DALLAS, Texas (Wednesday, Aug. 22) – The adidas 2018 Dallas Cup all-star team has returned home from Europe triumphant following a successful trip to The Netherlands and Belgium. The 16-player all-star team, selected by adidas from the U16 age bracket of Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXIX, played in friendly matches and took part in training at world class soccer complexes, all culminating in a first-place finish in a pre-season round-robin tournament in Rotterdam.
The pre-season tournament was played at the VDL Sports Complex in Rotterdam, The Netherlands and featured three 40-minute matches. The Dallas Cup All-Stars, coached by former U18 U.S. National Team coach Mike Matkovich, started the tournament on a high note securing a 1-0 win over Feyenoord thanks to a lone goal from Bailey Sparks in the 2nd minute. In the second match, the all-stars squared off against Almere City FC. Joe Perryman bagged a goal in the 23rd minute, lifting the all-stars to another 1-0 victory. The last match of the round-robin tournament was against historic Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. Riley O’Donnell scored in the 11th minute and the all-stars did not let up, holding on to a 1-0 lead, and securing first place in the round- robin tournament.
Tournament Match Results:
1-0 vs. Fayenoord
Bailey Sparks (2’)
Starting Lineup: Chris Edwards; Emiliano Hernandez, Josh Ramsey, Kai Thomas, David Biering; Brian Aguilar, Harvey Castro; Riley O’Donnell, Bailey Sparks, Felix Calero; Phillip Akem
1-0 vs. Almere City FC
Joe Perryman (23’)
Starting Lineup: Chris Edwards; Emiliano Hernandez, Josh Ramsey, Kai Thomas, David Biering; Brian Aguilar, Skyler Stricker; Gabe Willadsen, Richard Garcia, Clayton Grob; Joe Perryman
1-0 vs PSV
Riley O’Donnell (11’)
Starting Lineup: Chris Edwards, Emiliano Hernandez, Josh Ramsey, Kai Thomas, David Biering; Brian Aguilar, Harvey Castro; Riley O’Donnel, Bailey Sparks, Phillip Akem; Felix Calero
The trip began in Amsterdam for the all-stars with training at the facilities of the most successful club in Dutch soccer history, AFC Ajax. The training set the stage for the team’s first friendly match versus FC Utrecht at the club’s training grounds in Utrecht. The All-Stars fell to the Dutch side, 4-3, after conceding an Utrecht goal in the last play of the game. Phillip Akem (9’) and Riley O’Donnell (21’, 60’) scored in the match for the Dallas Cup All-Stars. After the game, the team attended the Champions League match between AFC Ajax and Standard Liege at Johan Cruyff Arena.
The team traveled to Belgium the third day of the trip where they played their second preparation match against RSC Anderlecht at the club’s training grounds in the city of Anderlecht. The match ended in a 0-0 draw, with keeper Chris Edwards picking up the clean sheet for the all-stars.
Before returning to the Netherlands for the tournament in Rotterdam, the Dallas Cup All-Stars took part in two days of soccer intensive training at the Belgium Federation training complex in Tubize, Belgium. The team also took an afternoon visit to the capital city of Brussels and attended a Belgian First Division match between Anderlecht and Mouscron.
2018 marks the fourth year in which a Dallas Cup all-star team was selected. In 2014 and 2015, the all-star teams took part in the Young Champions International Tournament during the UEFA Champions League Final week in Lisbon and Berlin, respectively. Last year, the 2017 Dallas Cup all-star team traveled to Spain and Portugal, where they trained at the Real Madrid and S.L. Benfica academies, and played exhibition matches against other academy teams.
The 2019 Dr Pepper Dallas Cup will mark the 40th anniversary of the prestigious youth soccer tournament. The tournament will be held April 14-21, 2019, with the next wave of young talent on full display. The team application window is now open.
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