Dallas Soccer: Dallas Cup

FC Dallas will have the opportunity to defend an international crown this weekend in Carrollton.

No, Frisco’s finest professional footballers did not win any kind of international tournament, it’s the club’s youth program that returns to McInnish Soccer Complex as reigning U14 bracket champions in ESPN Dallas' Copa ESPN.

Last year, FC Dallas’ 97 Blue squad, under the technical direction of Jessie Suarez, knocked off the 2010 champion Inocentes Jr. to earn the side an all-expenses paid trip to Orlando, Fla., to participate in the Disney Cup International. The youth squad took full advantage of the trip, not only to explore the Magic Kingdom, but winning the U14 cup.

“The [Copa ESPN] tournament was a great tournament,” Suarez said. “It wasn’t easy to win, but the advantages we got out of it was a chance to prepare for our state cup.”

This year, two FC Dallas teams – 98 Premier and 99B Central - are a part of the 16-team field vying for the U14 crown and trip to Florida.

The fourth installment of the Copa ESPN tournament will feature 76 youth teams in divisions from U8 to high school eighteen year olds over three days, having grown from the two-day, 32-team inaugural tournament in 2009.

“The idea of Copa ESPN is to do what no other tournament does and that is to invite teams from clubs, academies and recreational leagues and to expose players and leagues to each other that otherwise would never have the opportunity to compete,” ESPN Dallas marketing and promotions manager and tournament director Roger “Spin” Sosa said.

What began as the brainchild of ESPN Deportes 1540 AM has spread across all three of ESPN Dallas’ platforms, now including ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and ESPNDallas.com. All three will have live coverage and broadcasts from the tournament throughout the weekend.

Many of last year’s division champions return this season, having earned an automatic invitation from their success in 2011, but there is even more to play for in 2012. Scouts from the U15 Mexico national team, remaining in North Texas in the wake of the Dallas Cup, will be in attendance throughout the weekend to offer tryout invitations to select players.

Four teams continue their club campaign at Copa ESPN coming off of appearances in the Dallas Cup last weekend, including Irving Elite and Dallas Tigres in the U16 bracket as well as several of the players playing with the FC Dallas squads.

“We try and select events that allow the kids to grow,” said Chris Hayden, vice president of FC Dallas youth. “Obviously going [to Copa ESPN] last year was beneficial to that group of players and their development.”

In addition to FC Dallas, Dallas Texans, Andromeda, Solar and TFC are among the area’s top programs participating in Copa ESPN.

Benefits of the tournament go beyond the in-game experience. Perks for winning some of the brackets, like the trip to Florida for the U14 champion and the chance for the U16 champion to play a friendly at FC Dallas Stadium after an FC Dallas game, really make this tournament fun for the participants.

“We entered to give our kids a great opportunity to play and hopefully win the tournament and get a trip to Disney,” FC Dallas 98 Premier manager Gabby Gentile said.

Click here for more information on Copa ESPN 2012, including a schedule of matches for every age division.

Mexico U-20 beats Paris Saint-Germain

April, 1, 2012
4/01/12
6:08
PM CT
FRISCO, Texas -- The Mexican U-20 national team held on to an early lead to defeat Paris Saint-Germain 2-1 in their Dallas Cup opener Sunday afternoon.

Raul Lopez scored in the 14th minute to build momentum for Mexico.

A through pass in the 36th minute landed in front of Guillermo Madrigal, who hit a wide open shot in the box to put El Tri up 2-0.

Lylian Gockaba Gockard shortened the gap with a goal in the 57th minute to bring PSG back into the match.

PSG had several counter opportunities against the aggressive Mexican squad, including two shots on goal in stoppage time, but couldn't equalize late.

El Tri takes on Dallas Texan USSF 17/18 Academy at 6 p.m. Monday on Field 6.

PSG plays Eintracht Frankfurt at 2 p.m. Monday on Field 6.

Everton edges Coritiba to open Dallas Cup

April, 1, 2012
4/01/12
5:04
PM CT
FRISCO, Texas -- Ross Barkley proved why he deserves a shot on Everton FC's first team.

The midfielder's header three minutes in proved to be the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Coritiba FC to open the Dallas Cup on Sunday afternoon at FC Dallas Stadium.

