A whirlwind year for FC Dallas Academy defender Eric Davies took another exciting twist on Thursday when the Dallas-native was named to Canada’s 24-man 2013 FIFA Under-17 World Cup roster. Davies will join up with his Canadian teammates in Toronto on Saturday before flying to the United Arab Emirates where the tournament kicks off on October 17.
“I first found out two days ago, the coach told me to call him and I was [shocked],” said Davies. “At the last camp, the coach told me they were looking at me, but to not get my hopes up so I knew it was out of my hands. I thought I represented myself well, so I was just not worrying about it. I just thought that this is ridiculous and so cool.”
So how did Davies, a born-and-bred Dallas resident who has been in the FCD system for years, end up pulling on the maple leaf jersey of Canada? Look no further than his family lineage.
“My father has Canadian citizenship and when I went up to visit my grandparents last year in Kingston, Ontario, my uncle had connections so I went to a practice to see,” said Davies. “At the beginning of this year, they asked my dad for some video and it got to [Academy coach] Francisco Molina who took care of it and this summer I went to my first camp in Florida.”
On the field, Davies represents Canada and FC Dallas at outside back priding himself on his attacking prowess flying up and down the wings. Davies played all 90 minutes in the under-16’s season-opening 2-0 win over Solar Chelsea last Saturday.
“He’s a very fast player who is very smart and technically very good,” said FCD U-16 head coach Josema Bazan. “He sends in good crosses and when he gets inside the box and has opportunities to score he doesn’t panic, he can score.”
Davies is one of just five players on the squad that plays his club soccer outside Canada and the only player based in the United States, but he says he’s felt accepted in the squad from day one.
“It’s crazy. I know everyone is so proud of me and excited for me. It just adds a whole other level of support,” said Davies. “When I’m there, I love it. I’ve been a handful of times and hanging out with the team, it makes me feel very accepted.”
Canada has drawn a tough group in the tournament with matches against Austria, Iran and Argentina played between October 19th and October 25th at the Al-Rashid Stadium in Dubai.