Commentary

'Club World Cup' action in Dallas

By Mike Woitalla

Since its launch in 1980, when three foreign teams competed in a field of 26, the Dallas Cup has become a veritable Youth World Club Cup.

Besides a long list of U.S. national team players who’ve made Dallas Cup appearances -- including Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Brian McBride, Michael Bradley -- the tourney has seen the likes of David Beckham, Marco Etcheverry, Raul, Wayne Rooney, Javiar “Chicharito” Hernandez. Thirty-nine players on 11 teams at the 2014 World Cup played at the Dallas Cup.

Its 36th edition -- officially known as the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXVI -- ended on Easter Sunday. Forty percent of the entrants arrived from abroad, 40 percent from around the USA, and 20 percent from the Dallas area.

Brazil’s Coritiba won the most coveted prize, the U-19 Gordon Jago Super Group, with a 3-1 win over Mexico’s Monterrey.

The U-19 Super Group hasn’t been won by a U.S. team since the Dallas Texans in 2006. Last year, the U.S. U-20 national team reached the semifinals and the last club team to reach the semis was FC Dallas in 2011. This year, the three U.S. teams were FC Dallas, LA Galaxy, Real Salt Lake -- and none reached the knockout stage.

The Dallas Cup is one of the few non-Academy events the U.S. Soccer Development Academy allows its teams to participate in. And in the Super Group they are at a bit of a disadvantage in that they’re fielding U-18 teams.

“You notice it,” FC Dallas Academy coach Francisco Molina told the Dallas Morning News. “I think physically, speed wise, size wise, they’re just half a step ahead. In a high competition like this all it takes is that half an inch, that half of step.”

Cortiba (Photo courtesy of Dallas Cup by Matt Visinsky)

FC Dallas and the Galaxy, which was thumped, 7-0, by defending champion River Plate, went winless. Real Salt beat Mexico’s Tigres and Spain’s Valencia, lost to Coritiba, and missed out on a semifinal spot on goal difference to England’s Everton, which fell to Monterrey.

Mexico’s Santos Laguna beat Monterrey in the U-17 Super Group final. The non-super U-19 division was captured by Mexico’s Chiapas with a 2-1 win over FC Dallas.

Three U.S. teams did pick up titles in the lower age brackets, including U-16 Seattle United 98B Copa, which became the first Washington state team to win a Dallas Cup.

2015 Dallas Cup Finals
U-13 San Diego Surf 3 Golden State PDA (S.Calif.) 1
U-14 AC Brea (S.Calif.) 2 FC Dallas Pre-Academy 1
U-15 Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) 2 Golden State (S.Calif). 1
U-16 Seattle United Copa 2 Crossfire Premier Pre-Academy (Wash.) 0
U-17 FC Dallas 2 Golden State 0
Super U-17 Santos Laguna (MEX) 1 Monterrey (MEX) 0.
U-19 Jaguares Chiapas (MEX) 2 FC Dallas 1
Gordon Jago U-19 Super Group Coritiba (BRA) 3 Monterrey (MEX) 1

MLS Generation adidas Cup

Also happening in North Texas over Easter weekend – the final phase of the 2014-15 Generation adidas Cup, an annual tournament for U-17 MLS academy teams.

Seventeen of the 20 MLS clubs were joined by 10 foreign clubs and Chivas USA, whose first team folded after the 2014 season.

Of the MLS entrants, FC Dallas got farthest in the top tier, the Champions Division, falling to Eintracht Frankfurt on PKs after a scoreless semifinal.

The New York Red Bulls’ Ryan Mingachos scored the overtime winner against a man-down Independiente in a 2-1 in the Premier Division final.

Generation adidas Cup 2015
Champions Final: River Plate (ARG) 1 Eintracht Frankfurt (GER) 0
Premier Final: New York Red Bulls 2 Independiente Medellín (COL) 1

In the News

Northern California youth soccer advocates, including Santa Clara Youth Soccer League President Tino Silva, have launched Stand Up for Santa Clara, in response to the San Francisco 49ers' failure to make good on their promises to underwrite new soccer fields to compensate for using the Santa Clara Youth Soccer Park across the street from Levi's Stadium for parking. The 49ers aims to shut down the  Soccer Park, which serves 2,500 youth players, for NFL games and special events, approximately 40 weekends a year -- 80 percent of the youth soccer weekend schedule. In a San Jose Mercury-News guest editorial, the group wrote: "Now, it's clear that we cannot count on the 49ers to do the right thing for Santa Clara. Nor can we rely on elected officials, who are persuaded by a professional football team or influenced by campaign contributions,"

6 comments about "'Club World Cup' action in Dallas ".
  1. Thomas Hosier, April 7, 2015 at 10:19 a.m.

    As a "Club World Cup" venue the FC Dallas/Dr Pepper Dallas Cup lacked a lot to be desired. The Moneygram Soccer Complex and Richland College Soccer Fields lack a lot to be desired for "Club World Cup" play.

    The opening ceremonies at the Cotton Bowl were disorganized and were not of "World Cup" performance level.

    As for the competition, well it was marred by referees who allowed thugs and muggers to get away with grabbing, shoving, and intentional foul which resulting in less than "World Cup" status by youth players from around the world.

    Personally I was not impressed by the quality of the referees or the Dallas Cup venue. Tired of seeing skilled players beaten up by thugs and muggers from the lowest to the highest level of youth soccer. See you at the pitch!

  2. John Bishop, April 7, 2015 at 1:16 p.m.

    Thomas is absolutely right!! Reffing was horrendous at this event. I was scouting some games and not one was well reffed. I saw a game where a team was winning 1-0 vs home team FC Dallas u17. The team was from California. They had a play on goal where the FC Dallas came out of the box as last defender and took out forward completely missing the ball. Easy red card right?? Nope. Free kick. Yellow card. Then he awarded FC Dallas 2 pks. Score was 2-1.

  3. John Bishop, April 7, 2015 at 1:23 p.m.

    Reffing in USA in general is terrible. Kills the quality of how a game should be played and therefore hurts development. It is a problem in the majority of USA soccer playing cities.

  4. John Bishop, April 7, 2015 at 2:17 p.m.

    Sorry meant to say FC Dallas goalie came out of box

  5. Thomas Agosti, April 8, 2015 at 2:58 p.m.

    I must completely disagree with the above comments regarding the Dallas Cup. The fields at Moneygram were - bar none - the finest pitches our team has ever played on. Even by day 6, the quality was better than any natural grass fields we see at home.

    And while the quality of refereeing was variable, we would rate the overall level as very good - including one Japanese crew that was the best our team ever has ever had.
    This was U16, so YMMV.

    The choice of hotels on the other hand . . .

  6. John Bishop, April 8, 2015 at 3:30 p.m.

    John, I watched several games a day. Reffing was mostly sub par. Refs are terrified of handing out red cards or and calling clear Pks especially early in a game. I have seen a large amount of Academy games as well this year. Horrible Reffing. I just think that in a tournament of such high prestige as Dallas Cup they would get that right at the very least. You are basing your opinion on 3-4 games.

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