Most of the teams at Dallas Cup had Tuesday off, setting up numerous decisive matches across a number of age groups on Wednesday. Two MLS sides entered the day with an outside chance at advance in the Super Group, while a handful of other teams at lower age levels looked to secure passage into the quarterfinals.
FC Dallas U-18s advance in Super Group
The fate of FC Dallas’s U-18s in the Super Group – needing a win or tie against Japan’s U-18 team to advance – was in their hands. And while FCD turned in an uneven performance, goals from Home Grown players Bryan Leyva and Jonathan Top were enough for a 2-1 win to make the Super Group semifinals.
Just seven minutes in, Top won and converted a penalty that also saw the Japanese ‘keeper get sent off. However, despite being up a man, Dallas couldn’t double their lead and conceded a penalty that Japan converted to tie the game.
Though a tie would have been good enough, Leyva added a second in the game’s 62nd minute, and FCD held on for the win to finish first in Bracket B.
Arsenal, Eintracht, Tigres also through
Two European-based youth sides and a Mexican club rounded out the rest of the Super Group semifinals. Arsenal’s domination wasn’t quite as pronounced on Wednesday as it had been in the tournament’s first two games, but they had enough to win 3-1 over Club Bolivar. Luke Freeman scored again, while Roarie Deacon added a brace to pace the Gunners.
Arsenal will face Eintracht Frankfurt in the semifinals, hanging on for a bracket-clinching 2-2 draw against Brazilian side Coritiba. The German side jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but almost squandering the chance to advance, conceding twice and narrowly holding on as a Coritiba goal would have seen the Brazilians win the bracket and advance.
Tigres made it three from three games in the Super Group with a 1-0 win over Corinthians to win Bracket C, and will face FC Dallas in the semifinals on Friday.
Real Salt Lake win battle of MLS academies
Entering Wednesday’s action, the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency had an outside shot to advance to the Super Group semifinals. Winless Real Salt Lake, however, were already eliminated, having lost their first two Bracket C matches.
But RSL’s Ricardo Velasco scored two goals, and that was enough to make the difference, as they ended their Dallas Cup Super Group campaign on a high note with a 2-0 win over the ‘Caps.
Vancouver coach Richard Grootscholten was happy with the improved effort despite coming up short.
“We had a small chance to win the group with a big win today, so we set out to try and press Salt Lake high up the pitch," Grootscholten told whitecapsfc.com. "Though we didn’t have many chances, I thought we were better today than we were against Tigres. Our players need to learn to be smarter and more clever when playing in these type of games. This will be a learning experience for our younger players, especially."
Dynamo U-16s advance
While Houston’s U-18s struggled in the Super Group, winning just one of three matches, the U-16s success at Dallas Cup continued. One year after winning the competition at the U-16 age group, the Dynamo topped Bracket D with a 1-1 draw against Alberta SA.
Dynamo director of youth James Clarkson admitted the U-16s have been a bit lucky to win the bracket, but also cited the play of striker Lorenzo Salazar. In three games, the forward has scored four of Houston’s five goals.
“He’s been fantastic for us,” Clarkson told MLSsoccer.com. “He’s a fun player and scored another fantastic goal today.”
Houston’s U-16s take on Mexican club Estudiantes Tecos in the quarterfinals on Friday.
Other MLS Academy scores
Houston Dynamo 2, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense 1
D.C. United 2, Andromeda SC 0
West Side Metro Premier 1, FC Dallas 0
Real Salt Lake 3, Cedarbridge Academy 0
CD Chivas Guadalajara 3, D.C. United 1
Houston Dynamo 4, Alberta SA 0
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