Barkley debuted with the first team in August, but the youngster is spending time with the academy for the international tournament.

Coritiba had plenty of chances late in the match but couldn't equalize.

Everton plays Japan's Kashiwa Reysol at noon Monday on Field 6.

Coritiba takes on Club Bolivar of Bolivia at the same time on Field 7.

Teams visit hospitals, schools before Dallas Cup

March, 29, 2012
3/29/12
8:29
PM CT
Academy and youth players spend countless hours learning the art of soccer. But before they hit the pitch for the 2012 Dallas Cup, footballers from international teams around the globe will get to teach a little.

Players from Manchester United U-19, the Mexican U-20 National Team, Bolivia's Club Bolivar and China's Beijing Sangao FC will visit local hospitals and schools to talk to kids about their experiences and show off some of their skills April 3.

Manchester United will visit Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, and the Mexican U-20 squad will stop at the Children's Medical Center of Dallas playroom to teach a few soccer lessons before visiting patients.

Club Bolivar and Beijing Sangao FC will spend time at Frisco High School and Liberty High School to talk with students their age about their experiences travelling and playing soccer.

The Super Group, the highest division, kicks off with Everton FC and Coritiba FC on Sunday at 1 p.m.

GORDON JAGO SUPER GROUP BRACKETS

BRACKET 1

Manchester United FC: The Reds' reserves come to Dallas for the first time since 2006. They currently lead the Barclays Premier Reserve League in England.

Club Sport Cartagines: C.S. Cartagines looks to reverse its luck after going winless in three games at last year's Dallas Cup.

Tigres: The 2011 Dallas Cup co-champions return from Mexico looking for an outright victory after bad weather forced a draw with Eintracht Frankfurt last year.

FC Dallas USSF U17/18 Academy: The FC Dallas Academy lands in the same bracket as the Tigres team that beat them 5-0 in a semifinal last season. Eduardo Cortes returns between the posts looking to avenge the loss. They are dominating the Texas Division with a 15-1-1 record.

BRACKET 2

Paris St. Germain F.C.: PSG showed they have plenty of talent in their development system when they became the first squad to win the U-19 and U-17 French championship in the same year in 2011.

Seleccion Nacional de Mexico Sub 20: El Tri's U-20 side showed a lot of promise when they finished third in the FIFA U-20 World Cup last year.

Eintracht Frankfurt: The reigning Dallas Cup co-champions from Germany are also looking for an outright championship after last year's draw.

Dallas Texan USSF U17/18 Academy: The only local squad to win the super group since the format started in 1990, the Dallas Texan currently sit fourth in the Texas division.

BRACKET 3

Everton Football Club: The English Premier Academy League champions come to Dallas for the first time since 1999 looking to show up their fellow Englishmen at Manchester United. Many of the two squads' players saw each other Tuesday when United downed the Blue Boys, 4-1.

Coritiba FC: The boys from Brazil are looking to continue the country's history of Dallas Cup championships. Since the Super Group began in 1990, Brazilian outfits have won 10 of the 22 championships.

Club Bolivar: Coming to Dallas for the second straight year, Club Bolivar trained in Miami briefly before showing up in Dallas. They bring promising young forward Miguel Suárez, who arrived late after spending time with the first team.

Kashiwa Reysol: Japan's best club team sends their academy to Dallas to try to become the first Japanese team to reach the semifinals in the Super Group.
Beginning this November, the Bobby Rhine Fall Invitational presented by MoneyGram will be a qualifying tournament for the prestigious Dr Pepper Dallas Cup. The fall classic honors former FC Dallas player and broadcaster Bobby Rhine.

The tournament, held November 23-25 at the FC Dallas Stadium complex, will field 130-150 teams in the Under-11 through Under-16 age groups. Four teams (one each in the U-13, U-14, U-15 and U-16 age groups) will ultimately qualify for the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup based on their results in the Bobby Rhine Fall Invitational presented by MoneyGram.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to assist FC Dallas in every way possible to have a successful qualifying tournament,” said Randy Jones, Dallas Cup tournament manager.

FC Dallas Vice President of Youth Chris Hayden echoed Jones’ excitement about the new qualifying tournament and the potential top tournament field expected at FC Dallas Stadium in November.

