FRISCO, Texas- Last week the Girls Academy teams competed in the DA Winter Cup in Florida for the first leg of the multi-leg tournament. With an overall success of winning 10 matches and losing only two, the Girls Academy walked away feeling confident in their abilities and potential for the season. They also were able to support their teammates and the U-20 USWNT after a day of competition.
The U-15s won all three of their games by more than 2 goals in the first year of the DA Cup Competition. Head Coach Matt Grubb said, "Extremely proud of the group for beating three very good teams and advancing to the final 8 of the cup. The entire team performed at a high level and it was good to see us get back to top form." The team competed against San Jose, Albion SC, and Charlotte Soccer Academy and had no easy schedule of competition. The game against Albion was by far the most physical game the U-15s played, but also had to battle high temps and multiple water breaks throughout the competition.
The U-16s dominated their group of competition as well throughout the Winter Cup walking away with a 6-0 win, a 4-0 win and winning in the knockout round against FC Virginia 1-0. With outstanding performances delivered from every member of the team, Coach Aaron Gordon described the winter Cup event as a” Total Team Performance! Of the 32 teams who competed in the Cup event across all age groups. One team didn’t allow a single goal against."
The U-17s finished their weekend in second in bracket play after beating teams like Tophat, and the Michigan Jaguars. The midfield performance was key in helping FC Dallas find success and record wins. They fell to SC Del Sol at the beginning of the tournament with a final score of 1-2.
Head coach Ashley Gordon's takeaway from the tournament was," I am very proud of our team’s performances in Florida. Our nerves got the best of us in the first game but once we settled in, our team was very difficult to play against. During the week, we had great defending in every position and were dangerous in transition. Goals are hard to come by, but our midfielders and forwards created consistent scoring opportunities in every game. Our team responded with big moments late in games. It is difficult to play back to back games in a short amount of time and our team was persistent which placed us in the top 16 teams in the country. Although we have work to do, we are in a favorable position for seeding in the playoffs."
The U-19 Girls team finished second in their group behind Midwest United FC. In the first game of the match, the U-19s created many chances but couldn't seem to find the net in the first half. They ended up finally getting to the net in the second half leading to their victory. In the second match started off hot for the girls where they stole an early lead. In the final match for the U-19s they had a battle for the 90 minutes. They had the lead through the 89th minute when Midwest United scored. On the follow up throw in, Midwest United found placement to score in the final minute of the match to win.
Overall the DA Winter Cup was a huge opportunity and experience for the Girls Academy teams. Director Matt Grubb said, "I’m extremely pleased with the performance of our teams. All of the teams put themselves into a position to advance as the group winner. Having two teams winning their brackets to advance to the quarterfinals of the DA Cup and two others finishing second and competing to be in the top 10 for the Cup final standings, was a great statement as to the quality of our club, teams, and our individual players.”
The Girls Academy will continue to train and develop as they prepare for the upcoming regular season matches, and look to advance to win the DA Cup.