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Dallas Soccer News - McGuire Cup, Dallas Texans, Andre Akpan, Chicago Magic

Dallas Texans 88 win McGuire Cup

Published 7/31/2007 2:18:07 AM by staff from topdrawersoccer.com
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The Dallas Texans U19 boys made their case as the best team in club soccer history by ending their careers winning their 3rd straight national championship. A world class goal by Harvard star, and US U20 member, Andre Akpan led Dallas to the trophy. Only Arsenal last year, and Real SoCal yesterday, have managed to win 3 straight national titles. When you add in the fact that the Texans are the only American team to win the Dallas Cup super group, they might just have an argument as best ever.

“Everyone said that it’s going to be tougher each year and this is by far the toughest one," Texans captain David Murphy said. "The teams here are the best that have been here while we’ve been here, and it’s indescribable right now, cloud nine.”

“We’ve had this goal in our heads for the last few years. We want to go out as the best team ever and these three national championships, and the Dallas Cup super group win, it’s something no other American team has done. So I think we are up there.” Akpan said.

The game opened up early on which led to several chances for both teams. Texans had the better of play in the first half with several good buildups, but Magic could have gone ahead on 3 occasions, but failed to put shots on target. Omar Gonzales and Murphy locked down the back line in the 2nd half, and then Akpan provided the special skill to win the game.

“Just very tough, has been every time we’ve played this team.” Dallas coach David Hudgell said of their game against the Magic. “Very, very tough, and really it took an outstanding goal to win the game.”

The game started going from one end to another, with Akpan being fouled near the box in the 5th minute. Alexandre Ivo stepped up to the dead ball, and curled a knuckling shot over the wall that Magic keeper Pat Rickman knew little about. Fortunately for Rickman, the shot was right at him, and he slapped it down to make the save.

Each team would see chances go by leading up to the 20th minute. Akpan had been active for Dallas since the start, and made a near post run as Ross LaBauex juked his man down the right side. LaBaues slid the ball in for Akpan, but Rickman made the diving stop on the near post shot.

Just 2 minutes later Texans Nicholas Courtney stole the ball in midfield, and played Bill Dworsky through. However, Magic defender Kyle Knotek made the recovering run to block Dworsky’s shot.

As the game was almost 30 minutes in Chicago would have 2 golden opportunities inside the box, but the Magic couldn’t put their shots on goal, and missed a chance to change the game. They would see one more look at an open goal in the 35th. Alex Holmes won a header in midfield into the path of Tim Walsh running into the right side of the box. As Dallas keeper Janrai Gravely came out Walsh played across the goal to Tim Markham alone on the far post. Murphy recovered for the Texans, and threw his body into the path of the shot to deny the goal.

The Magic defense were tough to beat late in the half as Texans pressed, but couldn’t get a shot past the Chicago back line. With 5 minutes remaining in the half Bahram Sajjadi beat 2 defenders into the right side of the box, and played Akpan at the corner of the 6. Akpan used a great fake to turn at goal, but a defender waiting at the far post cleared the shot before it could reach goal.

In stoppage time Gonzales took a flick from Christopher Wymer through midfield, and slipped Dworsky down the left. Dworsky ran into the box, cut back on his defender, but another Magic player had recovered to block his shot as the half ended scoreless.

In the 2nd half the Texans defense, led by center backs Murphy and Gonzales, shut down the Magic attack, and gave their offense more time with the ball.

“They were just brilliant, absolutely brilliant.” Hudgell said of the duo.

Akpan would again be a thorn in the Magic back line, and he saw his first chance of the half 9 minutes in. Ivo sent in a free kick, and Akpan rose up to head the ball back to the near post, but Rickman was able to make the save.

In the 61st minute Akpan’s effort would be rewarded. Wymer settled a long switch to the right side 25 yards from goal, and then flicked the ball over the defense into the box. The ball was coming directly over Akpan’s head as he ran on, but he had the savvy to reach out and cut the ball inside past the last defender. Akpan then slipped the ball inside the near post as the Texans went ahead.

“We knew that once we got a goal that we’d win the game so, just coming out and making sure we finish one chance.” Akpan said of his goal. “I haven’t scored in a final yet in the last two years so it was good to get that winning goal.”

“Andre was outstanding today. He told me last night he was going to score.” Hudgell said.

Akpan, Gonzales, Sajjadi, and John Clanandro continued to attack for Dallas, but the 1 goal would be enough to take the national championship as Magic would be denied a quality chance to level. The Texans put a cap on an incredible 3 year run, and leave club soccer on top. But unfortunately they will not get the chance to pursue the new soccer pinnacle, 4 in a row.

Label: McGuire Cup, Dallas Texans, Andre Akpan, Chicago Magic
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