FRISCO, Texas - International competition has become an important staple of The FCD Way and continuing that tradition, the Under-15 Pre Academy will become the third team to travel internationally this year with a 10-day tour of Poland planned for the end of April.
“The trip to Poland actually started with talks about it during our 97’s 2012 trip to Bolivia,” said FC Dallas Pre Academy coach Francisco Molina. “One of three parents that made the trip proposed to me to think about Europe, and in particular Poland.”
According to Molina, Darek Karisinski, the father of Pre Academy goalkeeper Matt Karisinski, planted the seeds in Molina’s mind and the trip progressed from there. Darek, who played for a professional club's youth team in Poland, contacted some friends back home and professional clubs began calling to set up friendlies with FCD.
With a 29-man squad composed primarily of 97s with five 96s and two 98s, Molina’s teams will play games against six Polish teams including six-time Polish champions Lech Poznań as well as taking in local culture with tours of the cities of Poznań, Wronki and the Basilica of Licheń.
“The opportunity and the cultural experience that these boys will have will be really amazing,” said Molina. “We will see another style of soccer and experience different circumstances that these players could see in future games like a long flight, different food, etc.”
“One of the primary objectives that our club has is to produce professional players to our first team from the youth ranks,” said Chris Hayden, Vice President of FC Dallas Youth. “International competition is a central part of that plan as it forces our players to play in uncomfortable environments at a challenging pace.”
The Poland trip is the third outside the United States for the FC Dallas Academy this year after the Under-14s' participation in the 2013 Tahuichi Mundialito in Bolivia and the Under-18s' recent trip to Mexico.
FC Dallas Poland Tour Travel Roster:
Matthew Karisinski, Eric Davies, Phillip Ponder, Pablo Ocampo, Alex Lim, Jason Saco-Vertiz, Joel Avilez, Alejandro Martinez, Teague Loughmen, Richard Tapia, Bernie Zuazua, Christian Ramirez, Daniel Kiser, Charlie Furrer, Martin Salas, Irvin Dominguez, Duncan James, Weston McKennie, Brenton Mandelkorn, Jeffrey Withers, Ryan Jakszta, Kody Korleski, Sebastian Gordillo, Sergio Lara, Jose Salas, Clayton Rittershaus, Antonio Trespalacios, Reese Schattle
FC Dallas Poland Tour Coaches:
Head Coach - Francisco Molina
Assistant Coach - Jesse Suarez
Goalkeeper Coach - Raul Herrera
Trip Coordinator - Darek Karisinski
FC Dallas Poland Tour Tentative Schedule:
Thursday, April 25 -Depart DFW
Friday, April 26 -Arrive Poznań, Poland
Saturday, April 27-Depart to Popowa | Games vs MKS Blekitni Wronki
Sunday, April 28 -Depart to Szamotuly | Games vs MSP Szamotuly & MKS Nielba | Lunch with Wagrowiec mayor Stanislaw Wilczynski
Monday, April 29 -Depart to Poznań
Tuesday, April 30 -Watch KKS Lech Poznań professional team practice
Wednesday, May 1 -Games vs Warta Poznań | Depart to Konin
Thursday, May 2 -Tour of Basilica in Licheń
Friday, May 3 -Games vs Górnik Konin & KS Slesin
Saturday, May 4 -Games vs Lech Poznań | Attend Polish 1st division game between Lech Poznań & Wisla Kraków
Sunday, May 5 -Depart to Dallas