Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency will be competing in the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup U-19 Super Group for the fourth straight time this weekend. For head coach Richard Grootscholton and his squad, it will be a stern test against some of the best youth teams from around the world.
The Dallas Cup is the oldest international youth soccer tournament in the United States, celebrating its 32nd year in 2011. On average, the Dallas Cup entertains over 160,000 spectators during tournament week.
Past champions of the Super Group include world-renown clubs such as Spanish giants Real Madrid (1993, 1994), England's Liverpool FC (2008), UNAM Pumas from Mexico (2001), and three-time winners Sao Paulo FC from Brazil (1995, 2007, 2009). Other great teams that have competed in this competition have included Barcelona (Spain), Benfica (Portugal), Manchester United FC (England) and Arsenal FC (England).
16 years ago, a young David Beckham played in the Dallas Cup, representing Essex County Schools select team. Players like Michael Owen (former Liverpool FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy and USA), Raul (former Real Madrid), and Wayne Rooney (Manchester United FC and England) have also featured in this prestigious tournament.
This year, the Residency squad are in Bracket C of the Gordon Jago Super Group with Real Salt Lake U-17/U-18 Academy (USA), Mexico's Tigres de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (Tigres UANL) - who were champions in 2003 - and two-time winners in Brazil's Sport Club Corinthians Paulista (1999, 2000) at Dallas Cup XXXII. It is going to be a tremendous challenge for our young 'Caps, but one they are relishing. If you want to be the best, you have to play the best. Without doubt, Grootscholton and his staff will come away with more complete and wiser players after this tournament is concluded.
These young 'Caps have a chance to measure themselves against some potential future world-class players, and who knows, maybe some of our young players will be mentioned in the same breath.
Dallas Cup XXXII - Bracket C schedule
Date Time Home Away
Sunday, April 17 10:30 a.m. PT SC Corinthians Paulista Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Monday, April 18 10:00 a.m. PT Tigres UANL Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Wednesday, April 20 8:00 a.m. PT Vancouver Whitecaps FC Real Salt Lake Academy