FRISCO, Texas -- The TSF Academy Diablos are focused on settling a score.
A year ago, the Diablos did not lose a group match, yet failed to advance to the knockout round of the Dallas Cup International Youth Tournament. Two draws and a win turned out to be not good enough.
On Tuesday, the Diablos, from Lincoln Park, N.J., kept hopes of advancing alive with a 3-2 win over NM Rush Nike of Albuquerque, N.M., at FC Dallas Soccer Complex.
“It was disappointing last year to win our last match and find out we weren’t advancing,’’ center defender Cody Pepe said. “It was a letdown.’’
The Diablos bounced back from Monday’s 2-1 loss to FC Dallas USSF U-15/16 Academy to square their preliminary round record at 1-1 in Bracket G. They complete bracket play at noon Wednesday against Canadian entrant Ottawa South United Force Academy.
After getting a go-ahead goal in the second half against NM Rush Nike, the Diablos dug in, Pepe said, determined not to allow a tying goal.
Matt Busch, Teddy Forson and Steve Zamudio scored Diablos’ goals.
“We seemed to let down after we scored in the first half and allowed quick goals,” Pepe said. “That’s why it was so important to shut them down after we scored in the second half.
GOOD TIMING: Karl Brown limits his attacking rushes to two or three per match.
The defender for the OBGC Rangers took a chance near the midpoint of the second half in a 1-1 game and came up big with the assist on the game-winning goal.
The Rangers, based in Olney, Md., improved to 2-0 in Bracket C of the U16 division with a 2-1 win over Californians Santa Clara Sporting (1-1).
“It’s risky to come up very often, so I pick my spots,’’ Brown said. “I could see the right side of the field was pretty open. Three guys came up around me and I just powered through them.’’
Brown’s run left him near the end line, 20 yards right of goal, with little shooting angle.
Meanwhile, teammate Sam Schmidt made charge to the left post, just as he’s coached.
“It’s a very effective play in that situation,’’ Schmidt, a midfielder, said. “The keeper is at the near post and it leaves the goal open.’’
Brown drilled a bullet to the right of the Sporting keeper and it found the right foot of Schmidt. He powered the ball into the back of the net for eventual winner.
“I could see Sam out of corner of my eye,’’ Brown said. “I knew where he would be.’’
Said Schmidt: “He hit low and hard to the perfect spot.’’
Jonah Snyder staked Sporting to an early 1-0 lead with a point-blank finish. Anthony Tejeda provided an assist on a play similar to OBGC’s winning goal.
Jony Karahbetyan equalized before halftime with a hard 15-yard shot from left of the goal.
TEAM BOCA ROLLING ALONG: Among duties as captain of Team Boca, Hunter Bandy is aware of the need to lift teammates with an encouraging word when things aren’t going well.
But two matches deep into the Dallas Cup, Bandy hasn’t had to worry about it.
Thanks to goals by Sean Holly and David Adejunmobi, Team Boca, of Boca Raton, Fla., went to 2-0 in Bracket E of the U17 Division with a 2-0 win over Montgomery United Premier of Lansdale, Pa.
Bandy, a midfielder, can read his teammates because he knows them. Some Team Boca veterans have played together for nine years. Even the newcomers have seven years under their belts.
“We spend a lot of time together,’’ Bandy said. “Our style of play is to keep the ball on the ground and guys see a lot of the ball. It’s a style that promotes team play.’’
NOTES -- Tuesday’s traditional light schedule of matches turned out to be a blessing when North Texas was lashed with afternoon storms. The bad weather that included hail and tornado watches held off until after the day’s final matches had ended around 2 p.m. … Group play concludes on Wednesday. Unbeaten teams square off in two U16 matches: Fram Premier of Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., vs. Prepa Tech of Mexico in Bracket E and FC Phoenix of Phoenix, Ariz., vs. Chelsea U15 Pre-Academy of Dallas in Bracket G. Bracket A in U17 climaxes with a battle of 2-0 teams: LVSA Red of Las Vegas against the Tigres of Mexico.