The best week of the year has almost arrived.
Soccer fanatic heaven is headed to north Texas beginning Friday as Generation adidas Cup and Dr Pepper Dallas Cup hit the metroplex.
Thousands of players from dozens of countries will play hundreds of games between the Toyota Soccer Center, Moneygram Soccer Park, Richland College and the Cotton Bowl in a battle for north Texas soccer supremacy. The Dallas Cup player alumni list is a who's who of world superstars and the next generation will descend on Dallas over the next few days.
"It’s definitely one of the most important tournaments in the world," FC Dallas head coach Oscar Pareja said about the upcoming tournament week. "We should be proud to be hosting them, proud to have that many players and teams from everywhere and proud as well to see what they have to say about our facilities, our club, our community and the city."
For FC Dallas, the upcoming week is a cornerstone of the year and a priceless opportunity to see which players from their Academy teams step up and perform in some of the biggest games of their young lives.
"I think it’s a great measuring stick for our club now in international competition which is one of the most deficient things we have in America and that starts at home," Pareja said. "We need to find ways to be better internationally and we have a lot of holes to fill so this competition brings us a challenge that makes us aware of what we’re missing and where we are and how good we are too."
With every FC Dallas Academy team competing during the week against teams like Valencia, Fluminense, Mexico's U-17 National Team and more, the week really brings together the whole club supporting one another. It also gives Pareja and the FCD coaching staff the opportunity to watch and support players who will one day be stepping on the Toyota Stadium pitch. It's very common to see first team coaches and players out supporting the teams throughout the week.
"It means everything and that people care," FCD Academy Director Luchi Gonzalez said of the first team support. "We don’t feel added pressure, but it’s people that care and give unconditional support and are there to help our spirit and help the boys identify even more with the jersey and the community. So it’s an exciting time for our Academy."
Not only for the FC Dallas Academy teams, but many other teams just below that level as the FCD Premier teams look to win various age groups. Last year, FCDY Premier took home the U-17 championship.
The FC Dallas U-16 Academy open Tournament Week with a Generation adidas Cup group stage match against Spanish giants Valencia FC on Toyota Soccer Center Field 4 at 6:00PM on Friday and admission is free. The U-18s open Dallas Cup in the Gordon Jago Super Group at the Cotton Bowl against Fluminense FC on Sunday at 12:30PM. Tickets for that match are available here.
Stay tuned to FCDallas.com for full coverage of all the FCD Academy teams as Tournament Week begins!
|U-18 Dallas Cup Super Group Opponent||Date/Time||Location|
|vs Fluminense(Brazil)||Sunday, March 20 - 12:30PM||Cotton Bowl|
|vs Queretaro(Mexico)||Monday, March 21 - 6:00PM||Richland Field #10|
|vs Middlesbrough(England)||Wednesday, March 23 - TBD||TBD|
|Super Group Semifinals||Friday, March 25 - 6:00PM||Toyota Stadium|
|Super Group Final||Sunday, March 27 - 6:00PM||Toyota Stadium|
|U-16 GA Cup Opponent||Date/Time||Location|
|vs Valencia CF(Spain)||Friday, March 18 - 6:00PM||Toyota Soccer Center Field #4|
|vs Toronto FC||Sunday, March 20 - 3:00PM||Toyota Soccer Center Field #6|
|vs Mexico U-17 National Team||Tuesday, March 22 - 3:00PM||Toyota Soccer Center Field #7|
|GA Cup Semifinals||Thursday, March 24 - TBD||Toyota Stadium|
|GA Cup Final||Saturday, March 26 - TBD||Toyota Stadium|