Category: Youth Soccer Development

Weekly Soccer Notes-June 10, 2017

Other news of interest in Texas Soccer this week:

Major League Soccer (MLS):

Bleacher Report’s Noah Davis wrote an excellent long-form piece on former Dynamo defender/midfielder and sometimes forward Geoff Cameron.  He used the word “unheralded” to describe Cameron’s arrival in Houston and that is true.  He joined the team as a third round MLS Super Draft choice in 2008 and in this article Dynamo head coach at the time, Dominic Kinnear, admitted about Cameron’s pick “It was a gamble” .  It didn’t take Dynamo supporters long to consider him heralded.  He scored on his home debut against FC Dallas and was in the starting lineup for the second-leg of a CONCACAF Champions Cup match (predecessor to the current CCL) in Costa Rica early in his rookie season. Now he is one of the top American exports to the English Premier League.

The link to the story is below: (


  • The biennial CONCACAF Gold Cup will be held in the United States from July 7-26. The U.S. submitted a provisional 40 man roster to the Confederation last week…this roster needs to be reduced to 23 by June 27th. Players from Texas teams, or those that are Texas-natives, named to the preliminary roster include:

Defenders:  Greg Garza (Atlanta United), Omar Gonzalez (Pachuca, Mexico),  Matt Hedges (FC Dallas)

Midfielders:  Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas)

Goalkeeper:  Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas)

U.S. born Gonzalez had previously announced his intention to play for Mexico, since he is a dual-national and has represented Mexico in youth tournaments. According to an article on, Fox Sports analyst and former Houston Dynamo Stuart Holden reported that he had recently spoken to Gonzalez’s agent, who said Gonzalez would accept the call if he is selected for the US 23-man roster for the Gold Cup. (

  • Other CONCACAF counties also released their provisional rosters.  Players with current Texas connections include: (

Canada:  Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas)

Honduras:  Maynor Figueroa (FC Dallas), Alberth Elis, Boniek Garcia and Rommel Quioto (Houston Dynamo)

Mexico:  Erick Torres (Houston Dynamo)

Panama:  Adolfo Machado (Houston Dynamo)

  • The CONCACAF website featured an interview with former Dynamo legend Dwayne DeRosario who played for Canada in five Gold Cups before his retirement in 2015. Here is a link to the interview: (

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):

The Houston Dash were held scoreless for the second consecutive week, losing 2-0 to the Washington Spirit at the Maryland SoccerPlex last Saturday. Though held scoreless, the Dash forced eight saves from the Spirit goalkeeper.  With the loss, the Dash fell into last place in the league (2-6-0 and 6 points from 8 games).  The Dash now have a week off before their next match against Orlando on June 17th.  It is likely that a new permanent coach will be named at some point during the break, to replace Randy Waldrum who was fired two weeks ago. (

United States Youth National Teams:

36 players have been called into the U.S. Under-15 Girls’ National Team training camp in Portland, Oregon, from June 11-18.  Four Texas players will participate in this camp, three from the North Texas Solar Chelsea club…midfielder Olivia Pena (Irving) and forwards Trinity Byars (Richardson) and Alexis Missimo (Southlake).  Goalkeeper Azul Alvarez (Lonestar SC; Round Rock) rounds out the Texas group.

Youth Soccer Development:

The U.S. Soccer Development Academy playoffs will take place June 22-26 in Westfield, Indiana (a suburb of Indianapolis). The Academy conducted its 2016-17 Playoff draw on Wednesday, with the qualified U-15/16 and U-17/18 teams drawn into eight groups of four teams each.

  • FC Dallas, the defending champions at both age levels, was one of 23 club programs to qualify teams for the 2017 playoffs at both age levels.  At the lower age level, FCD has been grouped with Crew SC Academy Wolves, New York City FC and Baltimore Armour.  The older group will face New York Red Bulls, Seattle Sounders FC and Beachside Soccer Club in the group Stage.  The game against Red Bulls will be one of the marquee match-ups of the group stage.
  • The Houston Dynamo qualified a team at the U 15/16 level and face an all MLS group stage bracket, the first time this has happened in the Academy playoffs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, LA Galaxy, Philadelphia Union join the Dynamo in what will certainly be a challenging group.

