FRISCO, Texas -- Earlier this month FC Dallas Stadium hosted numerous youth soccer teams for the 2013 addidas FC Dallas College Showcase presented by AdvoCare.
The event provided high school athletes a venue to show off their in-game abilities in front of college coaches from around the nation.
“It’s a great opportunity for colleges to get last looks at seniors who have not committed at this point," said FC Dallas Youth College Director Scott Dymond. “But those [schools] that aren’t [looking at seniors] - they are looking at freshman and sophomores. It’s also an opportunity for some of the teams to get out of the snow and get some games. The main goal is to have the schools and coaches look and evaluate the players.”
The Showcase aims to draw as many college coaches as possible in order to provide maximum exposure for the players. The goal is to set the stage and let the athletes' talents speak for themselves.
“It’s great to be able to come to one facility and identify talent,” said Creighton University head coach Johnny Torres. “I feel like a showcase [like this] makes it easy because it’s all in one location and you got a bunch of fields where you can walk around and search for that talent.”
The Showcase utilized all the soccer fields available at FC Dallas Stadium and the layout of the facility aided the coverage of the college coaches. With an event of this magnitude and with the amount of talent present, coaches did not want to miss anything.
“We send out enough people to make sure we see every kid we want to see, all the teams, cover everybody and leave no stone unturned,” said SMU assistant coach Kevin Hudson. “You get to see kids that aren’t normally seen through the normal channels so we see kids that don’t play in the Academy here and sometimes get overlooked.”
With over 70 percent of the teams in attendance last Saturday being Premier League or Academy level teams, the Showcase forces the top players to square off against the best possible opponents.
“We are looking to showcase the best players,” said Dymond. “We are also looking for the opportunity for Dallas teams to compare themselves to other states - that gives the college coaches the chance to see our players against players from other regions.”
The idea of being carefully watched by college coaches adds a lot of pressure to young athletes, and Torres said that players actually perform best when they forget it’s a Showcase and treat it as a normal tournament..
“When these kids come out and are having fun and do what they do instead of thinking so much about coaches evaluating them - I think that’s when the best comes out of them. In the end it works out for us too because we get to see talented players that we aspire to take to our schools.”