“We are also pleased we are honoring the legacy of Bobby Rhine with what will become a prestigious youth event held in Frisco each Thanksgiving,” said Hayden. “Bobby Rhine meant so much to our organization as a player, coach, broadcaster and friend. This event will remind our fans, supporters and the overall youth soccer community of Bobby’s selfless and enduring contribution to FC Dallas.”

Rhine, who spent his 10-year MLS career as a player for Dallas, and then retired to the broadcast booth and front office with the club, passed away suddenly in September 2011 at the age of 35.

“Our boys and I are so proud to have this tournament named for Bobby,” said Rhine’s wife, Bevan. “Bobby played in Dallas Cup as a youth player and coached in it several years ago. He was always impressed by the Dallas Cup's long term commitment to keeping the tournament one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world. I know he would be honored to have his name associated with a qualifying tournament that helps to ensure the exceptional quality of the Dallas Cup.”

After ending his playing career following the 2008 season, Rhine remained as a key figure with FC Dallas, making valuable contributions in both community development and broadcasting.

During his career, Rhine appeared in 212 games for Dallas, making 136 starts and playing more than 12,000 minutes. He scored 23 goals and recorded 34 assists. His goals total is good for eighth all-time in the FC Dallas record books, while his assists total ranks fourth behind Jason Kreis, Oscar Pareja and Ronnie O’Brien. Rhine was selected in the First Round (sixth overall) in the 1999 MLS SuperDraft.

In addition to the naming the invitational after Bobby, the FC Dallas Foundation is starting the Bobby Rhine Heart Project which will provide life protecting devices to sports complexes and facilities.

“Bobby Rhine was a great friend to all of us here at the Dallas Cup and we are only too pleased to assist Bobby’s wife, Bevan, and the FC Dallas Foundation in raising funds for the Bobby Rhine Heart Project,” said Gordon Jago, executive director of the Dallas Cup.

Dallas Cup Super Group crowns co-champs

April, 24, 2011
4/24/11
7:30
PM CT
FRISCO, Texas -- For the first time in its 32-year history, the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup crowned co-champions in the Gordon Jago Super Group.

The title match featuring Tigres of Monterrey, Mexico, and Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany was cancelled in the 66th minute by a thunderstorm Sunday night at Pizza Hut Park.

The match was tied 1-1 when the teams were pulled off the field at 7:27 p.m.

After a wait of an hour and 15 minutes with persistent lightning, it was announced the two sides would be declared co-champions.

Moises Orozco nodded in the Tigres goal from short range in the final minute of the first half, set up by the cross from Jose Campoy.

Dustin Ernst equalized on a penalty kick just before play was halted.

In other title matches Sunday:

U19: No Dallas Cup age group champion celebrated with the gusto of U19 winner Knowsley Youth.

The club, from suburban Liverpool, England, wanted to soak up its 4-2 victory over Ajax Gunners from Ajax, Canada, for as long as possible before leaving the field.

Knowsley, a fixture in the Dallas Cup every year since 1991, was rewarded for its persistence with its first title.

Adam Black, Paul Mooney and Steve Tames scored goals for Knowsley, which also benefited from an own goal.

Sebastian Arangio and Zachary Mbolekwa scored for Ajax.

U17: Weariness, and a bench shortened by injury, caught up with Santa Clara Sporting in a 2-0 loss to Tigres from Monterrey, Mexico, in the U17 final.

“We didn’t have any more legs,’’ said Sporting defender Andre Alvarez. “We tried. We played our hearts out, but it just wasn’t there.’’

Tigres needed just three minutes to go in front. Isaac Martinez tucked a 16-yard strike in the upper-left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.

About 10 minutes before intermission, Tigres struck for a second time when Uvaldo Luna found himself unmarked 10 yards in front of the goal.

U16: The U16 final matched two teams from Guadalajara, Mexico.

Estudiantes Tecos edged CD Guadalajara Chivas on Daniel Arambul’s overtime goal, 3-2.

Tecos was a perfect 6-0 on the way to its title, having knocked off defending U16 champion Houston Dynamo USSF Academy, 4-2, in a quarterfinal and squeezing past San Jose, Calif., entry MTH PAC Tigres, 3-2, in a semifinal.

