It’s time to check on the FC Dallas Academy again as this last weekend was the first local derby weekend of the season as FCD were at Solar SC (in McKinney) and at Dallas Texans (in Farmers Branch). The older Academy sides will meet Solar two more times this year including on Oct 5th making it back to back derby games as FCD has this weekend off.
I took in the U19s and the U17s against Solar and have some comments below. The U15s on down I’ll dig into the box scores for anything interesting.
The Pro Effect
One overall important note before anyone gets too upset with the older FCD groups losing. You are seeing some of the drop-off of the higher FCD age groups in talent as the senior club and North Texas SC sign players. This is to be expected. The FCD teams will still be pretty good, but Solar is also of high quality and it shows in these results.
The U19s could have Thomas Roberts, Bryan Reynolds, and David Rodriguez. The U17s could have Ricardo Pepi, Dante Sealy, and Jonathan Gomez. For FCD, it’s Player development and path to pros over wins.
U19s – 3-1 Solar SC win
The Solar U19s are at their core the team that won last year’s U17 DA Championship. Make no mistake, this is a quality side. At 3rd Degree, we mostly pay attention to FCD teams because of the pathway to the pros angle. But Solar SC is worthy of our attention too.
FC Dallas was asleep, lethargic, bored, arrogant, not ready, flat, or lazy – you pick which – allowing Solar to score twice in the first 5 minutes. Or maybe Solar just game out blazing. I hadn’t even finished writing down the FCD lineup before it was 2-0. It looked just like the start for the senior MLS side against NYCFC.
FCD woke up and the rest of the game went 1-1. Solar was most certainly the better team in the first half. FC Dallas made a couple of changes and was better in the 2nd half leveling the gameplay, although they were chasing the game and Solar was content to defend the lead. It was a well-deserved Solar SC win.
Solar – Nathan Hayes, Bailey Sparks, and Bryce BoneauFCD – Andres Dicun
Two Solar players really jumped out at me with moments that stood above the general level of the game: high striker #16 Bailey Sparks and left wing #9 Nathan Hayes. Both have electric moments of skill and look like future pros to me. Sparks should already be playing at a higher level than this, like USL-1.
A player who I was disappointed not to see playing was Riley O’Donnell who I really liked last year. I don’t know his whereabouts and he hasn’t played a game for Solar this season.
Sparks and O’Donnell were part of the 2018 Dallas Cup All-Star team that went on a summer European tour.
No one from FCD really changed my mind about their game from this display. Tanner Tessmann hit some killer dead balls but was unable to score. He did force some really nice saves from the Solar keeper, #2 Guido Peluffo.
Andres Dicun continues his knack for late goals off the bench. Seth Wilson was missing with an injury and Nico Cerrera came off the bench late as he’s being rested a bit having just done both Mexico and USA camps. Gibran Rayo was with North Texas SC where he started as a 9. Jonathan Gomez is with the US U16s.
A #41 played center back for FCD but there’s no one on the DA roster at that number and I didn’t recognize him. Might just be a number change?
Side note: Tanner Tessmann
I made a suggestion for FC Dallas and Tanner Tessmann on Twiter on Saturday and I’m going to repeat it here. FC Dallas should consider converting Tessmann to a center back. They should take a couple of months to test it in the Academy U19s. It’s not like it would hurt his midfield development as he’s already better than the U19 level of play.
Tessmann at 6’2″ has the size to play in the back and is already a good defender. Plus he can hit 50-yard passes on a dime, dribble out of trouble and by defenders, and can score from 40 yards plus. He’s strong in the air, wins duals, hits fantastic free kicks, and is comfortable on the ball under pressure. All of which is wonderful to have in the modern game of Luchi-Ball this club plays under Coach Gonzalez, just imagine the value of it in a center back.
Tessman is a really good central mid, he’ll be a great 6 or 8 at the pro level. But he might be a spectacular center back worth millions.
U17s – 3-1 Solar SC win
Another Solar win but this one was more dominate. FCD wasn’t really close to scoring and only got a goal on a really late in the game PK. Solar controlled the play the entire game.
GoalsSolar – Noah Ward, Connor Lisenbee, and Jon Paul Jordan II.FCD – Gonzalo Agustoni-Chagas
The best player in this game – and it wasn’t close – was Solar’s #13 Jon Paul Jordan II. A.k.a. JP. He dominates the middle all game. JP played as a holding mid but was sideline to sideline and box to box. Fantastic player, a tenacious defender/harasser, good with the ball, turned well from trouble, controlled the tempo and pace of the game, and was dangerous going forward with well-timed forays. Some credit to Solar’s linking mid #7 Pierce Wear for good rotation and covering.
Another player of serious quality for Solar was their left wing, #2 Alioune Ka. He’s got fantastic range, terrific attacking ideas, and was willing to work back and defend as well. Right now he’s at the awkward lanky all legs stage. When he matures into his height, he’s going to be a seriously dangerous winger I think.
Jose Gutierrez was FCD’s best and most dangerous player on the day. But he wasn’t able to get much going. Solar was just too good. Guiterrez started on the right wing and as the FCD subs happened he shifted to left wing, then attacking mid, and finally high striker.
U15s – 6-0 FC Dallas win
As mentioned many times by me, this FCD U15 team – the 2005s, aka Peter Luccin’s old team – is loaded. They keep winning big. That’s why their 0-3 loss at Inter Miami was a shock. They rebounded with a 6-2 win and a 6-0 win in their next two (including this one) so I’m sure they are fine.
It was 5-0 by halftime in this when FCD subbed much of the team.
Solar – noneFCD – Nighte Pickering (2), Nolan Norris, Matthew Corcoran, Chris Sanchez, Tarik Scott.
Good to see Matthew Corcoran on there. He’s a 2006 who sometimes plays up with the ’05s as a holding mid. I really like his game. Along with Corcoran, forward Cristian Gallo and the normal center back pair of Adrian Anguiano and Pranav DuBroff were the only players to go the full 80 as Dallas made liberal subs starting at halftime.
Chris Sanchez, who I have not seen yet, was the Golden Ball at the Bayern Campus tournament this summer. Nolan Norris is a terrific left back and Nighte Pickering is an attacking mid or winger.
I don’t know anything about Solar from this age group on down and didn’t catch the younger games so I can’t really comment on them except to note they had two ’06s playing up – Zayan Ahmed and Evan Ruiz – which is usually a strong indicator of talent.
U14s – 4-1 FC Dallas win
The FC Dallas U14s and u13s, clearly on a different schedule, played the Dallas Texans in Farmers Branch. FC Dallas scored 3 goals in 6 minutes during the first half then added an extra late on.
Dallas Texans – Samuel LinaresFC Dallas – Kristian Kelley, Henry Canizalez, Jared Salazar, Malachi Molina
U13s – 4-1 FC Dallas win
FC Dallas opens the scoring before the Texans tie it up, then FCD nets three more along the way. Peter’s son Marlon Luccin is a member of this side.
Dallas Texans – Angel BenitezFC Dallas – Blake Bayless, Brice Miller, Jeyden Arboleda (2)