It's that time of year again. Dallas Cup week is on the horizon, just a few days away. If you've never had the opportunity to get out to Frisco for this tournament, you really have to this year. It's like a mini-World Cup in our own back yard.
The Gordon Jago Super Group is absolutely stacked this year and FC Dallas has drawn what looks like the group of death with Manchester United and co-champions Tigres, though group B could be pretty salty depending on what kind of team PSG brings to Dallas. The re-introduction of the wild card in 2012 should ensure the huge names make it into the Friday semifinals.
Group A Manchester United | CS Cartagines | FC Dallas | Tigres
Group B Paris Saint Germain | Mexico U20 | Eintracht Frankfurt | Dallas Texans
Group C Everton FC | Coritiba FC | Club Bolivar | Kashiwa Reysol
Festivities kick off on Sunday with the traditional tripleheader featuring Everton vs Coritiba of Brazil(VERY good team) at 1:30, Mexico U20 vs PSG at 3:30 and FC Dallas vs Manchester United at 7:30. If you don't have tickets yet, follow this link to order and use code "DPDC2012" to get $3 off.
Dallas Cup is about much more than just the super group, however, and after the jump we'll look at some of the younger teams and the full schedule of FC Dallas teams
There are seven age groups in all(U19 Super Group, U19, U17, U16, U15, U14, U13) and the U17s.
The U19 non-Super Group features a massive 28 teams split into 7 brackets and contains local academies like Solar, Andromeda, TFC & Texans Red, but also houses international teams like last year's champions Knowsley Youth of Liverpool as well as first-time participants Bantu Rovers of Zimbabwe. Other notables include the Puerto Rico U19 national team and the Royal Navy team from England.
The U17 division is always one of the most hotly contested and fun to watch. The FC Dallas U16 Academy competes in this division as well as Dallas Texans, Solar, Andromeda, Houston Dynamo, IMG, Chicago Magic and Arsenal FC(California) from the USSF Development Academy. International teams include Tigres(Mexico), Rot Weiss Essen(Germany) and the first ever team from United Arab Emirates to compete at Dallas Cup.
Most group matches for all age groups are played on the fields at FC Dallas Stadium on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday with the knockout rounds taking place after that. A full schedule of all games, times and brackets can be found here.
I've had people ask me in the past "When is the best time to go?" The tripleheader on Sunday is always something special, mainly because when are you going to see 6 teams with entirely different tactics and styles of play going up against each other? It's a football fan's dream. England against Brazil, France against Mexico and the best academy of the United States against the best academy from England.
The Friday night Super Group semifinals inside FCD Stadium is always my favorite part of the tournament. Two games back to back featuring the four best teams in the tournament in do or die situations. The only word I can use to describe things is intense...then of course championship Sunday. Four championship games(U16, U17, U19, U19 Super Group) and I don't really need to say much more than that.
Are you going out to Dallas Cup? Which games and teams are you most excited about?
FC Dallas Academy schedule
U19 Super Group
Sunday vs Manchester United 7:30 PM FC Dallas Stadium
Monday vs Tigres 4:00 PM Richland Field #10(???)
Wednesday vs CS Cartagines 4PM FC Dallas Field # 6
Sunday vs Ottwa South United 12:30PM FC Dallas Field #4
Monday vs TSF Academy Diablos 6:00 PM Richland Field #6
Wednesday vs NM Rush Nike 4:00 PM FC Dallas Field #12
Sunday vs Seleccion RCL Monterrey 10:30AM Richland Field #5
Monday vs Chicago Magic 4:00PM Richland Field #5
Wednesday vs Milan FC Rossoneri 4:00PM FC Dallas Field #14