Further details can be found in the link below:  (

Weekly Soccer Notes-Saturday, May 27

Other news of interest in Texas Soccer this week:

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):

  • The Houston Dash lost to Sky Blue FC in New Jersey last Saturday afternoon, falling 2-1 on a goal just minutes from the end of the game. Midfielder Andressinha scored the Dash goal, converting a rebound after her initial shot hit the post in the 40th minute.  The Dash are now 2-4-0 and sit in 9th place (in a 10 team league), 6 points behind league leaders North Carolina.  The Dash return home to face Seattle today at BBVA Compass Stadium at 3 pm.  (
  • Four Dash midfielders have been called up to their national teams for games early next month.  Morgan Brian and Carli Lloyd, who currently is playing on loan in England, for the United States, Denise O’Sullivan for Ireland and Andressinha for Brazil.  (

National Premier Soccer League (NPSL):

An article by Nipun Chopra ( on the upper-Midwestern based Soc Takes website discussed the potential of a new Oklahoma City/Norman NPSL team to begin play next year.  In the article he spoke with the potential team’s lead owner, Dustin Hooker, who was previously involved in the set up of OKC Energy’s Premier Development League (PDL) side.  Hooker stated that the ownership group were in the process of filing a franchise application with NPSL.  They currently have a trial team that is playing against other amateur sides in the Midwest and Texas. In the article he alluded to the potential of other new NPSL teams in Texas in the future. Here is a link to the article that provides additional details on stadium locations and the team name:

Premier Development League (PDL):

Part of the mission for the PDL is to bring top players in their league to the attention of USL, MLS and other professional soccer leagues.  As a reflection of this mission, one of their brands is “Path-to-Pro”.  The league has enlisted the help of 24 scouts across North America, including coaching directors, technical directors and head coaches, to provide the PDL with valuable insight on the top Under-23 performers in the league throughout the season. This feedback forms the basis of a Top Prospects List, which serves as a resource for professional clubs who are interested in identifying and scouting high-level players, ranks players based on their performance within the PDL, their technical and tactical qualities and their potential to play at the professional level.  The league published the first Top Prospects List this week (link below of the Top 50 prospects).  No players on our Texas based PDL teams were identified on this first list…not surprising given that the all of these teams are new and the season has just started. (

National Soccer Hall of Fame (HOF):

  • FC Dallas and U.S. Soccer released new renderings and an updated schedule for the Hall of Fame, currently under construction at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.  The new timeline projects that the museum will be completed in the Winter of 2018. Other new seating and amenities in the south end of the stadium, which has been closed since construction began last year, will be completed and open next summer.  New renderings of the HOF can be found at this link: (

  • The U.S. Soccer Federation and FC Dallas have hired Djorn Buchholz to serve as the executive director for the National Soccer Hall of Fame at Toyota Stadium. Buchholz has 15 years of experience in MLS, USL (Austin Aztex) and NASL team front offices. He comes to Frisco from Austin, TX where he ran his own soccer consulting firm that provided insight and operational leadership to teams, matches and large-scale tournaments. (
  • Former Houston Dynamo players Brian Ching and Pat Onstad are among 33 players nominated for the National Soccer Hall of Fame Class of 2017.  Ching retired following the 2013 season and is in his first year of eligibility. He is the Dynamo’s all-time leading scorer with 56 goals in the MLS regular season and 69 goals across all competitions. He led the Dynamo do MLS Cup titles in 2006 and 2007.  Onstad holds Dynamo records for shutouts, wins, saves and goals against average. (

Youth Soccer Development:

A 64-player roster has been called to Carson, Calif. for U.S. Soccer’s first Boys’ National Team Futures Camp of 2017. The training camp, which consists of players who were born in 2002 and 2003, runs from May 26-30 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center.  This is a very intriguing camp, designed to identify the most talented players in the ’02 and ’03 birth years who appear to be on a later physical development path and/or are born in the second half of the year. Such parameters serve to reduce the impact of physical maturity and relative age effect on identification and evaluation of talent, according to the US Soccer website.  Four North-Texas youth players, two each from the 2002 and 2003 classes and also from the Solar Chelsea and FC Dallas Academy clubs were selected to participate.  (

International Soccer in Texas:

The MoneyGram SocioMX Tour will come to both Houston and Dallas this summer. LigaMX sides Cruz Azul and CF Monterrey will play in Houston at BBVA Compass Stadium on Sunday, July 2 at 7 p.m.  CF Monterrey will then play Pumas UNAM and Cruz Azul will play Toluca in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday, July 8 at 6 p.m. (Match organizer press releases)

Weekly Soccer Notes-Saturday, May 6, 2017

Other news of interest in Texas Soccer this week:

Major League Soccer (MLS):

Steve Fenn, who has his own together this statistically rich Tableau Software table to graphically depict the recently released MLS salary data from the MLS Players Union.  FC Dallas are 14th in spending in the 22 team league.  The Houston Dynamo are dead last, which won’t come as any surprise to their fan base.