FC Dallas Premier wins Dallas Cup U15 final

April, 24, 2011
4/24/11
12:04
AM CT
FRISCO, Texas -- FC Dallas Premier was the last entry in the U15 division of the Dallas Cup. Its participation wasn’t secured until just a day and a half before the start of the event.

It turned out to be a fateful invitation. In an all-Dallas final, FC Dallas defeated Solar SC, 2-0, for the U15 title Saturday afternoon at Pizza Hut Stadium.

Midfielder Antonio Aguilar scored both goals, the first in the 27th minute with a dipping 18-yard shot from the right that was tucked just under the crossbar.

In the early stages of the second half, Aguilar made it 2-0 on a header with service coming from Nico Lozada-Smith.

San Jose side proves point

MTH PAC Tigres relished the role of underdog throughout the 32nd Dr Pepper Dallas Cup.

Based in San Jose, Calif., the Tigres aren’t an academy squad and lack the budget of many of the other entries in the U16 division. Yet the Tigres were the only U.S. U16 team to advance to the semifinals.

“I don’t think a lot of people expected us to do this,’’ said the Tigres’ Josue Mendoza, “or wanted us to do it.’’

The run reached its end in a 3-2 semifinal loss to Estudiantes Tecos of Guadalajara, Mexico, on Saturday at Pizza Hut Park.

Though initially saddened to finish two goals shy of the championship game, the Tigres were proud of their tournament performance.

“I think we showed that if you work hard and want it, anything is possible,’’ said Mendoza, a sophomore at Leigh (San Jose, Calif.) “It proves you don’t have to be an academy team to do well in a big tournament like this.’’

CD Guadalajara Chivas of made it an all-Guadalajara, Mexico, U16 final Sunday by routing PTSC Timber Wolves of Winnipeg, Canada in the other Saturday semifinal.

Santa Clara Sporting in third straight final

The distance from the complex of soccer fields at Pizza Hut Park to the 21,000-seat main stadium is only a few hundred yards.

When the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup began a week ago, all 180 teams shared the goal of reaching the big house for the divisional championship game.

One side that knows what it takes to get to there is Santa Clara Sporting.

The Californians earned a berth in Sunday’s U17 final with a 1-0 defeat of Brazils FC of Aguas d Lindoai, Brazil.

“It has been an incredible experience every time we’ve made it to the finals,’’ said Sporting veteran Carlos Gavino. “There is satisfaction in knowing all the hard work we’ve put in and the support we’ve gotten from our people.’’

Gavino’s corner kick led to the only goal of the match, a header by Tito Tenorio to the right corner from a distance of 12 yards with 10 minutes remaining in the first half.

Dallas Cup U15 final has local flavor

April, 22, 2011
4/22/11
9:38
PM CT
FRISCO, Texas -- Despite a presence of eight international clubs dotting the 28-team U15 bracket, it will be an all-Dallas final Saturday in the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup.

FC Dallas Premier will face Solar SC at 4 p.m. Saturday at Pizza Hut Park.

Both Dallas teams won semifinal matches by one goal Friday, but in very different fashion. FC Dallas squeezed past FC Golden State of Pasadena, Calif., 1-0. Solar SC outscored German entry Eintracht Frankfurt, 5-4.
  • With overtime drawing to a close and a shootout looming, Joel Mendoza made Solar Chelsea USSF U17/18 Academy of Dallas a winner in a U19 quarterfinal.

    Mendoza put a strong right foot into an 18-yard shot for the deciding goal in a 2-1 win over Lewisham College from London.

    The goal, Mendoza's fourth of the tournament, came with five minutes remaining in overtime.

    "I didn't want to go to a shootout," Mendoza said.

  • The excellent run by FC Dallas USSF U17/U18 Academy ended in a 5-0 loss to Tigres of Monterrey, Mexico, in a Gordon Jago Super Group semifinal Friday night.

    Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany, a 2-0 winner over Arsenal of England, will face Tigres for the Super Group championship at 6 p.m. Sunday.
  • Dallas entry Solar Chelsea USSF Academy U15/16 went into the semifinal round as the only U17 team not to allow a goal in three preliminary matches.

