Local teams still alive at Dallas Cup
By Charles Boehm
The prestigious Dallas Cup is known far and wide for offering some of the top competition in the world, and the four local teams participating in this year’s edition have found that to be the case as they clash with skilled opponents from across the nation and the world this week.
Barca FC and Champions League Select (both Va.) are on the bubble due to opening losses but remain in the hunt to advance to the elimination stages of the Dallas Cup’s Under-14 division, while OBGC Rangers (Md.) and AC Bethesda (Md.) hope to finish strong in U-16 and U-17 action, respectively.
In U-14 Bracket A play, Barca FC endured a tough start to their tournament with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Chicago Blast Academy on Monday, then locked horns with California’s Fullerton Rangers in a 4-4 shootout earlier today. Jean-Christoph Koffi has scored three of Barca’s five goals so far, including the crucial equalizer against Fullerton.
His team’s hopes of advancing to the knockout rounds depending on a victory – and goal differential may prove decisive as well, depending on how the Fullerton vs. Chicago match plays out – in their group stage finale against Costa Rican side Liga Deportiva Alajuelense at noon on Wednesday.
The picture looks a bit better for Champions League Select. CLS sit in third place in Bracket C with a 1-1 record, having beaten Chicago Fire Youth Academy 1-0 on Monday through Jalen Johnson’s 58th-minute goal after losing 2-0 to Nomads Academy (Calif.) in their opener on Sunday.
Champions League Select face a tough test in their third and final group match, a must-win game against Mexico’s Club Universidad Nacional, on Wednesday morning.
OBGC Rangers raced out to a smashing start in U-16 Dallas Cup action, downing Dallas Texans U-15 Pre-Academy 4-1 on the strength of a Sean Cowdrey hat trick. Coach Matt Pilkington’s highly-rated side was in play against Santa Clara Sporting, a squad from California’s Bay Area, at the time of this article’s publishing on Tuesday afternoon, a crucial match which stands to determine how the bracket standings shake out.
Rangers conclude group play with what looks to be a less challenging matchup against Colegio Americano de Guatemala, which has lost its first two matches by a combined score of 13-0.
AC Bethesda has tied one and lost in in Bracket H of the Dallas Cup’s U-17 division. Coach Brett Colton and his boys drew Albion White (Calif.) 1-1 in their opener on Sunday, with the goal scored by Richard Kirouac, then dropped a 2-0 result to Dallas Texans’ Under-15/16 Development Academy team on Monday afternoon. Bethesda will battle Canadian club Erin Mills Eagles, who are 0-2 so far, in a pivotal game at 2 p.m. CT on Wednesday.