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Sunday, April 17, 2011
FC Dallas surprises FC Barcelona in Dallas Cup

By Randy Jennings

FRISCO, Texas -- The 32nd edition of the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup is off to a flying start, and not just because of 25 mph winds sweeping across Pizza Hut Soccer Complex on Sunday.

The real blow for area soccer on opening day of the eight-day, 180-team international tournament was struck by FC Dallas USSF U17/18 Academy, which shocked FC Barcelona, 3-1, in the event’s top division, the Gordon Jago Super Group.

“Everybody knows Barcelona,’’ said FC Dallas’ Daniel Garcia. “Nobody knows anything about us.’’

Garcia’s goal, 10 minutes into the second half, built on a 2-0 halftime advantage.

FC Dallas coach Oscar Pareja used the underdog role as a motivator before the match.

“I told them our name is not as big as Barcelona, but it still must be settled on the field,’’ Pareja said.

FC Dallas employed a counterattacking strategy, conceding the fact that Barcelona would control the ball.

“When we got the ball, we hurt them,’’ said Pareja.

Said Garcia: “It is a great feeling to win and get a goal. American soccer is building and we are proof that our teams can play with the best all over the world.’’

Jonathan Top and Jose Perez scored in the opening half.

Barcelona averted a shutout on a penalty in the closing moments.

Arsenal FC 5, Dallas Texans USSF U17/18 Academy 1: In the final match of day one, it appeared the Texans might build on FC Dallas’ upset when Eduardo Aranda delivered a goal in the 12th minute of the match against the visitors from London, England.

From that point, the Gunners lived up to their nickname, helped by the Texans playing a man down after 47th minute red card.

The tournament staged its opening ceremony between the two Super Group matches.

Monday’s matches begin at 10 a.m. at both sites, Pizza Hut Complex and Richland College. The final matches of the day are scheduled for 6 p.m.