FRISCO - In front of several hundred fans at Toyota Soccer Center Field Four on Thursday night, the FC Dallas U-16 team put on a dominating display in the Quarterfinal round of the United States Soccer Development Academy Playoffs.
Dallas defeated the Colorado Rapids 5-0, with Homegrown Jesus Ferreira scoring a hat trick, to advance to the USSDA National Semifinals, keeping the team's hopes for a third-consecutive title alive and well.
The starting lineup for Dallas featured a trio of dangerous front men in Ferreira, Homegrown Bryan Reynolds and forward Brayan Padilla, who has scored 30 times this season. It was Padilla who nearly put Dallas into an early lead, twice forcing Colorado goalkeeper Trevor Mowry into a diving save before heading the ball against the crossbar.
Ferreira soon had FC Dallas in front, though, dispossessing a Colorado defender before dribbling in on goal, cutting past another defender and firing into the net in the 13th minute.
Dallas kept up relentless pressure for the remaining 27 minutes of the first half, but was unable to stretch its lead before the break. However, the second half was a different story.
Six minutes after the restart, Ferreira grabbed his second goal of the game. A cross sent across the face of the goal was bundled in by the forward to double the Dallas advantage.
U-16 Head Coach and Academy Director Luchi Gonzalez made a double-substitution soon after the goal in the 57th minute, bringing forward Jalen James and midfielder Edwin Cerrillo on for Padilla and Thomas Roberts.
James rewarded Gonzalez by scoring the third goal for Dallas in the 73rd minute. After picking the ball up just past midfield, James drove-in on goal before unleashing a powerful strike off the underside of the crossbar and just over the goal line.
This began a late-game avalanche for Dallas, which saw the home team score three times in the game's final seven minutes.
The next tally saw Ferreira secure his hat-trick with an unmarked header at the back post, a goal he celebrated with FC Dallas first-team teammate Reggie Cannon among others.
Defender Alex Bautista put an end to the scoring with a composed finish from inside the six-yard box with just one minute of regulation time remaining.
Dallas goalkeeper Michael Collodi wasn't too busy in net during the 80 minutes, but was reliable when called upon and distributed the ball very well with his feet.
The win gives Dallas its third-straight trip to the USSDA National Semifinals, which will be played at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California, on July 14th.
FC Dallas is joined in the U-15/16 Academy Championships by Atlanta United, Real Salt Lake (AZ) and Vancouver Whitecaps.
Dallas will play Real Salt Lake in its semifinal match on July 14th, with the final scheduled for July 16th.