Dallas Soccer: US U20s
“It’s our last opportunity to prepare for the season. So the goals for the Florida trip are to try to get the team on the same page, try to figure out where our strengths and areas that we’ve got to be concerned about, try to get guys playing together and playing against good competition,” Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman said earlier this week. “We should feel pretty good about ourselves when we get back.”
After facing a number of college foes both before and after their trip to Cancun, Mexico, FCD stepped up the caliber of preseason competition by facing the United States Under-23 team on Wednesday and fell to the U-23s by a 2-1 score line.
Such a step up in terms of quality of competition is something the FCD players definitely welcome going forward. “I definitely think as a group, we’re ready,” starting right back Zach Loyd said. “We’ve been putting in a lot of work with two-a-days, going to Cancun, putting in some work and playing some teams from other countries. So I think the competition is something we definitely invite. We want to play the best competition we can in preseason.”
FCD captain Daniel Hernandez definitely agrees with Loyd that these games in Orlando are going to be crucial to ensuring that the entire club is ready for their 2012 season opener on Sunday, March 11 against New York. “That’s what preseason’s for-to push yourself and get prepared for the opening game. I think the tougher games that we can play the better for us,” Hernandez said. “Those college games are a good test for us but I think they’re more for us to just try to get our legs back and get some rhythm of play. These tough competition games are what is going to get us prepared.”
Earlier this week, Hyndman said he was about three players away from having the roster the way he wanted it, which means this trip could be crucial for several trialists like Scott Sealy, whom the FCD coach confirmed will be making the trip south.
The Dallas gaffer also didn’t rule out bringing in a few more players who would join them in Florida to have a look at them as possible roster additions.
But of course, the ultimate aim is a simple one for this trip-get his club as ready as possible for the season opener with the Red Bulls.
“I think now we’re at the point where we’ve got to start emphasizing the first team or the top reserve players, the players that we can count on to understand what we’re doing, the structure and then measure our fitness level against the opposition because they’ll be good games, MLS teams and then also to measure our standards against the opposition as well,” Hyndman said. “We’re maybe three, four weeks away before we open the season and like all teams, we’re not ready.”
FCD FLORIDA TRIP SCHEDULE (ALL TIMES CENTRAL)
Saturday, Feb. 25 BK Hacken (Sweden) 7:00
Sunday, Feb. 26 U.S. Under-20 3:00
Tuesday, Feb. 28 Orlando City SC 7:00
Thursday, March 1 Toronto FC* 5:00
Saturday, March 3 Championship* TBD
*-Walt Disney World Resort Pro Soccer Classic
As part of the camp, the U-20s will face the reserve teams from FC Dallas on Feb. 26 and Montreal Impact on Feb. 29 at the Disney Wide World of Sports complex.
Also of local interest are Alfred Koroma of Solar (who has played with FCD Academy on occasion) and Matt Dunn of FC Koeln (who used to be part of the FC Dallas system). Last but not least is former FC Dallas Academy product and current North Carolina defender Boyd Okwuonu.
U.S. U-20 Men's Roster:
GOALKEEPERS (3): Tomas Gomez (Georgetown Univ.; Webster Groves, Mo.), Jesus Guzman (Santos/MEX; San Jose, Calif.), Kamil Kaminski (Legia Warsaw/POL; Berlin, Conn.)
DEFENDERS (8): AJ Cochran (Univ. of Wisconsin; St. Louis, Mo.), Sean Cunningham (Molde FK/NOR; Troy, Mich.), Christian Dean (Univ. of California; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Mobi Fehr (Unattached; Tokyo, Japan), Eric Miller (Creighton Univ.; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Tigres/MEX; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (Univ. of North Carolina; Edmond, Okla.), Walker Zimmerman (Furman Univ.; Lawrenceville, Ga.).
MIDFIELDERS (10): Seth Casiple (Univ. of California; Rocklin, Calif.), Daniel Cuevas (Santos/MEX; Sacramento, Calif.), Matt Dunn (OFK/SER; Dallas, Texas), Daniel Garcia (FC Dallas Academy; Dallas, Texas), Alejandro Guido (Unattached; Chula Vista, Calif.), Benji Joya (Santos/MEX; San Jose, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (Univ. of North Carolina; Mission, Texas), Collin Martin (D.C. United Academy; Chevy Chase, Md.), Daniel Metzger (Univ. of Maryland; Staten Island, N.Y.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bollingbrook, Ill.)
FORWARDS (5): Villyan Bijev (Fortuna Duesseldorf/GER; Fresno, Calif.), Alfred Koroma (Solar Chelsea; Southlake, Texas), Sean Okoli (Wake Forest Univ.; Federal Way, Wash.), Andrew Oliver (Chicago Fire Academy; Indianapolis, Ind.), Omar Salgado (Vancouver Whitecaps; El Paso, Texas).
