It’s Day Two (Monday) at the Dallas Cup and my viewing continues with the FC Dallas Academy boys teams.
Having missed the U17s on Day One I wanted to make sure I caught them in action and that meant going to Richland College. Thankfully the U19s were starting just a bit later at the same complex so I caught 80% of their game too.
FC Dallas U17s
|Strikers Miami FC Elite||1|
|FC Dallas U17s||0|
Having won their first game 1-0, the FCD 17s rotated a little as any club will do when playing 3 games in 4 days. Consider too that most of the FCD 17s are 2005s so they are younger than a lot of teams they play. Only two of the starting XI today are 2004s.
FCD had about 65% to 70% possession… and still lost. I think Strikers had just two or three shots, one of which was a PK they converted. Dallas had loads of shots (20+) and kept firing over, wide, or at the keeper. Shoutout to the Strikers’ keeper Blake River who had a knack for being right where he needed to be for the save. He was massive today. It was a long day of parking the bus by Strikers and it worked.
Nighte Pickering remains, for me anyway, a sum greater than his parts. Nothing about his game jumps out at me… except that he gets to everything in the box. He’s got a real knack for being there and getting to the ball. He didn’t bring his shooting boots today or he might have had 5 by halftime.
Pranav DuBroff last time I saw him he was a skinny kid… No longer, he’s put no muscle and looks stout. He still moves pretty good too and has some recovery speed. He’s FCD’s best pure defender today.
Not bad by Mason Grimm filling in at RCB for Adrian Anguiano who injured his knee. I’m not sure if Grimm usually plays center back as I thought he was a midfielder. Quality passer from the back.
My dude Nolan Norris is coming along nicely. He’s getting taller and I like the progression he’s making. I love the way he plays- I hope they haven’t coached the inventiveness out of him – I’m hopeful the athleticism keeps progressing.
This was my first look at Diego Gamez at right back and he had some good moments. He does need to work on his crossing though, driving the ball rather than floating it. I had him down as a forward so he may be another one of the attacker-to-outside-back conversions at FCD. He’s got plenty of ball skill to get forward.
FCD revved it up when Chris Sanchez and Anthony Ramirez came in. I’ve talked about Ramirez a ton… he’s high on my list. Sanchez on the other hand I had never seen before. He’s built like a fire hydrant and is quick with some grit and steel. But he’s kind of all over the place. I can tell he didn’t come up in the FCD system. If he can find a way to fit into the concepts and get the offensive system down he could be something really special.
Diego Hernandez is the driving force in the midfield for this team. He’s the one who’s made his NTXSC debut last year as a U15. He sets the pace today as usual. This is him in the pic.
Side note: that’s last season’s FCD secondary white and not the new powder blue. It just looks blue cause of sweat. The Academy won’t get the new powder blue kit till next Academy season this fall.
FC Dallas U19s
|Capital City SC||0|
|FC Dallas U19s||3|
Capital City SC – from Austin – is a much less physical opponent than Black Rock in the first game. Parents sitting around me are talking about their kids playing a high school game on Tuesday… which is a tough load mid-tournament.
Before I get into FCD, shoutout to Capital City’s #20 Nikola Djordjevic (@djniko09) who is legit good. He’s clearly playing hurt and can only run about 80% and he’s still the best player in this game. He’s an Academy-level talent, who knows why he’s playing with a USYS team. Maybe he wanted to play high school soccer?
I learn from the CCSC family around me that Djordjevic’s going to SMU which means he’ll be playing with FCD’s Cesar Garcia and Grady Easton. I look forward to seeing “Niko” on the Hilltop.
Unsurprisingly when it’s Academy vs USYS, FC Dallas is fitter and more complete across the board. Still, CCSC is up for it and it’s a fun game to watch. Both teams are clearly tired – this being their second game in a row – so it’s a little sloppier today.
Slade Starnes is at holding mid again. When you can’t see a team for a year due to Covid, stuff changes. The fact he can play in the middle as well as CB – where I saw him a year ago – says a lot about his feet and overall skill. Credit to him.
Strong game from Josh Ramsey. He’s playing more aggressively today, checking forward. Generally with FCD they will use one CB as more stay at home and one as a more aggressive checker into midfield. While I didn’t ask the coach or anything, it sure looks like it’s Ramsey today for the checking job and I really like his mentality.
Antonio Carrera – wearing 0 for some reason instead of usual 13 – has very little to do.
Cesar Garcia stands out a bit more today. As the players tire his skill emerges. He’s able to control the midfield, dribble out of danger, and often beat multiple defenders. Strong showing. SMU is fine, but if Eric Quill wanted this kid for NTX I’d be in favor of that. I know, another 8.
Alcibiades Duran is growing on me as a 9. He’s a battler up there, can post up and turn. Maybe just a step short of pace to make him next level. But I hope this kid get a college shot as I think he can bring something to a program.
I have no idea who is actually captain, but Philip Akem is the leader of this team. I’m told he’s going to West Point and that doesn’t surprise me at all. He’s also a Grown Ass Man and a pretty good player.