April 9, 2013
The Santa Clara Sporting 95 Boys Green Team had a fantastic run at the 2013 Dallas Cup Tournament last month and finished the prestigous tournament as Finalists in the U17 age group . The Sporting 95s were seeded into the "bracket of death" with the Tigres Pro Academy Team from Mexico, the powerhouse FC Dallas Premier Academy team (Ranked #1 in Texas and #3 in Region III), and Grand FC Mustangs Premier Academy from Illinois. Santa Clara opened the tournament with a 2-1 win over the Mustangs, then beat FC Dallas Premier 1-0 in front of a very loud cheering fan base out to see their hometown FC Dallas team battle Sporting. A tie or a win with the #1 tournament seed Tigres from Mexico would send Sporting through bracket play, and the boys came-up with a 1-1 draw in one of the best games of the tournament.
Sporting beat Penn Fusion (#2 in Pennsylvania) 1-0 in the Quarter-finals, then dominated FRAM (#3 in Cal-South) in a shocking 5-1 blow-out, although the game was much tighter than the scoreboard result. The team had momentum going into the U17 Championship match vs. the Aalborg BK Pro Academy Team from Denmark.
Aalborg BK had two National Team players on their U17 squad and won the Final 4-1, but not before Santa Clara gave them a battle to draw 1-1 at halftime. "I am very proud of my boys for fighting so hard in the Finals against a great European team. We learned a lot playing at this level and the entire team contributed to our great run at Dallas Cup," said Demtri Cacoyannis, the teams’ head coach.
Next-up for the team is another historic run as they attempt to win their 5th consecutive Cal-North State Cup title. They won the 2012 Far West Regional League and already qualify to compete in the Far West Regional Tournament held in June in Hawaii.