FRISCO - The FC Dallas U-16s have a difficult road ahead if they're to return to the Generation adidas Cup Semifinal for the second straight year after falling in their 2017 opener, 1-0, to Ecuadorian-side Independiente d. Valle.
Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Michael Collodi; Alex Bautista, Chris Fuentes, Nathan Toledo, Jorge Almaguer; Alan Velasco, Adrian Munoz; Brayan Padilla (Daniel Zapata - 63'), Thomas Roberts (Jalen James - 63'), Edwin Cerillo (Adrian Morales - 63'); Johan Gomez (Kevin Kim - 54').
Both teams had their own chances in a back-and-forth first half, but the highlight of the opening 40 was a stellar stop from goalkeeper Michael Collodi in the 16th minute. A cross sent into the box from the end line by Independiente was volleyed onto goal by an Ecuadorian forward, but Collodi leaped and got just enough on the point-blank attempt to push it over the bar.
In the second half, the visitors took the lead in the 54th minute off a throw in from midfield. Independiente's No. 14 ran down the middle of the field, sent a pass out to No. 9 on the outside of the box and received the ball back inside the 18, tucking a shot under the bar on the right side past a diving Collodi.
FCD U-16s facing off against Carlos Gruezo's youth club from Ecuador. Gruezo is here and alternating between the two benches https://t.co/dEdaw8GbMr— Carter Baum (@CarterBaum) April 7, 2017
Dallas would push numbers forward late and had several close looks from set pieces over the final 10 minutes of the match, but fell 1-0 in their first match.
Next up for the 16s is a meeting with fellow MLS Academy Real Salt Lake on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. before their final group stage match against Real Madrid on Tuesday at 6:15 p.m. (streamed live on FCDallas.com). Only the top finisher from each of the four groups in the Championship bracket will advance to the Semifinals.