    So it was somewhat of a shock to Solar's system when Liga Deportiva Alajuelense struck for an early goal in Friday's semifinal.

    Before halftime, the Costa Rican side struck for a second goal and finished a 3-1 victor.

    "It is frustrating, but something like this can help us going forward," midfielder Hayden Partain said.

    The only Solar goal was an 8-yard header supplied by Partain, a sophomore at Frisco Wakeland.

    Solar had the benefit of a strong wind in the second half and wasn't lacking for chances.

    "We could all tell in warm-ups that mentally, we weren't there. I think the lesson we learn from this is to bring respect to every match you play," he said.

Dallas Cup semifinals and finals results

April, 22, 2011
4/22/11
8:50
PM CT
The Dallas Cup winds down this weekend, capped by Sunday's Super Group championship between Eintracht Frankfurt and Tigres. A trio of champions was crowned Saturday at Pizza Hut Park. For complete Cup results, click here:

SUPER GROUP
Semifinals
  • Eintracht Frankfurt 2, Arsenal 0
  • Tigres 5, FC Dallas USSF U17/18 Academy 0
Championship
  • Eintracht Frankfurt 1, Tigres 1 (co-champions; weather ended game in 66th minute)
UNDER-19
Quarterfinals
  • Ajax Gunners 3, Davis Legacy 0
  • Knowsley Youth 8, Santos FC (USA) 3
  • CZ-Elite 6, Dallas Texans Red 0
  • Solar Chelsea USSF U17/18 2, Lewisham College 1
Semifinals
  • Ajax Gunners 1, Solar Chelsea USSF U17/18 0
  • Knowsley Youth 2, CZ-Elite 1
Championship
  • Knowsley Youth 4, Ajax Gunners 2
UNDER-17
Quarterfinals
  • Brasilis FC 1, CFI Guadalajara 0
  • Tigres 1, Prepa Tech FB 0
  • Liga Deportiva Alajuelense 3, Solar Chelsea USSF U16/16 Academy 1
  • Santa Clara Sporting 4, West Side Metro Premier 0
Semifinals
  • Santa Clara Sporting 1, Brasilis FC 0
  • Tigres 2, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense 1
Championship
  • Tigres 2, Santa Clara Sporting 0
UNDER-16
Quarterfinals
  • MTH PAC Tigres 3, FCB Escola Monterrey 1
  • CD Guadalajara Chivas 5, Cosmos Academy West 4
  • PTSC Timber Wolves 4, Real Salt Lake-AZ USSF U15/16 Academy 3
  • Estudiantes Tecos 4, Houston Dynamo USSF Academy 2
Semifinals
  • Estudiantes Tecos 3, MTH PAC Tigres 2
  • CD Guadalajara Chivas 6, PTSC Timber Wolves 1
Championship
  • Estudiantes Tecos 3, CD Guadalajara Chivas 2
UNDER-15
Semifinals
  • Solar SC 5, Eintracht Frankfurt 4
  • FC Dallas Premier 1, FC Golden State 0
Championship
  • FC Dallas Premier 2, Solar SC 0
UNDER-14
Semifinals
  • FC Dallas Premier 3, Oklahoma FC 0
  • Fullerton Rangers 3, Andromeda SC White 0
Championship
  • Fullerton Rangers 1, FC Dallas Premier O PK
UNDER-13
Semifinals
  • Houstonians FC Red 2, Seleccion RCL Soccer 1
  • Nomads Academy 3, Solar SC 0
Championship
  • Nomads Academy 5, Houstonians FC Red 2

Dallas Cup: Dallas U15 teams advance

April, 21, 2011
4/21/11
11:59
PM CT
FRISCO, Texas -- A pair of Dallas clubs, Solar SC and FC Dallas Premier, won Dr Pepper Dallas Cup U15 quarterfinal matches Thursday at Pizza Hut Park.

If not for some brilliant saves from Even Estrada, Solar SC might have been blown out by California entry Milan FC.

Milan did manage to beat Estrada for an early goal, but after that the 15-year-old from Mesquite played “one of the best games I’ve ever played in my life.’’

