Advancing all the way to the final of the 2013 Region III Championships, FC Dallas Premier '98 Boys have qualified for the US Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park, KS from July 23-28.
FC Dallas Premier 98 Boys coached by Jesse Suarez returned to the Region III US Soccer Championships held in Edmond, OK as the North Texas State Cup and Premier League West Champions. The 98 Premier team opened the tournament on Friday, June 21, 2013 against the Premier League Central and Tennessee State Cup Champion FC Alliance Black. . FC Dallas started strong with their attack style scoring in the 5th minute by Gerber Chavez to take a 1-0 goal lead. FC Alliance came back to score to tie the game at 1-1 in the 51st minute. After a very hard challenge by FC Alliance on FC Dallas midfielder Stephen Gonzales that resulted in a red card on FC Alliance, FC Dallas took advantage of the man down and scored immediately on the kickoff again by a strong individual effort by Gerber Chavez to give Gerber a brace. FC Dallas stayed strong and earned the important victory in the first game of the tournament.
On Saturday, June 22, FC Dallas Premier 98 boys entered day two with a game against SMSC FC United (Mississippi State Cup Champions). The heat was difficult for both teams with the Heat Index approaching 105F at kick off. FC Dallas dominated possession in the first half and Andy Flores split the defense sliding a shot past the keeper to take a 1-0 lead heading into halftime. During the second half, FC Dallas continued to dominate possession, but was unable to put another ball into the net. SMSC received a foul call in the box that resulted in a shot from the mark in the 70th minute that allowed them to tie 1-1. FC Dallas continued to press the attack, but was unable to score another goal and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
On Sunday, June 23, FC Dallas Premier 98 boys came into game three needing a positive result to guarantee their advance to the quarterfinals in the tournament. FC Dallas drew the #1 team in the nation, Sunrise Elite (Florida State Cup, Southern Premier League Champion, and National League Champion), but were ready for the game. FC Dallas took the game to Sunrise and it was a back and forth game during the first half with both teams having good scoring opportunities. FC Dallas continued their quick passing attack and split the Sunrise Elite defense as Andy Flores beat the Sunrise keeper near post for FC Dallas to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.
At the start of the second half, Sunrise came at the FC Dallas defense with a strong attack, but FC Dallas continued to deny Sunrise with FC Dallas GK Zach Sodolak making many strong saves to keep FC Dallas in the lead. As the game was winding down, the Sunrise Elite forward beat the defense and slid a shot past the FCD GK to tie the game 1-1 in the 75th minute. FC Dallas continued to press the attack and the game continued back and forth as both teams were pushing for the goal that would take the lead. The referee blew the whistle to end the game at a tie 1-1 and FC Dallas advances to the Quarterfinals.
On Monday, June 24, FC Dallas Premier 98 Boys faced the South Carolina State Champions (SCU/MP) in quarterfinal action. The game started with South Carolina applying intense pressure to FC Dallas, but FC Dallas would not be broken and turned the tide on South Carolina. In the 25th minute , South Carolina was called for a GK handball and Chuy Armendariz buried the free kick for a 1-0 lead into halftime. FC Dallas continued on the attack in the 2nd half and in the 70th minute Gerber Chavez finished the shot on a nice pass from Andy Flores to give FC Dallas a 2-0 lead and final score as FC Dallas Premier 98 advances to the Semi-finals.
On Wednesday, June 26, 2013 after a day of rest, FC Dallas Premier 98 Boys took the pitch against the Premier League East Champions Plantation FC. Needing to play their best game of the tournament to make the Finals, FC Dallas was on their game from the opening whistle. Gerber Chavez recorded his fourth goal of the season in the 12minute and then later played a nice pass to Andy Flores in the 30th minute who beat the keeper to take a 2-0 lead into halftime. As the 2nd Half started, FC Dallas continued to apply pressure and play with intensity as Austin Van Wagoner played a quick pass to Andy Flores who one touched it to Sebastian Venegas who adeptly slid home the third goal near post for FC Dallas to take a 3-0 lead in the 70th minute.
On Thursday, June 27, 2013 in the 100F+ Heat Index, FC Dallas Premier 98 boys had a rematch of bracket play and 2012 Region III Finals opponent Sunrise Elite (Florida). FC Dallas played Sunrise hard, but it was not their day and they came up short losing 3-0 in the Region III Finals. FC Dallas was able to clinch a spot in the US Soccer National Championships as the Region III Representative as Sunrise Elite will be representing the US Soccer National League as their representative at the Championships.
Congratulations to FC Dallas Premier 98 Boys and Coach Jesse Suarez for their strong regional showing and good luck at Nationals!