FRISCO, Texas – Following a disappointing 1-0 loss on an own goal to Santos Laguna on Saturday, the FC Dallas U-16 Academy team bounced back to earn a resounding 3-0 win over the visiting Tigres U-16 team at Pizza Hut Park on Sunday afternoon.
The game started off slowly, with high winds from the south adversely affecting the ball control for both teams. For the first 20 minutes of the game the play was largely restricted to the midfield. FC Dallas was able to work multiple crosses into the Tigres box, but the balls would either go out the other side or get cleared out of the area by the defense.
In the 25th minute FC Dallas forward Jairo Villalta stole the ball from a Tigres defender in the box to score the first goal of the game for the host team. Villalta said the team played much better after adjusting to the mistakes they made in the previous day’s game.
“We had to work for it but we came away with a few goals,” said Villalta. “We were touching the ball and keeping the ball more. We were more focused on the game, more today than yesterday.”
Tigres had a chance to tie the game four minutes later on a free kick, but the ball was easily handled by Dallas goalkeeper Caleb Underwood. Villalta nearly earned his second goal of the match in the 33rd minute, but couldn’t put enough strength on a bouncing ball to power it past the Tigres ‘keeper.
The young forward would, however, capitalize on a chance in the 60th minute to get his second goal off an assist from midfielder Ricardo Mejia to put Dallas up 2-0. Coach Francisco Molina said Villalta’s goals could be attributed to his tenacity.
“He’s always fighting, he never lets anything go,” said Molina. “He fights for every single ball and both goals were because of that.”
In the 70th minute midfielder Sergio Tamayo came on in substitution for Mejia, and 10 minutes after stepping on the field buried a through ball to give FC Dallas a 3-0 lead with 10 minutes to go in regulation.
Villalta had a chance to earn a hat trick in the 87th minute of the match, but from the right side of the goal he pushed a crossing ball just a little too far left of the far post.
After hosting this weekend’s friendlies, the FC Dallas Academy teams will play visitor in some more international matches next month. The teams will travel to Madrid, Spain from March 15-23 to play against academy teams from Getafe, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and a fourth opponent to be determined. Stay tuned to FCDallas.com and FCDallasYouth.com for updates on both FC Dallas Academy teams.
FC Dallas U-16 lineup: Underwood, Frankenfeld, Ashby, Gonzalez (Montemayor 46’), Toledo (Herrera 46’), Portillo (Rodriguez 65’), Villalta, Ortiz (Garza 57’), Coleman, Hyndman (Dunbar 65’), Mejia (Tamayo 70’)
Tigres lineup: Andy, Henry, Bravo, Ricardo, Giovani, Edson, Navry, Tovar, Chuy, Maury, Jorge
FC Dallas - Villalta (25’, 60’)
FC Dallas - Tamayo (80’)