Dallas Soccer, Dallas Soccer News, North Texas Soccer

dallas soccer news
Dallas Soccer Exclusive
Dallas Soccer News - FC Dallas Youth Academy, Jonathan Top, Ruben Luna, Bryan Leyva

FC Dallas Academy paying dividends

Published 2/2/2011 7:59:03 PM by travis clark from dallas
image image image image email this article

In terms of the youth movement in Major League Soccer, few teams can match the achievements of the FC Dallas Academy. Five players have signed with the first team from the Academy: Moises Hernandez, Bryan Leyva, Ruben Luna, Victor Ulloa and, most recently, Jonathan Top. And while their contribution with the first team has yet to show, the youth movement has truly caught on in Dallas.

Headed up by former FC Dallas player Oscar Pareja, the Academy has grown tremendously since its beginning in 2007.

“These past three years have been pretty successful since we have signed five players already from the Academy,” he told MLSsoccer.com. "Eventually, these players are going to help the first team sometime soon."

Pareja, who serves as the team’s director of player development, attributed the early success to two points: the close relationship with coach Schellas Hyndman and the first team, and the team’s owners, Hunt Sports Group.

“The first part is the belief and the connection we have with the first team,” he said. “Obviously, the other is the vision that the ownership has – they believe in the program and believe it is the time for us to develop players here.”

Those five signings are all a testament to the investment the owners have put into the program as well as the effort of Hyndman, who has worked closely with Pareja to identify possible first-team candidates.  This year, the program took another step forward with the creation of the Soccer Intensive Academic Curriculum. Twenty players will train twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, attending school with a modified schedule in the Frisco ISD.

For Pareja, one of the problems he saw with player development in the United States was the lack of time available to train players at a young age. This program is a step towards solving that, while also placing an emphasis on a young players’ academic pursuits.  It’s a move towards a possible full-time residency program. Pareja admits he’s hesitant to keep kids away from their families all the time, so he’s using the SIAC as a test of sorts.

“It is in the process,” he said. “We wanted to have a pre-residency first, if you want to call it that. We want to do everything in the benefit of the boys first – we don’t want to rush things. I think this is a great first step because we want to keep education as a priority.”

Top, who is the team’s fifth Home Grown signing, credited the Academy on his improvement as a player, and overall maturity.

“It helped you improve more, and you had to become more responsible as well,” he said. “Making sure you were on time to practices, to games, just being on top of things.”

Younger players coming through the Academy in Frisco have also earned looks from youth national teams in the US and internationally. Luna recently earned a call up for the Mexico U20 camp, while defender Hernandez spent time with the US U-20s at a training camp last month in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Both will hope to earn a spot with their respective national teams and play in the upcoming U20 World Cup CONCACAF qualifying tournament in Guatemala. More immediately, all five signings will be available for selection and each will be fighting for a spot on the field. Meanwhile, players at the U16 and U18 levels will be working on developing their game, hoping to follow in the footsteps of those who have already climbed through the ranks.

Label: FC Dallas Youth Academy, Jonathan Top, Ruben Luna, Bryan Leyva
Print Dallas Soccer News Print   View Dallas Soccer News RSS Feed
Dallas Area Soccer Articles
Dallas Soccer News

Villarreal showing their class at Dallas Cup

Added: 4/16/2019 8:31:48 AM
So far Villarreal is just as good as advertised. The Spanish side arrived in Dallas with a sparkling season under their belts and have proceeded to look as one of the favorites after two group matches at the prestigious Dallas Cup. Read More
Dallas Soccer News

Tigres open Dallas Cup 40 with impressive win over Liverpool

Added: 4/15/2019 3:07:43 PM
Tigres signaled their intentions with an impressive 4-2 win over Liverpool to open Dallas Cup 40 Sunday evening at the Cotton Bowl. Read More
Dallas Soccer News

Machu Picchu - The best way to see & enjoy Peru's Wonder

Added: 3/12/2019 3:11:02 PM
A wonderful advice piece on getting the most out of your trip to Machu Picchu in Peru! Read More
Dallas Soccer News

Sidekicks beat El Paso behind big night from Jamie Lovegrove

Added: 12/16/2018 11:19:56 AM
The Dallas Sidekicks won their first home game of the 2018-2019 MASL season, beating the El Paso Coyotes, 7-4 behind a big night from Jamie Lovegrove. Read More
Dallas Soccer News

FC Dallas to gain a new rival in Austin FC

Added: 8/23/2018 12:29:35 PM
Well well well. It looks like FC Dallas will be gaining a new rival very soon. The Columbus Crew are going to be relocating to Austin and becoming Austin FC. Read More
Dallas Soccer News

TCU opens with win over Alabama in womens soccer

Added: 8/18/2018 8:05:54 AM
What an opening night in Fort Worth as TCU took care of visiting Alabama 1-0 on a late Kayla Hill header. It was a mouth-watering matchup featuring a pair of teams that made the NCAA Tournament last year. Read More
Dallas Soccer News

Favorites having tough time at Russia 2018 World Cup

Added: 6/19/2018 1:24:54 PM
Well with the opening group matches in the books for all the groups at the 2018 Russia World Cup the one thing we have learned is that we knew nothing as only 2 of the top 8 in the FIFA rankings managed a win. Read More

RSS Feed
Dallas Soccer Xpert is the best dallas soccer news source.
We cover Dallas soccer, Dallas Cup, Dallas soccer news, North Texas soccer,
Dallas high school soccer, and Fort Worth high school soccer.