Youth Chris Hayden said the chance to play against other MLS sides is one that needs to be taken advantage of whenever possible.
“We will continue to look for opportunities to play against our MLS rivals as often as possible,” said Hayden. “It is not only a measuring stick for our program but it also helps our players understand the path that we are trying to create for them to play someday for our first team.”
The games were played over three days on the training fields at Toyota Park, last Friday through Sunday. On Friday, after a long, uneventful bus ride, all three FC Dallas teams got off on the right foot with victories in all three games against the Chicago Fire. The FC Dallas ‘99 Premier team won 2-0, the ‘98 Pre Academy won 1-0, and the ‘97 Pre Academy pulled off a convincing 4-0 victory on day one.
On Saturday, FC Dallas continued its run of good play as games were played at a fast pace, with the ‘99 Premier team winning by a 2-1 margin over a very talented ‘00 Chicago Fire team, the ‘98 Pre Academy beating Sporting KC 5-1, and the ‘97 Pre Academy winning 3-1 against a strong SKC group.
In Sunday’s action, the FC Dallas ‘99 Premier team pummeled the Columbus Crew 7-1 in the opening match and the FC Dallas ‘98 Pre Academy followed that up with a 2-0 win over Columbus. In the final match of the weekend, the ‘97 Pre Academy team won a tight match versus the Crew ‘97s by a 1-0 margin. FC Dallas won all nine games played over the holiday weekend, outscoring all opponents by a 27-4 margin.
“The weekend was a success for our program on many levels” said Hayden. “Not only were we able to play against MLS opponents whose systems attract many of their market’s best players, but we had success on the field and our teams played attractive soccer.
“We will take a lot of positives from this trip as we are preparing for our upcoming Pre Academy season and we now have a better understanding of our strengths and weaknesses and can identify some short and long term areas for improvement.”