Dallas Cup – Day 2: FC Dallas U19s vs Real Madrid

Day two had me circling the FCD Academy U19s on the calendar again as the meeting with Real Madrid was the marquee name on the schedule offering me the most “pathway to the pros” stuff.

More of the players you might classify as North Texas SC players at this stage were in the starting XI for the 19s today.

FC Dallas U19s vs Real Madrid

The Elephant in the Room

I’m not usually one to talk about the referee but we have to in this case.

He wasn’t up for the game both in terms of his fitness and his confidence/nerve. The game needed, and deserved, better.

At the start of the game, the referee seemed to have decided Dallas was a bunch of thugs cause any contact at all got a whistle on Dallas, much of it from a long way away as the ref wasn’t up for much running. Kind of like Carlos Valdaramma played, he refereed pretty close to the center circle.

It wasn’t until the 25th minute he called something on Madrid.

The ref actually left at halftime and was replaced. And it wasn’t just for scheduling. From the teams/ref side of the field after the game, I was told a spectrum of things from “he got sick and left” to “he was terrified, in over his head, panicked, and left.”

Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before. A ref just quitting the game.

Either way, a different ref took over, I believe he was the 4th official in the first half. The new ref was much better and the game normalized… but the damage, to some extent, had already been done.

The Game

All right, on with the game. FC Dallas in a 4-3-3.

FCD 19s XI vs Real Madrid in the Dallas Cup, April 3, 2023.
FCD 19s XI vs Real Madrid in the Dallas Cup, April 3, 2023.

Subs: Diego Ferruzzi and Ishmael Nieves on at halftime in an adaptation for being down a man as FCD shited to a 4-2-2-1. Michael Morales, Francisco, and Manny Martinez were the later subs in the half.

Diego Pepi scored for FC Dallas on a counterattack with a terrific shot to the back post.

Madrid’s #10 scored in the 2nd half with a nice curving shot high to that back corner.

Then after Madrid’s captain and right center back (they played 3-5-2) got a 2nd yellow Madrid scored again on a header off a set piece. Another quality goal.

FCD sits on 3 points, level with Botafogo behind Madrid’s 6. Botafogo plays Madrid in Game 3, a win by the Brazilians opens the door for the group to go to a tiebreaker.

Either way, FCD will want to beat Monterrey by a fair number of goals to give themselves a shot to go through as Bracket Champs or as the Wildcard Best 2nd.

Dallas Texans go head-to-head with Sao Paulo for their Bracket top spot in their Game 3 as both are on 6 points. That game will factor in who advances from the FCD group as only one 2nd place finisher gets through.

Nolan Norris and the Three Yellows

All right, let’s talk about Nolan Norris and the second yellow, er… third yellow.

Sometime in the first 5 minutes, the ref takes exception to a moment in the box involving the Madrid keeper and Norris after the Madrid keeper hams it up rolling on the ground as keepers do.

I didn’t see much contact but the ref did from 40 yards away (I was a lot closer). But from that moment on the referee seemed to be daring Norris to do anything and whistled him for even the lightest touch.

Late in the half, the ref having carded Norris once already on a nothing calls, whistles Norris for a PK near the end line (I was a long way off on that one, no clue about the foul). The ref finishes walking the 30 yards to Norris and gives him a 2nd yellow for the PK (no ref assistant help asked for either.)

Norris, knowing he now has two yellows, walks off the field past the ref and tells him off. So the referee whips out another yellow card for dissent, which makes there yellow cards if you are scoring at home, followed by the red card.

The referee either lost track of the number of cards, forgot who the yellows were on, or just lost it completely. I’m thinking the latter as he quit shortly after.

So now Norris will always be able to tell the story of the time he got three yellow cards in one Dallas Cup game. Classic.

FCD Player Notes

Again, these U19s are well-established in my charts. I’m only mentioning guys who really stood out.

Diego Pepi is for real. This kid is going to be good. I will never understand how he wasn’t an Academy player. I have half an answer, but I’m going to ask a few more people.

Mason Grimm has progressed massively since I last watched the U19s earlier this season. Two straight 90-minute showings in back-to-back SuperGroup games against Real Madrid and Botafogo playing at a very high level. He’s moving up my boards. Baller.

Aaron Salinas was my Man of the Match. He was outstanding saving a PK and several other quality shots. Great performance.

Dyan Lacy at the 6 is a legit idea. That kind of touch, movement into space, game reading, and progressive passing out of that spot is top-notch. I knew he could defend a bit but his tactical positioning was surprisingly quite sound for a guy who never really played there before. Love it.

Today’s Other FC Dallas Results


ECNL 05/04 tied Renegades 2-2 to finish 2nd in Bracket A and are eliminated.

ECNL U18/U19 Composite beat Everton Football College 5-1 to win Bracket C and advance. Composite plays Solar ECNL 04 Williams in the Semi-Finals. That’s a tough opponent.

RL 06 knocked off BVB 06 ECNRL to finish 2nd in Bracket A and advance as the Wildcard. They face ODP National Select 2006 in the Semi-Finals.

ECNL 06 beat Surf 6-0 to finish 2nd in Bracket B and are eliminated.

ECNL 07 beat Sting ECNL RL 07 Quiroz by a 5-1 line to win Bracket A and advance. They face BVB 07 GA in the Semi-Finals.

RL 07 beat the ODP National Select 2007 to win Bracket B and advance. By a twist of fate, they face the same ODP National Select 2007 in the Semi-Finals.

ECNL 08 knocked off Renegades 08 GA 2-1 to win Bracket A and advance. Opponent TBD due to rainouts.

RL 08 lost to the Brampton SC 2008 ODPL by a 2-1 line and are eliminated.


ECNL Red 05/04 took down Steven Gerrard Academy by a 2-0 line.

RL 05/04 knocked off Ikala United 1-0.

ECNL White 05/04 defeated DeRo TFC 3-1.

ETX 05 Premier lost 0-2 vs Prepa REC MTY.

05 North Blue lost to Tiro Sports 2005 by a 3-2 line.

U16 Academy won 4-0 over Futbol Consultants Edson Soto U16.

RL-NTX Red 07 beat BC Surf Selects XI 07 by a 6-1 margin.

ECNL Red 07 tied North Miami Maccabi FBS FC 2007 Teal 0-0.

ECNL Red 08 knocked off Angeles Soccer Elite 2008 3-1.

ECNL 08 White lost 1-4 to Maebashi FC.

U14 Academy smoked Tigres SR by an 8-1 blowout line.

ECNL 09 Red tied Woolbridge 2009 ODP on 2 goals each.

U13 Academy beat FC Dinastia 2010 by a 2-0 score. Goals by Xavier Gomez and Aiden Gallardo.

ECNL White 10 went down hard by a 7-0 margin to OKC Energy 10.

U12 Academtn South lost 6-0 to Angeles Soccer Elite.

Pre-ECNL 11 beat Tableview FC 4-0.

U12 Academy North knocked off PRFX North Valley 11 Tomasevic 2-1.

GA Cup Update

Academy 17s tied Seattle 1-1. Goal from Romeo on a set piece. Lost the PKs to Seattle (no ties). Seattle wins the group on 8 pts and advances. FCD on 7 points, by my unofficial check on standings, go through as one of the best 2nds since they have the most points of any 2nd-place finisher.

Academy U15s defeated Montreal 1-0 but finish in 3rd in their group with 4 pts behind NRYB (1st 9 pts) and Chelsea (2nd 5 pts). The 15s are eliminated but should take part in the showcase rounds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *