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Youth Boys Apr 06, 2021

Players That Impressed: Dallas Cup U14-U19 Boys Finals

By Adam Schwager
SoccerWire Staff Writer

Over the last 42 years, the Dallas Cup has been regarded as one of the most prestigious youth tournaments in the world, featuring many players who went on to become global superstars, including the likes of David Beckham and Wayne Rooney.

This year’s tournament finals were streamed on ESPN3 over the weekend, allowing observers to get their best look at some of the up-and-coming talent breeding in the United States.

See below for SoccerWire’s list of Players That Impressed in each of the finals at Dallas Cup XLII.

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Max Lora Araux | Forward
San Diego Surf 14U (CA)

Entering a game in which his team was pegged as the heavy underdogs, Araux opened the scoring in spectacular fashion. After settling an impressive long cross from teammate Nicolas Axelson, Araux cut back to beat the two defenders on his right side, before slamming home a shot between two defenders at the top of the box, the first goal conceded by the Dallas Rebels all tournament. In the second half, Araux helped to double San Diego’s lead, putting a powerful shot on target that was eventually cleaned up by teammate Maxim Scordo.

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Luis Sahmkow | Forward
Solar 19U (TX)

Solar’s offense ran through Sahmkow during their PK shootout victory over local rival Dallas Texans, as he created the assist to put Solar up 1-0 and calmly put away a PK in the 65th minute to once again put Solar on top 2-1. With chances throughout, including a first-half header that went off the post, the Pittsburgh recruit looked like a top-tier striker throughout the game, leading to being named the Toyota MVP of the game.

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Kristian Kelley | Midfielder
FC Dallas U15 Academy (TX)

With the most impressive individual performance across all Dallas Cup finals, Kelley helped FC Dallas secure back-to-back “Boot and Ball” trophies (2019 U13 & 2021 U15, as the pandemic cancelled the 2020 Dallas Cup) with an impressive hat trick in FC Dallas’ 4-0 over San Diego Surf. Finishing the tournament with seven goals, Kelley has a bright future ahead of him as he enters the prime of his youth career.

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Alejandro Urzua | Midfielder
FC Dallas U15 Academy (TX)

A calming presence in the middle, Urzua provided plenty of opportunities for his strikers with fantastic crosses throughout the game. After netting his only assist with a beautiful corner strike in the 10th minute, Urzua should’ve had a second off a short corner in the 39th, where he put the ball right in the middle of four of his teammates at the top of the 6-yard line.

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Guy Michalei | Defender
Dallas Texans 16U (TX)

Not only doing his part on the defensive end, Michaeli netted the only goal in the championship game against California’s Olympiacos FC, in a play that he both started and finished. After making an incredible back-heel, first-touch pass back to help his teammate receive the ball at the top of the box, Michalei made a run to get open and put the ball upper 90 to become only the second player all tournament to beat Olympiacos’ stellar defensive line.

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Elijah Berumen | Goalkeeper
Dallas Texans 16U (TX)

A quality keeper doesn’t lose you the game, while an outstanding goalkeeper wins you games. During the U-16 final, Berumen played outstandingly. Despite not having to do much early, Olympicacos turned on the pressure down 1-0, trying to equalize. But when his number was called, Berumen stepped up, making two dazzling diving saves in the final 10 minutes of the game to keep his team in the lead. The finals performance acted as a capstone to an already impressive week, as the Texans failed to concede a goal across all six of their games.

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Marcus Goodley | Goalkeeper
Future Monarchs 18U (MD)

Tasked with shutting down the high-scoring offense of FC Dallas, Goodley put on an impressive performance that allowed his team to remain in the game early on. Prior to receiving a 40th minute red card, FC Dallas and star striker Taylor Davis (nine goals in five games) were putting plenty of pressure on the counterattack, forcing Goodley to make some stellar saves to keep the game scoreless. Without his tone-setting save on a high-quality chance by Davis in the 13th minute, it’s quite possible that Future Monarchs would’ve lost the game they ended up taking by a final score of 2-1.

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Martin Dominguez | Goalkeeper
Solar 19U (TX)

Despite conceding multiple goals, Dominguez came up in the clutch. He recorded a couple of fantastic saves in the second half to help Solar reach the PK shootout, and when his number was called he single-handedly won them the game. Needing to make a save to send his team to an extra round of PKs, Dominguez made the kick-out save to extend the game before making a diving stop to his left to win Solar the “Boot and Ball” trophy in the sixth round.

Honorable Mentions

Taylor Davis | Forward
FC Dallas 18U (TX)

Sterling Harris II | Forward
Future Monarchs 18U (MD)

Adam Ambrus-Aiklin | Midfielder
San Diego Surf 14U (CA)

Kyrome Lumsden | Midfielder
San Diego Surf 14U (CA)

Christopher Santos | Defender
Olympiacos FC 16U (CA)

Nicolas Axelson | Defender
San Diego Surf 14U (CA)

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