Solar rewarded its keeper with a pair of goals in a 2-1 victory,

“All I can say is I’m glad Even is on our team,’’ said Omar Banales, who scored the only goal of the second half. “He was on his game today.

Estrada’s saves ran the gamut, from leaps to tip a high shot over the bar to sprawling on the ground for a save with his right boot (his personal favorite.)

Yannick Koffi equalized, setting the stage for Balanes’ winner driven home from eight yards.

“Alan Winn put the ball across the box with a lot of bend and I had started on a dead run from midfield and met the ball in the right spot,’’ said Banales, a freshman at Harmony Science Academy in Dallas.

Solar advances to face German club Eintracht Frankfurt in a semifinal at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

FC Dallas Premier will face FC Golden State of Pasadena, Calif, in a semifinal at 1:30 p.m. Friday.

A clean sheet for FC Dallas against talented Florida invader West Pines United FC Premier Black registers as a successful day for defensive midfielder Luis Hernandez.

“With players West Pines has -- like Kevin Paz -- if you don’t mark him for a second, he can make you pay,’’ said Hernandez, the team captain. “They have three guys that are capable of playing on the national team, but we’ve played them three times and beaten them every time.’’

Hernandez, a freshman at W.T. White, said the team is being driven by the chance of making it to the U15 final in Pizza Hut Park.

Ilya Dmitriakov tucked a 17-yard shot into the upper right corner for the only goal of the match. He is the son of Anatoliy Dmitriakov, who came to the U.S. from Russia in 1994 to play soccer for the Houston Force.

“Ilya had no choice, he had to play soccer,’’ his dad said with a smile.

Match Photos: Arsenal vs. Dallas Texans

April, 20, 2011
4/20/11
12:18
PM CT
The following photos are from the Dallas Cup 2011 match between Arsenal and local club Dallas Texans.

Match Photos: Barcelona vs. FC Dallas

April, 20, 2011
4/20/11
8:33
AM CT
The following photos are from the hallmark FC Dallas win over 3-1 win over Barcelona in the 2011 Dallas Cup. Jonathan Top, Jose Perez, and Daniel Garcia scored for FCD.


Dallas Cup: Super Group schedule

April, 19, 2011
4/19/11
6:15
AM CT
There were no Super Group games Tuesday, but here are Wednesday's games from the top group at the Dallas Cup. All Super Group games are at Pizza Hut Park (for complete results and schedules of all the groups, click here):

SUPER GROUP
Bracket A

  • Chorrillo FC 4, Dallas Texans USSF U17/18 Academy 4
  • Arsenal FC 3, Club Bolivar 1
  • Bracket B
  • FC Barcelona 4, Club Sport Cartagines 2
  • FC Dallas USSF U17/18 Academy 2, Japan U18 National Team 1
  • Bracket C
  • Real Salt Lake-AZ USSF U17/18 Academy 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 0
  • Tigres 1, SC Corinthians Paulista 0
  • Bracket D
  • Houston Dynamo USSF Academy 2, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense 1
  • Coritiba FC 2, Eintracht Frankfurt 2
  • Dallas Cup: Super Group results

    April, 18, 2011
    4/18/11
    8:37
    AM CT
    Here are the Sunday and Monday results from the top group at the Dallas Cup. All Super Group games are at Pizza Hut Park (for complete results and schedules of all the groups, click here):

    SUPER GROUP
    Bracket A
    • Club Bolivar 2, Chorrillo FC 1
    • Arsenal FC 5, Dallas Texans USSF U17/18 Academy 1
    • Arsenal FC 6, Chorrillo FC 0
    • Dallas Texans 1, Club Bolivar 0
    Bracket B
    • Japan U18 National Team 3, Club Sport Cartagines 1
    • FC Dallas USSF U17/18 Academy 3, FC Club Barcelona 1
    • Barcelona 2, Japan U18 1
    • FC Dallas 3, Cartagines 0
    Bracket C
    • Vancouver Whitecaps 3, SC Corinthians Paulista 2
    • Tigres 3, REal Salt Lake-AZ USSF U17/18 Academy 1
    • Corinthians Paulista 4, Real Salt Lake-AZ 1
    • Tigres 2, Vancouver Whitecaps 0
    Bracket D
    • Coritiba FC 2, Houston Dynamo USSF Academy 0
    • Eintracht Frankfurt 4, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense 0
    • Coritiba 1, Alajuelense 0
    • Eintracht Frankfurt 3, Houston Dynamo 0

    Dallas Cup turns international focus to area

    April, 16, 2011
    4/16/11
    5:24
    PM CT
    DALLAS -- The names roll off the tongue of even a casual soccer fan: David Beckham, Wayne Rooney Landon Donovan, and, wait ... Hakeem Olajuwan?

