Tough competition and record crowds were the highlights at Dallas Cup XXIV. On Easter Sunday night another capacity crowd of 10,000+ fans at Lake Highlands Stadium watched Tigres defeat the USA U-17 National team, 2-1 in a tough Super Group Championship contest that had fans for both teams on their feet most of the night.
Tough competition and record crowds were the highlights at Dallas Cup XXIV. On Sunday night another near capacity crowd of 10,000 fans at Lake Highlands Stadium watched Tigres defeat the USA U-17 National team, 2-1 in a tough Super Group Finals contest that had fans for both teams on their feet most of the night. Dallas Texans Red took the U19 Dallas Cup championship with a 1-0 win over Comets Red. Other champions included Dallas Texans Red winning the U17 championship, CD Guadalajara winning the U16 title, Arsenal FC winning the U14 crown and LD Alajuelense winning the U12 championship.
Interest in the Super Group dominated fans attention all week. The group was filled with top level competition. Early favorites included Tigres (the eventual champions), Newcastle United FC, and Sport Benfica of Portugal. A good number of people also thought this would be the year that the USA U-17 National team could play its way out of the group competition led by 13 year-old sensation Freddy Adu. CD Guadalajara and the USA U-17 National team both came out of Group A with CD Guadalajara grabbing the wildcard position heading into the semi-finals. Tigres won Group B with a strong 2-0-1 record. In Group C Newcastle United dominated their group grabbing a 3-0 record. Newcastle United FC would face USA U-17 National team and Tigres would face CD Guadalajara in the semi-final round. Both of these semi-final matches were back and forth battles with Tigres and the USA U-17 National team coming out on top with 1-0 wins.
CD Guadalajara defeated Newcastle United FC, 3-2, in the consolation game for third place in one of the most exciting Super Group matches of the week. Each of these teams had the match in hand but in the end CD Guadalajara came out on top.
In the Super Group Final the USA U-17 National team was facing one of its toughest opponents of the tournament. The Tigres squad was built to attack with lots of speed and put defensive pressure on their opponents for the entire match. Tigres came out quickly and Vasquez scored the first goal of the match, eight minutes into the game. Tigres, again on an attack up the left side scored another goal at the 15 minute mark on a rebound kick by Mendoza. Tigres took the 2-0 lead into the locker room at half time.
Heading into the second half the USA U-17 National team looked much more in control and at the 66th minute Freddy Adu got the USA U-17 National team on the scoreboard with penalty kick goal. For the rest of the match the USA squad had a number of chances but could not convert.
As Tigres was presented with their championship trophy and medals during the closing ceremonies of Dallas Cup XXIV thousands of fans remained in the grandstands of Lake Highlands Stadium many waving the flags of Mexico and the United States. It was a scene that was exhibited throughout the week at all the venues, soccer fans enjoying superior soccer games and exceptional athletic talent from around the world. In the end the ceremony came to a close and thoughts turned to next year, the 25th anniversary, and everyone reflected on what a unique experience all the teams, coaches, volunteers, and fans had at this years tournament.