Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dallas Cup XXXII

On Sunday, Dallas Cup kicked off in Frisco, Texas. I am in town covering the event for, so make sure to check there for all my game reports, features, and interviews. I am going to use the blog for more general thoughts about the competition and some teams.

FC Dallas Academy (both U-16 and U-18) were very impressive on the day. Beyond the result over Barcelona, it was the quality of their play. They are good in tight spaces, and they have good athleticism all over the field to beat teams on the break.

  • For the U-16 team, there was never a doubt about the result. Perhaps Barrio Mexico was jet-lagged or nervous? But from the opening kick-off, the local side took the game to the team from Costa Rica. FC Dallas' midfielders love to possess the ball and they show for it constantly. Something that some players do well, but rarely see so many players do it well at this age. Offensively, I think they have better fluidity than the U-18 team, but they often send too many players forward and are left spread out far too often. Barrio Mexico had a few chances on the break against them, but Dallas' superior athleticism shut down many chances. I had high expectations for forward Bobby Edet, but I was a bit disappointed. He is fast - there is no denying that - but he doesn't seem to be on the same page technically as most of his teammates.
  • The U-18 side was stronger and faster than Barca's Juvenil B side. Jonathan Top played really well up front. I have had bad luck with Top in the past as he seems to always pick up an injury when I go to scout him, but today I was pleasantly surprised. Good touch and a good instinct in the attacking third. I have some interviews with some of the members of the U-18 team, so I should have them on sometime in the coming days. Basically, they want to win Super Group is the over theme. That might be easier said than done as Arsenal looked really good in the nightcap.

Vancouver Whitecaps U-18 academy had probably the most surprising result of the day. Daniel Robertson of BigDSoccer and TopDrawerSoccer said that there has only been one Brazilian team that has entered the tournament and not won it. So a victory over Corinthians for the Canada academy was a massive result. The first goal of the game (the only one I caught) was a bit awkward as a corner was driven into the box, but then the wind caught hold of it and pushed it into the net. The corner kick taker, Ben Fisk, went on to pick up two other goals on his way to a hat trick. I thought defensive midfielder Kevin Cobby played well. Tigres v Vancouver should be a good one tomorrow.

I think I will do a more general run down of the results tomorrow instead of gamers for every game. Also, I should have a feature on one U.S. team up on later this week or next week.