FRISCO, Texas (Friday, June 20, 2014) – FC Dallas’ U16 and U18 Academy Teams have qualified for U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy Playoffs, which begin on Monday, June 23, at Grand Park in Westfield, Ind.
The Development Academy conducted its 2013-14 Playoff draw earlier this week at the U.S. Soccer House in Chicago, Ill. In the draw, FC Dallas U16s were grouped with academy teams representing Orlando City SC, San Jose Earthquakes and Shattuck-Saint Mary’s Soccer Academy (Minnesota). FC Dallas U18s were paired with academy teams representing the Chicago Fire, Charlotte Soccer Academy and the Portland Timbers FC.
FC Dallas’ U16s claimed its second consecutive Frontier Division title by finishing the regular season with a record of 18-2-7. The team heads into the Development Academy Playoffs ranked fourth out of 78 teams in the U.S. and Canada after collecting 2.26 points per game. The team’s leading goal-scorers are Christian Rameriz (12), Ryan Barlow (9) and Mario Rameriz-Sansabas (7).
“Christian has been in the club since he was seven years old,” said FC Dallas U16 head coach Francisco Molina. “He has always played center forward for this group and has been the squad’s leading scorer. This year was no exception as he scored 12 goals despite being injured for two months of the season. He was born here in Dallas and has been in the U.S. National Team pool for the last three years. He is a true FC Dallas product.”
Defensively, the team is anchored by Phillip Ponder.
“Philip joined the FC Dallas Academy when he was 13 years old,” said Molina. “We brought him up from one of the youth teams in our system. He has been a leader and a starter for this group ever since.”
FC Dallas’ U18 team won its fifth-straight U.S. Soccer Development Academy Texas/Frontier Division title this season, finishing with a record of 17-4-6. The team is comprised of 11 players who have already seen time with the FC Dallas Reserves. Of those 11, Diego De la Tejera scored a goal in FC Dallas Reserves’ 3-2 loss to Orlando City SC on April 22. De la Tejera’s FC Dallas U-18 Academy teammate, Aaron Meyer picked up an assist in that game on a goal scored by Walker Zimmerman. De la Tejera has four goals in Development Academy play this season while Meyer scored six.
Coached by Luchi Gonzalez, the team heads into Development Academy Playoffs ranked 10th of the 78 teams in the U.S. and Canada after gathering 2.11 points per game during the regular season. Offensively, the team leaders are Coy Craft (12 goals) and Alex Radilla (eight goals). Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and committed to SMU next season, Jordan Cano solidifies the back line. He is also one of two captains on the squad, along with De la Tejera.
“Jordan is a leader in the backline,” said Gonzalez. “His communication and reading of the game helps us stay organized and ready to face any defensive situation. His teammates respond very well to his positive reinforcement and energy.”
Also a defender or a holding midfielder, Shaquell Moore helped the team to a 2-1-2 record in the matches he has appeared in for FC Dallas U18s this season. Born in Florida and raised in Atlanta, Ga., Moore was the captain of the U.S. U17 National Team in 2012-2013. He is a current member of the U.S. U18 and U20 National Teams.
“Shaquell joined the program in February,” said Gonzalez. “He quickly showed his pride for the jersey, with his non-stop effort, focus and commitment in training and games.”