Commentary

FC Dallas makes Development Academy history, but focus remains on long-term

By Mike Woitalla

FC Dallas won 2016 U.S. Soccer Development Academy titles at the U-15/16 and U-17/18 divisions, becoming the first club to win both age groups in the same year.

The Dallas U-15/16s, coached by Luchi Gonzalez, beat the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-0, to repeat at that age group. The U-17/18s, coached by Francisco Molina, came from behind to beat the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-1, in overtime.

Jesus Ferreira scored his 26th goal of the 2015-16 Development Academy season in FC Dallas U-15/16 final win and also assisted on the opening goal by Aldo Quevedo, his 10th strike of the season. The 15-year-old Ferreira is the son of 2010 MLS MVP David Ferreira, the Colombian playmaker who spent five seasons with FC Dallas. Jesus, who was born in Santa Marta, Colombia, and joined FC Dallas' youth program in 2009, attended a Colombian youth national team camp last year but is in the process of getting his U.S. citizenship.


Jesus Ferreira

Brandon Servania, who moved from Alabama to join FC Dallas, orchestrated much of the U-15/16s' midfield play. His younger brother, Jaden, plays for FC Dallas' U-14s. Dallas-born goalkeeper Carlos Avilez, whose saves were especially crucial in FC Dallas' 1-0 semifinal win over the Chicago Fire, has spent time with the youth national team programs of both the USA and Mexico.

Ten of the players who started in the final for FC Dallas' U-17/18s were a part of last year's U-15/16 national title winning team. They included Devin Vega, who scored the opening goal and last year was the co-leading scorer along with another returnee, Giovanni Montesdeoca. Vega trained with FC Dallas' first team this season. Seven members of Molina's squad, including standout central defender Hector Montalvo, have been called into U.S. youth national camps.

"We're really proud of the boys," said Gonzalez, who also serves as FC Dallas Academy director. "Both groups showed lot of determination. We tried to focus on each group's strengths independently and their different reasons for motivation. We took an abundance of staff to make sure there was no neglect for one team or the other and so there was enough care and support and energy. And these details helped.

"Winning both titles is amazing unbelievable and sets the bar really high, but nothing changes in our office. Our day-to-day approach is to do everything we can so that our players one day end up playing in the stadium with the first team."

FC Dallas, which is currently first in MLS's overall standings, has signed a league-high 14 Homegrown players and has six on its current roster. Last month, FC Dallas sold 18-year-old Homegrown Alejandro Zendejas, who played eight MLS games in 2015, to Chivas Guadalajara.

CURRENT FC DALLAS HOMEGROWN
Player (age) MLS games played
Victor Ulloa (24) 90
Kellyn Acosta (20) 74
Moises Hernandez (24) 33
Jesse Gonzalez (21) 17
Coy Craft (19) 3
Aaron Guillen (23) 1

The other Homegrown signees no longer at FC Dallas are: Danny Garcia (San Antonio/USL), Bryan Leyva (Dallas City FC/NPSL), Ruben Luna (Rio Grande Valley FC/USL), Jonathan Top (Comunicaciones/Guatemala), Richard Sanchez (Tigres/Mexico), London Woodberry (New England/MLS), Bradlee Baladez (inactive).

2015-16 U.S. Soccer Development Academy National Championship
July 16 in Carson, Calif.
U-15/16 Final
FC Dallas 2 Los Angeles Galaxy 0
Goals: Aldo Quevedo (Jesus Ferreira) 18, Ferreira 53.
FC Dallas -- Carlos Avilez, Brecc Evans, Jacob Goyen, Jose Castro, Blake Willis, Jommar Reyes, Mark Salas, Aldo Quevedo, Brandon Servania, Jesus Ferreira, Bryan Reynolds.
Subs: Matt D'Annunzio, Cole Guindon, Manuel Alonso Molina, Aidan Tibbets.
Los Angeles -- Alain Hernandez, Carlos Anguiano, Ian Lonergan, Leo Zulli, Eric Payeras, Jake Arteaga, Kelee Cornfield-Saunders, Oscar Penate, Jonathan Estrada, Jorge Hernandez, Kevin Negrete.
Subs: Zico Bailey, Misael Becerra, Alex Mendez, Tristan Weber, Efrain Alvarez.

U-15/16 Third-place game
Real Colorado 4 Chicago Fire 1.
Goals: Noah Hilt (pen.) 46, Anthony Chrysanthou 51, Matthew Hundle 72, Rhys De Sota 91+; Victor Berreza 68.

U-17/18 Final
FC Dallas 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 1 (OT)
Goals: Devin Vega (Damian Hernandez) 81, Juanito Ramirez (Gustavo Lopez) 106; Vana Markarian (David Norman) 10.
FC Dallas -- Ben Hale, Brandon Terwege, Hector Montalvo, Reginald Cannon, Damian Hernandez, Giovanni Montesdeoca, Edwin Munjoma, Adrian Ramos, Toshiki Yasuda, Devin Vega, Paxton Pomykal.
Subs: Gerland Howard, Juan Ramirez, Philip Ponder, Gustavo Lopez.
Vancouver Whitecaps -- Aidan Aylward, Andre Baires, Matthew Baldisimo, Thomas Gardner, Vana Markarian, Patrick Metcalfe, David Norman, Gloire Amanda, Terran Campbell, Liam McManaman, Daniel Sagno.
Subs: Marcello Polisi, Thelonius Bair, Noah Verhoeven.

U-17/18 Third-place game
PDA 4 Nomads SC 0.
Goals: Josh Burnett 8, Chaz Burnett 22, Isaiah Young 34, Chaz Burnett (pen.) 88.

Development Academy Champions U-15/16
2016 FC Dallas
2015 FC Dallas
2014 LA Galaxy
2013 Real Salt Lake AZ
2012 New York Red Bulls
2011 LA Galaxy
2010 Chicago Fire
2009 Derby County Wolves
2008 Carmel United

Development Academy Champions U-17/18
2016 FC Dallas
2015 Chicago Fire
2014 PDA
2013 New York Red Bulls
2012 FC Dallas
2011 Pateadores
2010 Vardar SC
2009 Carmel United
2008 Baltimore Bays

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