When last in Dallas, Maebashi Ikuei of Japan participated in the regular Group A-Under 19 and did quite well states Tournament Manager Randy Jones. Their performance was a good indication of what was to come from Japanese football and now Maebashi Ikuei, the first Japanese team ever to be invited to participate in the Super Group, feels they are ready to compete at the highest level.
Executive Director Gordon Jago points out for many years, until recently joined by some J-League teams, youth soccer talent in Japan was developed at the high school level. Maebashi Ikuei has produced some of Japans top players throughout the years. These young men have gone on to play for their National team as well as professionally in the J-League and in Europe. Motohiro Yamaguchi who played in the 1998 World Cup and Naoki Matsuda who played in the 2002 World Cup are just two of the many players that have trained in the Maebashi Ikuei program.
The 2005 Dallas Cup team is expected to be a very talented group and will include players that have also been selected to participate with Japans National youth teams. The team will be led by Coach Kohsuke Yamada. We would like to express great happiness to be able to return to the Dallas Cup next year says Coach Yamada. It is most honorable to receive the invitation to participate in the Super Group. We will play as best we can and show our high level of Asian soccer to everyone in the best youth tournament in the world.
Making a trip of more than 6500 miles with a large delegation requires much planning and cooperation between the team and the tournament. Three long time friends of the Dallas Cup will coordinate the venture next March" says Jones. "Yuji Shimada, President of CTC Japan and Masahide Nakano, President of Kasumigaseki Travel Bureau will work very closely with Miguel de Lima, President of DeLima Soccer Enterprises of Pensacola, Florida to make sure every detail is covered. Everyone at the Dallas Cup appreciates their efforts but no one more than me. They make my job much easier.
For additional information contact Elon Werner, Dallas Cup XXVI public relations/media at 214-244-1184 or firstname.lastname@example.org