The Mercedes-Benz Junior Cup is an annual indoor soccer tournament featuring some of the top clubs from around the world. The U.S. has been drawn into Group A and will compete against club teams from Lechia Danzig (Poland), VfB Stuttgart (Germany) and FSV Mainz 05 (France). Group B includes Lazio (Italy), Celtic Glasgow (Scotland), SC Freiburg (Germany) and Hamburger SV (Germany).
Top, who signed as FC Dallas’ fifth Home Grown player on Jan. 12, 2011 was the leading scorer for the FC Dallas Under-18 Development Academy team in 2010. He made one appearance for the FC Dallas first team in 2011. In the annual home-and-away exhibition match, Top netted the fourth of six goals which led to an FC Dallas victory in the penalty-kick shootout. Top, who will turn 19 on Jan. 26, also saw 374 minutes of action with the FC Dallas Reserves.
In addition, FC Dallas Academy products Mike Ambrose, Boyd Okwuonu, Daniel Garcia and Flavio Guzman were called in to the first U.S. Under-20 National Team camp of 2012 by head coach Tab Ramos. The 36-player training camp will be held Jan. 2-9 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Garcia and Ambrose saw time with the FC Dallas Reserves in 2011. Garcia had two goals in 80 minutes of action while Ambrose logged 242 minutes as a defender. Also a defender, Okwuonu won the ACC regular season title, the ACC tournament title and the NCAA Championship as a freshman with the University of North Carolina. He was named to the College Soccer News Freshman All-America Team. Guzman was the only player with the FC Dallas Under-18’s to start all 13 games this season. The midfielder netted three goals for the 11-0-2 squad.
The US U-20 Men’s National Team training camp will take place in Vichy, France, from May 15-20 for two friendlies against the France U-20 MNT on May 17 and 19.
Last week it was confirmed that former U.S. head coach Thomas Rongen’s contract will not be renewed at the end of this year. Tab Ramos, who was an assistant coach during the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in April, will oversee the group during the six-day training camp.
Also of local interest are Conor Doyle of Derby County (McKinney, Texas) and Dillon Powers - the son of former Dallas Side kick Mike Powers - who plays at Notre Dame (Plano, Texas).
U.S. U-20 MNT Roster By Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Ipswich Town; Athens, Ga.), Brian Sylvestre (Vancouver Whitecaps FC; Hollywood, Fla.)
DEFENDERS (6): Anthony Brooks (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Sean Cunningham (Molde FK; Troy, Mich.), Sacir Hot (New York Red Bulls; Fair Lawn, N.J.), Sebastien Ibeagha (Duke; Missouri City, Texas), Daniel Potts (West Ham United; London, England), Kofi Sarkodie (Houston Dynamo; Huber Heights, Ohio)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Sebastian Lletget (West Ham United; San Francisco, Calif.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Kelyn Rowe (UCLA; Newport Beach, Calif.), Conor Shanosky (D.C. United; Sterling, Va.), Donny Toia (Real Salt Lake: Tucson, Ariz.)
FORWARDS (6): Terrence Boyd (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Conor Doyle (Derby County FC; McKinney, Texas), Josh Gatt (Molde FK; Plymouth, Mich.), Joe Gyau (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Silver Spring, Md.), Jerome Kiesewetter (Hertha BSC; Berlin, Germany), Victor Ulloa (FC Dallas: Wylie, Texas)
FC Dallas included 5 Academy player in their side, who just got back from Madrid, Spain, on Wednesday: Michael Ambrose, Omar Jarun, Jack Coleman, Boyd Okwuonu, and Daniel Garcia. FC Dallas home grown talents Victor Ulloa, Bryan Leyva, and Jonathan Top all played 90 minutes.
The Brek Shea at center back experiment also continued for another 90 minutes. FCD's so far disappointing generation adidas players John Lambo, Andrew Wiedeman, and Peri Marosevic all started but made way for other players later in the game.
FC Dallas reserves coach Oscar Pareja on the debut of Fabian Castillo
I thought he looked good. We wanted to give him time today to observe the rhythm of the game and become more comfortable. It is obviously not an MLS game, but we wanted him to face some good competition and jell with his teammates. He came in and had some good moments, and that was enough. Schellas wanted to have a look at him and see him in the rhythm of the game. We saw good things. We’re pleased.
U.S. U-20: Bobby Wood (Joe Gyau) 24
U.S. U-20: Sebastian Lletget 43
U.S. U-20: Kelyn Rowe 80
FCD: Brek Shea (caution) 74
FC Dallas – Josh Lambo (Chris Seitz 46), Michael Ambrose, Brek Shea, Omar Jarun, Jack Coleman, Victor Ulloa, Bruno Guarda (Bobby Warshaw 46), Bryan Leyva, Andrew Wiedeman (Boyd Okwuonu 65), Peri Marosevic (Fabian Castillo 46, Daniel Garcia 68), Jonathan Top.
U.S. Under-20 National Team - Zac MacMath (Cody Cropper 46), Zarek Valentin, Gale Agbossoumonde, Perry Kitchen, Greg Garza, Sebastian Lletget, Amobi Okugo, Kelyn Rowe, Joe Gyau, Bobby Wood, Conor Doyle.
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