FCD team defends Copa ESPN U14 title

CARROLLTON, Texas -- FC Dallas 98 Premier is headed to what has turned into the program’s home away from home -- Orlando.

The youth squad decisively took the U14 bracket of the 2012 Copa ESPN, earning an all-expenses paid trip to play in the Disney Cup International after successfully defending the title won last year by another FC Dallas squad.

The No. 3 team in North Texas dominated Saturday’s championship game against Guameru S.C. 3-0, completing a five-game shutout streak through every tournament game.

“We had to be aggressive from the beginning because we knew they were a good team,” FCD coach Gabby Gentile said. “We knew if we scored early we were going to open it up. We had to come out strong and we did.”

FCD’s Tony Perez made the opening statement, cleaning up the garbage in a scramble in front of the net.

Tournament MVP Fino Garcia netted the second goal, trapping a cross in the right side of the box and shooting a rocket behind the keeper.

“They gave me a great ball and I finished it. That’s it,” Garcia said.

Stephen Gonzalez finished the offense with a perfect header into the top left corner off a well-placed corner, just before the end of the half.

Guameru attempted a few hard rushes in the second half but never really came close to a true scoring chance.

Guameru lost most of its momentum late in the second half, but their effort throughout the course of the tournament did not go unnoticed.

“I was impressed with the quality in the final,” Gentile said. “We played a very good team, a team we don’t play often in the local leagues and should probably be playing in a higher level.”

Garcia, with his teammates, will be making his first ever trip to Orlando in July and doesn’t quite know what to expect in the Magical Kingdom, but looks forward to more great soccer.

“It’s like a dream come true,” Garcia said.

U18 final decided on penalty kicks

Defending champion Atlas overcame a scoreless regulation and two overtime periods to take another Copa ESPN title in the shootout, 6-5.

Center midfielder Sebastian Mata picked up tournament MVP honors for his bracket said it was the will within that got his team the crown.

“I get nervous but in the end of the day whoever has more heart wins the game.”

Other 2012 Copa ESPN champions

U16 – Kicks FC 96B 1, Irving Elite FC 97B

  • Both teams will play a friendly after an FC Dallas game at FC Dallas Stadium.

U12 – FC Dallas 00B East 2, FC Dallas Yout 00B 1

U10 – Dallas Texans South 02 5, America 0

U8 – Oak Cliff Soccer OC DallasPremier 04 5, FC Dallas 04 Phil Gomez 1