    All, even the former NBA star Olajuwan, are past participants in the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup.

    Part of the reason that the focus of international youth soccer will again turn to Dallas, as it does every spring, for the 32nd edition of the eight-day tournament which kicks off Sunday.

    This year, 17 nations and one U.S. territory are represented among the 180 entrants in seven age divisions.

    Frisco's Pizza Hut Park is tournament headquarters and the main playing site. The complex at Richland College in North Dallas will also be used.

    While bragging rights across international lines are important, the tournament's expressed mission is to promote the well being of young people through athletic competition, cultural appreciation and educational opportunities.

    Much of the focus each season centers on the Gordon Jago Super Group -- newly named after the longtime Dallas Sidekicks coach -- because it has the most international flavor. This year is no exception with 13 of the 16 entrants coming from beyond the U.S. border.

    Two of the three American teams in the Super Group are from Dallas: FC Dallas USSF U17 Academy and Dallas Texans USSF U17 Academy.

    The Texans are one of only three U.S. teams to capture a Super Group title (2006) and the only U.S. Super Group champion in the last 24 years.

    When the 16-team bracket was divided into groups of four, the Texans landed in Group A along with Arsenal (England), Club Bolivar (Bolivia) and Chorrillo (Panama).

    FC Dallas is in Group B along with Barcelona (Spain), Club Sport Cartagines (Costa Rica) and the Japanese U18 National Team (Japan).

    Six Dallas teams will vie with 18 other entrants in the U19 bracket. The Dallas entrants include DFW Tornados White, Andromeda SC, Dallas Texans Red West, Andromeda USSF Under 17/18 Academy, Solar Chelsea USSF Under 17/18 Academy and Dallas Texans Red.

    The 32-team U17 bracket is dotted with seven Dallas entrants: FC Dallas Premier, TFC, Dallas Texans Red, FC Dallas USSF U15/16 Academy, Dallas Texans USSF U15/16, Solar Chelsea U15/16 Academy and Andromeda USSF U15/16 Academy.

    Four Dallas sides are entered in the 24-team U16 bracket: FC Premier, FC Dallas Premier, Solar SC and Solar SC Red.

    In the 28-team U15 division, Dallas enters five sides: Dallas Texans Red South, Dallas Texans Red, Andromeda SC Red, Solar SC and FC Dallas Premier.

    The 32-team U/14 division includes four Dallas clubs: Andromeda SC White, Dallas Texans Red, FC Dallas Premier and Solar SC Red.

    The youngest division, the 24-team U13, has four sides from Dallas: Andromeda FC, Dallas Tigres Gold, Solar SC Red and Solar SC.

    Opening Day this year gets a tweak with approximately 130 teams playing their first match on Sunday. That's about 70 more than in the past.

    The opening round robin is scheduled for a Wednesday completion. For those teams that do not advance to the elimination stage, "friendly games" will be organized in the latter part of the week, giving teams the opportunity to play five matches (weather permitting and field availability) while in Dallas.

    During the preliminary stage of the tournament matches will not have overtime periods. Matches will be counted as three points for win, one point for tie and zero for loss.

    In the elimination stage, if the score is tied at the end of regulation time, extra time of two 10 minute periods will be played in all age groups. If a winner is not decided after this extra time, kicks from the penalty mark as per FIFA laws will decide the match.

    Group winners in the Super Group advance to the semifinals.

    In other divisions, the first place team in each bracket, and if applicable, the wild card with the most points advance to the quarterfinals.

    Preliminary games begin at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

    Opening ceremonies are scheduled for later that day at 6.

    Championship matches in the three youngest divisions will be played on April 23. Title matches in the four older divisions are slated for the following day.

    SPONSORED HEADLINES