The FC Dallas U-18 and U-16 Academy teams opened up their play at the Aspire Academy Tri-Series in Qatar on Tuesday evening, each playing to 1-1 draws and then winning on PKs against the Leicester City U-18 and U-16 teams.
Forward Jesus Ferreira scored the lone goal for the 18s, while midfielder Tanner Tessmann scored for the 16s. Both teams are back in action Wednesday evening (Wednesday morning stateside) against the hosts, Aspire Academy U-18s and U-16s. Each team could take 1st place for their age group in the three-team tournament with a win.
FC Dallas is the first U.S. side to take place in the Aspire Tri-Series, a mini, three-team tournament held at Aspire Academy three times per year. The school selects invited opponents according to precise criteria such as the standard of the youth development program in the visiting nations, their profile and background. Past tournament attendees include Liverpool FC (England), Paris St-Germain (France), Ajax Amsterdam (Netherlands), Zenit St. Petersburg (Russia), Nagoya Grampus Eight (Japan), Esperance de Tunis (Tunisia) and Palmeiras (Brazil) as well as youth national teams from Canada and Denmark.
While in Qatar, all of the visiting clubs are invited to collaborate and present their work, philosophies and various topics related to working with junior players.
Both Dallas teams will begin their trip back to Texas on Thursday.