Home Grown Hopefuls: Dallas Cup, Sueño MLS Make for Huge Week in Youth Soccer

Young soccer players from across the nation converged on YSC Sports to compete in the national competition. (Image courtesy of MLSsoccer.com)

Over the last week, youth soccer teams from all across the world converged on the state of Texas to compete in the 2011 edition of the prestigious Dallas Cup.

One Union affiliate club was involved in the action as Lehigh Valley United sent two of their teams to compete in Dallas.

Back in Pennsylvania, the Union hosted the national talent search Sueño MLS at their YSC Sports training facilities. It was the first time that the Union hosted any part of the event, and the club will send 6 representatives to the national finals in Texas.

After the jump, we'll take a look at Lehigh's participation in Dallas Cup as well as results from the U.S. Soccer Development Academy and the Sueño MLS proceedings.

Lehigh Valley United sent their U14 and U13 teams to compete in the famous Dallas Cup youth soccer competition. The U14s were placed in Bracket B for their age group, facing off against Manchester United SC (of Houston, not the real club), Pumas de la UNAM of Mexico, and Fullerton Rangers of California.

The Lehigh Valley U14s struggled, finishing last in Bracket B. They fell to Manchester United 2-1 before being embarrassed 5-0 by Fullerton Rangers. In their final game they managed to post a respectable 3-3 draw with powerhouse Pumas of Mexico, but overall they disappointed during their time in Dallas.

Their U13 counterparts also competed in the prestigious competition. The U13 age level is the lowest that the Dallas Cup sanctions. Lehigh Valley was placed in Bracket F along with CFI Guadalajara of Mexico, Solar SC of Texas, and Beach FC of California. The U13 team performed slightly better than the U14s but still disappointed overall. They finished in third place with 3 points after losing to Solar SC and Beach FC but defeating CFI Guadalajara. The most astounding result from the group was a 14-0 win for Solar over Guadalajara.

Week of Rest for Union Clubs in USSF Development Academy

Union affiliates PA Classics, FC DELCO, and PDA had the weekend off in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. This gives us a perfect time to take a look at the standings. Teams in the East Conference have now begun to play games against other teams in their divisions which has a big impact on how the standings look.

In the U16 division, Classics currently sit atop the Mid-Atlantic Division with 2 wins in 2 games against fellow division teams. FC DELCO are in second with 2 draws from 2 games. Baltimore Bays Chelsea have a better overall record than them but they have yet to play an inter-division game.

Players Development Academy are currently in last place in the Liberty Division with one loss in their only division game, but based on overall record they are fourth out of the six teams.

In the U18 age level, DELCO are in third place in the Mid-Atlantic with 3 points from 2 games while Classics are in fourth with one point from the 2 games. But like in the U16 level, Baltimore Bays have a far superior overall record than the two Union affiliates and will be a force to be reckoned with once they start playing inter-division games.

PDA are in fifth out of six teams in the Liberty Division with one point from one game. By overall record they are in second, trailing only the powerhouse New York Red Bulls U18 team.

Young Players Compete for Chance of a Lifetime at Sueño MLS

Talented young soccer players from across the nation came to YSC Sports in King of Prussia this past weekend to compete for a spot on the Union's Academy team as part of Sueño MLS. Roughly 300 to 350 players showed up at the training facility that hosted the Union during preseason.

Union goalkeeper and captain Faryd Mondragon was on hand to meet players and provide coaching and advice.

After the first day of tryouts, the Union coaching staff which included reserve team coach Brendan Burke called 27 players back for the second day, including 6 goalkeepers. The players continued to fight for their dream despite Sunday being an important day for many of the players.

The final six players that will represent the Union at the national finals will be revealed this Sunday on the weekly sports show Republica Deportiva, which airs on Univision.

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