FRISCO- The FC Dallas U-19, U-17 and U-13 Academy teams have traveled to Mexico for a midseason camp.
Competing with several Liga MX Academy teams during their stint south of the border, Vice President of FC Dallas Youth Chris Hayden knows this international experience continues to add value to the team and the development of individual players.
“All the international games are really important for us. I know we are kind of in a global market and sometimes we are in a bubble because we are playing against local teams over and over,” he said. “You know, players need a challenge, so whenever we get a chance to play against international competition, particular professional teams, it gives us a chance to do two things. One of the is to really kind of measure ourselves collectively; the team against the team that is playing maybe in a completely different culture, but also for us to assess the individual players, to see how they are going to respond to adversity.”
FC Dallas U-19 group is right back to work as they face Cruz Azul, Pachuca, Toluca, America and Mexico [U-18] National Team. Hayden knows this international experience will help ease the development process and changes as the newly integrated USL team, North Texas SC gets ready to kick off their preseason on February 4th.
Being on the road will create difficult situations against very high level opponents but it will help facilitate where the academy players stand by measuring their level of play and where the FC Dallas Academy stands.
“There are going be some players maybe out of their comfort zone because they are having to change positions,” mentions Hayden. “We have some really good players in the Academy, we are very young teams. You know we are playing more young kids up because some of the young kids are playing and signing contracts with the USL team and that is going to add some additional challenges for us. So, we as a staff have to be able to help bring those players up a lot faster so that there is not a big gap when they are asked to jump to play at the next level.”
Overall this camp is focused on several things far beyond the wins. Hayden is looking to adapt an overall combination of attacking and defensive style of play that defines the academy all the way up to the first team. It will show where players stand and the progress they have made as a team and as individuals. Lastly, it will prepare the teams for what is up ahead.
“We have Dallas Cup Super Group coming and GA Cup for the 19s and 17s, respectively. So this event in February is really at a good time for us, you know four or five weeks before some really important games,” says Hayden. “I think for us, we want to be proactive and try to control the game with and without the ball. We always have really skillful players in our teams, but when you are under a lot of pressure it’s hard to demonstrate that. Especially if you are tired or fatigued. You are playing a lot of games in succession and then on the defensive side when we don’t have the ball it’s something that is being stressed at the first team level. Can we impose ourselves on the opponent so that we can dictate the tempo of the game, make the other team uncomfortable, be better in transition? So there is a lot of things. We can use these international games to measure ourselves against a higher level opponent to see really were we are.
|DATE||FCD U-19 vs OPPONENT||INFO|
|Jan. 28||Cruz Azul||D, 2-2|
|Jan. 29||Pachuca||D, 2-2|
|Jan. 31||Mexican U18 National Team||D, 2-2|
|Feb. 2||Milpa||L, 3-2|
|Feb. 5||Toluca||L, 2-0|
|Feb 6||Pumas||D, 2-2|
|FCD U-17 vs OPPONENT|
|Jan. 28||Cruz Azul||L, 1-2|
|Jan. 29||Pachuca||W, 4-2|
|Jan. 30||La Marina||D, 1-1|
|Feb. 1||Mexico U15 National Team||W, 3-1|
|Feb. 2||Titans||W, 8-1|
|Feb. 5||Toluca||L, 3-2|
|Feb. 6||Club América||L, 8-3|
|FCD U-13 vs OPPONENT|
|Jan. 28||Cruz Azul||W, 2-1|
|Jan. 29||Pumas||W, 3-1|
|Jan. 30||Pachuca U-14s||L, 5-0|
|Jan. 31||Marina||D, 2-1|
|Feb. 2||CF Interclubes||W, 4-1|
|Feb. 5||Toluca||L, 2-0|
|Feb. 6||Club América||W, 2-1|