Friday at Dallas Cup XXXV brought both joy and heartbreak for FC Dallas as the tournament enters its final weekend.
FC Dallas 98B Premier Advances to U-16 Final
The FC Dallas 98's were stretched to their limits on Friday at Richland College as a steamy match extended into overtime against Las Vegas Soccer Association, but "find a way" has been the motto and they did, winning 1-0 to advance to Saturday's U-16 Dallas Cup Championship game at the Cotton Bowl.
FC Dallas nearly took the lead at the end of a very even first half as both Gerber Chavez and Keegan McCombie had shots cleared off the line in quick succession, but the first half ended scoreless.
In the second half, FCD pushed for the winner holding the majority of the possession, but the go-ahead-goal eluded them. Chavez again let fly from long distance on multiple occasions in the second half, testing the LVSA 'keeper without success.
Just before the final whistle, Keegan McCombie had a breakaway opportunity stopped by the LVSA goalkeeper to send the match into two ten minute overtime periods.
In the overtime, FC Dallas finally found a breaktrhough eight minutes into overtime as Jesus Armendariz stepped up to a free kick just outside the box and rifled it into the goal sparking wild celebrations from the U-16 squad. The 98's held on for a 1-0 win that seems them through to the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXV U-16 Championship game on Saturday at 5:30PM at the Cotton Bowl against Juventus SC Heat of Canada.
FC Dallas 96B Premier Fall to Dallas Texas in U-19 Quarterfinal
With four players out due to the Texas state high school soccer championships, the 96 Premier side had a large task in front of them playing against the Dallas Texans U-18 US Soccer Development Academy squad for a spot in Saturday's semifinal. Despite the short bench, the 96's fought valiantly, but fell 2-1 to the Texans in a closely fought Dallas Cup quarterfinal at Richland College.
Texans took the lead in the 15th minute as Michael Forbes slid a shot under goalkeeper Michael Raine after a scramble in the box to take a 1-0 lead. After the goal, FC Dallas pushed hard for the equalizer and found it with the final kick of the first half. An FCD cross was deflected by the goalkeeper straight into the path of forward Stian Sandbekkhaug who made no mistake from close range to tie the game up right before halftime.
In the second half, FCD held strong, but were finally breached when Raine made another brilliant stop, but couldn't stop the rebound from sneaking across the line. FCD nearly found a last-gasp second goal as James French's close-range chip was just deflected wide to preserve the Texans win.
"I think the determination has been there in the group from the begining," said assistant coach Hank Wendorf. "We only conceded one goal in the tournament coming into this game so our defending was excellent, our goalkeeping was solid. Going back a game we beat a [US Soccer Development Academy] team in IMG [yesterday] and I really felt like today we had our chances to take this game, so the effort was unquestionable...I think we represented the club well in this tournament and playing the Texans Academy team today, we showed that we're competitive with the top level academy teams throughout the country. "
FC Dallas Places Two Teams in U-17 Semifinal
With four teams playing in the U-17 quarterfinal, FC Dallas had lots of chances for success including one all-FCD matchup. After a hard-fought round of games, FC Dallas 97B Premier and FC Dallas 97B Gold are through to Saturday's semifinals. Playing against fellow FCD side 97B Blue, FC Dallas 97B Premier came out victorious by a 2-1 score earning a semifinal spot against Chargers SC at 10:00AM on Saturday morning.
FC Dallas 97B Gold defeated FC Golden State from California 2-0 to earn the other semifinal spot where they'll play Sporting Blue Valley at 10:00AM on Saturday morning.
FC Dallas El Paso 97 Premier fell 2-1 to Chargers SC in their quarterfinal match.