FRISCO, Texas - The FC Dallas Academy U-17s came up just short in Group B of the GA Cup after a 7-8 penalty shootout defeat to Club Tijuana, meaning they won't progress to the knockout round after a 1-1 draw in regulation.
FCD Lineup: Aaron Salinas, Nolan Norris 32, Nayrobi Vargas 34, Dylan Lacy 39, Kristian Kelley 41, Mason Grimm 42, Tate Jones 44, Jared Aguilar 48, Anthony Ramirez 51, Gabriel Brandon 54, Kevin Kelley 70
Kevin Kelley had the first shot of the game six minutes in when he cut inside onto his right foot but his effort was high over the bar. Kevin’s younger brother, Kristian, forced the first save from Tijuana’s goalkeeper when he burst down the right wing and shot for the near post.
Dallas nearly conceded the opening goal after a quarter of an hour but the Tijuana forward struck the far post with his shot after beating FCD’s backline. Dallas had a great chance of their own when Anthony Ramirez crossed to Nayrobi Vargas but his glancing header was wide.
FC Dallas opened the scoring just before the half when defender Mason Grimm stepped up to a free kick outside the box and hammered into the far corner, leaving Tijuana’s ‘keeper rooted to the spot.
Vargas almost doubled the lead when ran through on goal and forced a foot save from Tijuana’s ‘keeper with 10 minutes remaining. Dallas had another chance when substitute Nighte Pickering carried the ball down the left wing but his cross evaded both FCD forwards waiting in the box.
Tijuana finally equalized with the final kick of the game when they converted a header from a last-minute corner. The Liga MX went on to prevail 8-7 in penalty kicks.
The draw in regulation earned FCD one point in the standings but it wasn't enough to progress as they finished third behind Columbus Crew SC and St. Louis City SC.