Dallas Cup 2021 – Buzz Notes Day Three

Today was the final day of group play on the boys’ side so I’m calling it day three. I’m sure someone will be annoyed by that but there was an off day in the schedule.

I feel like it’s important to mention that when I watch these players I’m not as concerned with how good the player is now – although that certainly matters – I’m more concerned with how good I think he will be in the future. How do I think he projects. That’s much harder to get a handle on but it’s part of what I’m doing. It’s why I talk about progression so much. The younger the players, the more this is true.

Today I was able to take in all of the FCD U15s, most of the FCD U17s, and most of the U14s. Unfortunately, the 14s were at a different complex so I had to drive 25 minutes over to Richland. If they had been the next field over at MoneyGram it would have been a lot easier.

FC Dallas U15s

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The FCD U15s steamrolled this group, finished on 9 points with a +24 goal differential. That’s nuts. Hopefully they get some better competition going foward.

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FC Dallas U15s Dallas Cup 2021 Game Three

There’s some rotation here to manage work load and fatigue for a team with a short bench. (As with all these lineups, use a grain of salt. I’m just jotting down notes on my pad and sometimes I miss stuff.)

Miguel Padilla plays at the 9 today and I like his energy and work rate. The combos aren’t clicking though, perhaps he’s fatigued? There are some odd player combos happing with this group though so I’m reluctant to think it’s him.

Alejandro Urzua is a nice holding mid. He must be the player of choice here when Corcoran plays up. He’s so skinny he makes Thomas Roberts look like a bodybuilder but is a quality player, super smooth. They use him in more of a double-pivot look.

Every time I watch Malachi Molina play I like him more. I think you will hear this name a lot going forward. He’s explosive and can really move. I like him better as a wing than an outside back but I get why they are trying him in the back. Last game I saw him, he was on the right, this time it’s the left.

Jared Salazar is this team’s 10 – or Free-8 in the FCD system. He’s real quality on the ball and 100% all lefty. Terrific passing vision. I would like to see him influence the game more if he’s going to move up on my board. Control it, dominate it.

FC Dallas U17s

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FC Dallas U17s 2

Yet again the U17s dominate possession. This time in the region of 70%. If someone told me higher I would believe it.

In the first half with the wind at their backs, Houston has a breakaway where their big striker gets past the keeper to score. Then on another over-the-top counter, Pranav DeBroff brings down the same striker for a red card and PK. So FCD is down a man and down two goals.

The second half, down a said man, FCD still dominates possession and manages a couple of goals but it’s too little too late. They finish 3rd in the group and are eliminated.

FC Dallas U17s Dallas Cup 2021 Game Three

This team is so skilled with such quality form their goal to the other box… but in that final third is breaks down. Too many crosses to no one, too many touches, too many shots over or wide.

Chris Sanchez is very dangerous with the ball at his feet. He can beat one, two, or even three defenders at a time but doesn’t always get the end result.

Nighte Pickering remains on high on my board but not at the tip top. There’s a lot to like but nothing that truly lights me on fire. He scores bags of goals through. Keep doing that and he can go all the way. I need to see him in a higher-level context… see if he holds up.

Diego Hernandez remains the best all-around player in this group in my book and Anthony Ramirez the best ball handler. Ramirez plays wing in a false style and is rapidly improving his defense game.

Diego Gamez has tons of pace and skill getting forward again. He’s really dynamic and combines really well with Ramirez… he just needs to sort out that final ball in the box, whether it be pass or shoot.

Jordan Jones. I’m a big fan of his game and his quality is still in abundance. He’s grown quite tall and – at the minute, to my eye anyway – seems a little out of sorts with that new height. When he adjusts I expect him to dominate again.

FC Dallas U14s

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I missed the first 10 minutes or so as I had to drive over to Richland from MoneyGram. But still caught the bulk of the game.

FC Dallas U14s in Dallas Cup 2021 Game Three

It’s official, Cayne Madhlangove is my favorite player in this team. Dude can get forward with pace and skill, cut inside to rip a shot, get wide, or combine. He works hard, has grit, and is a tenacious defender. Complete player. Love it.

Last time I watched the 14s I talked about the aggressive mindset of Michael Cortellessa at left back. Well, today he’s at right wing and the kid is electric. Eye-opening burst and combo play, super dangerous. I really want to see him more. Moving up my board.

Glad to see Brice Miller finally. He’s got a whole lot of potential but is still trying to put it all together. But I can see why people mentioned him to me. Could be a big future… or not. We’ll see.

Jeyden Arboleda is still the best player in this team on second viewing. The most influential, he drives the bus. A pure playmaker but he also checks and presses in the FCD way. He’s also the smallest player. Four years from now, if he’s still the best player, he’ll be a pro prospect. The kid’s quality.

That’s it for today. Quarterfinals start tomorrow.

Roman Torres

Roman Torres plays for FC Dallas Youth 02 Boys Premier and he deserves special recognition.

He’s now scored a hat trick in three straight games at the Dallas Cup. A hat trick of hat tricks.

Well done young man.

Roman Torres (#10 front and center) celebrates with his teammates during the Dallas Cup 2021. (Courtesy Dallas Cup)

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