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FCD U14 team to beat at Copa ESPN

4/16/2012

Here are some notes from Saturday's Copa Dallas activity at McInnish Soccer Complex:

FC Dallas 98 Premier claims semifinal berth

FC Dallas 98 Premier proved again in its two games Saturday that it is the team to beat in the UI4 division of 2012 Copa ESPN.

FCD showed no mercy in its first match of the day against Andromeda FC 99B, scoring six goals in the shutout effort.

The second Andromeda squad in that pool, 98B Gold, put up more of a fight against the No. 3 club team in North Texas.

98B Gold held FCD to its first scoreless half of the tournament and lowest offensive output in three pool play games before losing 1-0.

FCD remains perfect and has outscored oponents 11-0. The three wins give FCD nine points, good enough to mathematically advance to the semifinals of the U14 division.

Future Hebron keeper shining for club team

Powers Melchomire entered Copa ESPN as a recreational league team placed in a U16 bracket with Dallas Tigres Academy 97B, which is fresh off an appearance in last week's Dallas Cup.

Going into the final day of the tournament, Powers is Tigres' equal. The clubs are tied in the bracket at four points with one game left to play. As it stands, Powers owns the tiebreaker in differential by one goal.

Abraham Piña single-handedly kept Powers in its first match against Tigres, sacrificing his body with four impressive saves.

“I just have to keep trying because it's getting tough,” Piña said. "The teams are getting harder, especially as we advance. It's going to be hard.”

The keeper, a star on Hebron High School's JV team, said his favorite save of the four was a fingertip deflection he made charging at a breaking Tigres forward which sent the ball just wide of the frame.

“I don't even know how I did it -- just pure instinct,” he said. “Just got it with my fingertips.”

SATURDAY'S STANDOUTS

Fantastic finisher – FC Dallas 98 Premier's Luis Zuazua netted five of his team's six goals against Andromeda FC 99B, adding to an assist he picked up in his team's first game Friday.

Zuazua's two finest came off a header from a corner kick in the first half and a fancy finish by juking past the keeper and placing the ball into an empty net.

Honorable mention finisher -Mathew Soza of Dallas Texans 99B South found the back of the net twice in his team's 4-0 win over Real GP 98B.

The brick wall – Andromeda FC 98B Gold goalkeeper Jackson Jones slid to his knees to take a point blank shot off his legs, sending it sailing back out of the box. The save allowed his team to blank FCD in a half for the first time in the tournament and drew praise from the opposing fans.

Skill shot – Texans 01B South's Johnathan Alexander ripped a fireball into the back corner of the net from well outside the box in his team's 1-0 win over FC Dallas 00B in U12 action. The shot remained on a line from foot strike to impact with the net even as the ball traveled into a stiff wind.

Click here for up-to-date results from the first two days of Copa ESPN.