National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL):

The Houston Dash defeated the Washington Spirit 1-0 on the road last Saturday evening. Kealia Ohai, who scored the 28th minute game winner, was named to the NWSL Team of the Month for April on the heels of her two goals and an assist in three matches. NWSL put together a video that features the 13 goals she has scored in the last 13 games (link below).  The Dash remain on the road this week, playing a rematch of their opening week victory over Chicago Red Stars today at 4 pm in Chicago.  The Dash are now 2-1 and tied for second place with two other teams.

Youth Soccer Development: 

  • Major League Soccer announced that four Texas MLS Academy coaches will participate in the third-phase of a partnership with the French Football Federation (FFF) to provide a 14-month training program to MLS youth Academy coaches.  The program includes field and classroom training in both France and the U.S., a one week immersion visit to a European Academy and assistance in integrating aspects of the program into existing MLS Academies.
    • Texas participants are Chris Hayden from FC Dallas and Scott James from Houston Dynamo. (
  • MLS also announced that a partnership with Spain’s La Liga has been established to provide continuing education to graduates of this FFF program and other MLS Academy Directors.
    • Texas MLS participants in this program are the two Academy directors-Luchi Gonzalez from FC Dallas and James Clarkson from the Dynamo. (
  • The Houston Dynamo U-14 Academy team is participating in the 2017 Cayman Airways Invitational Youth Football Cup for the second consecutive year. (

Mexico Border Soccer clubs:

FC Juarez, a Mexican Liga MX Ascenso second division team, played the first leg of the Torneo Clausura Final against Lobos BUAP (Puebla) Wednesday night.  Lobos was the winner of the first leg 2-1.  FC Juarez took an early 1-0 lead and also gained a vital away goal off a redirected direct kick.  The second leg is tonight in Juarez’s Olympic Benito Juarez stadium.  FC Juarez is partially owned by Texas-based Mountain Star Sports Group and other El Paso investors.  Mountain Star has had conversations with both MLS and USL within the last few years to potentially establish a soccer team in El Paso also. (various sources)


U.S. Youth Soccer Faces Reality in Dallas Youth Tournaments

Now that the Dallas Cup and Generation Adidas Cup, held in North Texas over the last few weeks, have concluded, Texas-native journalist Charles Boehm weighed in with his observations on these tournaments in a Thursday column on In this article he talked at length about the gap that continues to exist (though closing) between North American youth clubs and those from other countries.  A few quotes from MLS Academy coaches in this article highlights these differences.

New York Red Bulls Academy coach Paul O’Donnell

“I think it’s the professional approach to the game from the foreign teams.  Taking very little risks, their ability to compete and tackle – these guys are fighting for jobs down the road. They’re so competitive in every tackle, they’re a little bit soccer-savvy at times when they need to be. As we progressed we got a little bit more soccer-savvy, more competitive, and realized that hey, we can play with these guys, there’s nothing to be scared of.”

San Jose Earthquakes Academy coach Paul Holecker

“You take a look at some of the top teams and you see the level of savvy, the level of control, competitiveness.  It’s derived from their culture: Since they were 8 years old they were competing.  I got to watch some of the U-12s play, and they’re primed to be little professionals at 10 years old. That’s different from our US culture. But the more that we’re exposed to that, the more we’re going to realize that yeah, these are the expectations that we have to have.”

Los Angeles Galaxy Academy coach Brian Kleiban

“The Mexican teams, they travel with their first-team counterparts and play in these type of intense games week in and week out. The Flamengo team plays their local rivals week in and week out. You can just see that they’re more match-ready for these type of games and being in adverse situations and having to defend in 1v1 situations constantly, winning their battles – where we’re not. Any little detail, any little mistake gets exposed.”

Below is the link to this excellent article.

Texas UIL High School Soccer Championship Results

The Texas University Interscholastic League (UIL) public High School State Championships were played from last Wednesday through Saturday in Georgetown.

