The soccer hotbed missing from last year's U.S. Soccer Development Academy was Dallas. Indeed, no Texas team took part in the inaugural season, but that has changed. The first games took place last weekend in the Central Conference's Texas Division.
Andromeda, winner of the 2008 U.S. Youth Soccer U-17 and U-18 national title, won the first game in the U-17/18 group with a 2-0 win over FC Dallas academy team, while Solar (U-19) and the Dallas Texans (U-14), who both won titles at the 2008 U.S. Youth Soccer National Championships, played to a 0-0 tie in the other U-17/18 game.
"I think the players were a bit nervous before the first game but that's good," said Solar SC Under-17/18 head coach Kevin Smith. "We've raised the expectations for everybody here. It was a high-paced game and the substitution rules are a bit of an adjustment. Our players will get used to this level, though, and that will help them greatly in the long run."
The Texans have also been making adjustments.
"From both the players' and coaches' standpoints there are some major adjustments in our first year," said Hassan Nazari, coach of the Texans' U-17/18 team. "They're all good adjustments though, and we've very pleased with the results so far."
Other Day 1 results: FC Dallas 3-2 over Andromeda and Solar 1-0 over the Texans in U-15/16 action.
Other Texas teams competing are Texas SC (the former Houston Texans), Lonestar (based in Austin), Classics Elite (based in San Antonio) and Texas Rush AHFC (a combination of the Texas Rush -- whose offices are closed due to damage suffered in Hurricane Ike -- and Albion Hurricanes FC, two other Houston area teams).