[FOUR THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT ...]Of the teams that have played more than 10 games in the 2011-12 Development Academy's under-17/18 age group, FC Dallas Juniors has the best record with a 11-1-2 mark. Dallas is led by Danny Garcia, who has 13 goals in 13 games and earned a call-up to the U.S. under-20 national team's first domestic camp under its new coach, Tab Ramos. For four things to know about Garcia ...
PEREZ DEDICATION.Garcia joined the FCD Juniors U-15/16 team in 2009 from the Longhorns, one of the original Dallas youth clubs. In his first season with FC Dallas, the U-15/16s finished sixth at the Development Academy's Finals Week. He had eight goals in his second season with the U-15/16s as they won the Texas Division. And in his first season with the U/17-18s, who finished second at Finals Week to Pateadores, he scored 15 goals in 29 goals -- not bad for a midfielder. Garcia says he dedicates every goal he scores to Jose Perez, his former teammate who was killed in a car accident last fall.
PAREJA PRODIGY. Garcia played under Oscar Pareja, who recently quit his job as head of the FCD academy to become the head coach of the Colorado Rapids. Garcia says he looked up to Pareja like a father figure during his four seasons with the academy program and the Colombian-born coach will be missed in Dallas.
SHOWCASE STANDOUT.Garcia is already close to matching last season's totals, having scored 13 goals in 13 games, including goals in each of the three wins over MLS academy teams at the 2011 Winter Showcase. The strong fall campaign earned him a call-up to the U.S. under-20 national team's first domestic camp under its new coach, Tab Ramos. He'll showcase his talents this spring as FC Dallas was one of two American teams picked to play in the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXIII. The other is the Dallas Texans, who recently handed FCD its first loss of the season in the U-17/18 division.
CAROLINA-BOUND.FC Dallas has been the most prolific club about handing out home-grown contracts to academy players -- six have graduated to the first team -- but Garcia has made a verbal commitment to attend 2011 NCAA Division I champion North Carolina. The W.T. White senior joins a recruiting class that also includes former U.S. U-17 defender Joe Amon.