The results of the finals at the 4A-6A level are listed below.  Three of the six classifications contested were won by Dallas area schools.


Class 6A:  Pflugerville Hendrickson 2  Katy Tompkins 0

Class 5A:  Highland Park 5  Aledo 3

Class 4A:  Stephenville 2  Boerne 1


Class 6A:  Dallas Jesuit 2  Arlington Sam Houston 1 (OT)

Class 5A: Frisco Wakeland 2  Waller 0

Class 4A:  Kilgore 3  Bridgeport 2 (SO)

FC Dallas Academy wins their first Dallas Cup/Generation Adidas Cup results

FC Dallas’s (FCD) top Academy side beat FC Monterrey 2-1 last night to win the prestigious Gordon Jago U-19 Super Group at the Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup in Frisco. As in the semifinal win over Coritiba, the main damage was done by two players on loan from the FC Dallas first team, Paxton Pomykal and Jesus Ferreira.

In a repeat of the semifinal win, FCD gave up a late goal to tie up the match and then scored minutes later for the victory.  Pomykal opened the scoring in the 23rd minute. After Monterrey went level in the 81st minute, Arturo Rodriquez scored from long distance in the 89th to allow FCD to be the first MLS Academy team to win the Dallas Cup. Though not scoring on the night, Ferreira was a driving force all over the field throughout the match.

The impact of the loaned first team players was obvious.  Ferreira scored four goals and Pomykal three in the tournament.

After the game, Pomykal expressed how important this tournament championship was to him in an article by Arman Kafai in the Dallas Morning-News:

“It’s a good feeling [to win the tournament].  Playing in the Dallas Cup growing up all the way from the first age group and never winning and to win the hardest one, it’s kinda surreal but it’s also a mission accomplished for me as I’ve always wanted to win this tournament.”

One more feather in the cap for the most successful MLS Academy program.


Generation Adidas Cup:

The final matches of this U-17 tournament, hosted by MLS in Frisco, were also played this past weekend.  In the 7th place game of the Championship Division FC Dallas Academy beat the Los Angeles Galaxy Academy 2-0…both goals scored by Brayan Padilla.  In the 5th place game of the Premier Bracket, Chivas Guadalajara defeated Houston Dynamo Academy 2-1.

FC Dallas Advance to first U-19 Finals in Dallas Cup

FC Dallas (FCD) will face CF Monterrey Rayados in the finals of the U-19 Gordon Jago Super Group in the Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup tomorrow at 6:00 p.m. at Toyota Stadium in Frisco.  

To get the finals, Dallas defeated two-time Super Group champion Coritiba 2-1.  Coritiba is a club from Curitiba, Brazil…a city approximately 200 miles southwest of Sao Paulo. The two Dallas goals would give any fan of soccer in the United States, who believes our players lack technical ability, serious hope for the future.  On the first goal in the 80th minute, Jesus Ferreira played a ball off his chest at the edge of the box, waited for an angle to open up while his right back overlapped, and calmly placed the ball just inside the far post past the diving goalkeeper. Coritiba leveled in the 87th minute on a nice free-kick after FCD gave a foul just outside the box.  It only took a minute for FCD to regain the lead, however, as Jesus Ferreira and Paxton Pomykal connected for a beautiful game-winning goal. Ferreira played a perfectly timed pass into the box to Pomykal who flicked the ball past the sprawling keeper.  To get into position to execute his exquisite finish, Pomykal made the type of run that is seen often in Latin America, but rarely in U.S. youth soccer.

Ferreira and Pomykal, along with defender Reggie Cannon, were three of it’s age appropriate Academy graduates who were sent back to bolster the FCD Academy side from the first team for this tournament 

To advance to the semis, FCD beat Everton (England) 5-0, tied CF Monterrey Rayados and defeated Israel’s Maccabi Haifa FC 1-0.  

Dallas Head Coach Oscar Pareja, in an article by Jon Arnold in the Dallas Morning News, talked about why he supported his players returning to youth competition.  

“The participation of Paxton, Reggie and Jesus in the Dallas Cup is a great step for them. First, because that’s basically the team that they’ve been playing with,” Pareja said. “Second, because it’s a time for them to bring the experiences that they have had during the past three, four months with the first team and implement it into the action of competition.  You now have a good scenario for them to come in and perform. It’s great for them and good for the team and the club.”