The 2016 Dallas International Girls Cup concluded on Sunday with final matches that lived up to the excitement of the tournament all week. The 2016 tournament was the biggest edition yet with more than 100 of the best girls’ teams from around the world. This year the tournament welcomed 10 nations including Mexico, Sweden, Denmark, England, Finland, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, and the United States. Over 80 college coaches were in attendance during the tournament as well scouting and recruiting domestic and international players.
Kicking off the tournament on March 22nd was our international opening ceremony. This year our featured guest was Anson Dorrance, Head Coach of the women’s soccer team at the University of North Carolina, which has won 22 National Championships, 2nd most among a school in a single gender specific sport. Anson Dorrance was also the head coach of the US Women’s National Team from 1986-1994 and won the 1st Women’s World Championship in 1991. Dorrance also coached WNT legends such as Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly, Tisha Venturini, and Cindy Parlow as well as 6 players on the US Team from this recent World Championship.
On Wednesday, the tournament hosted reception for all of the international teams during the tournament. During this event international and out of state teams were recognized by the Mayor of Farmers Branch, Mayor Phelps and Ahmed Ashmawy, director of coaching for the Dallas Texans. Local Dallas teams hosting families from the international teams were in attendance as well, and were given recognition for volunteering their homes to athletes from other countries and providing a true Southern Hospitality experience.
This year we welcomed the Arsenal FC Ladies, one of the top pro clubs in the world in England, to their first Dallas International Girls Cup. On Thursday evening the Arsenal Ladies played in a featured game of the tournament against the best ECNL team in their age category, D’Feeters U14 ECNL. The Arsenal Ladies came away with a 3-1 win in this game. This set the tone for them the rest of the tournament as they ended up winning the championship in the U14 division with a 3-0 win over Lone-star SC ECNL in the championship match. It was an honor to have such a prestigious club competing in the Dallas International Girls Cup. John Bayer, the Arsenal Ladies Manager said, “We were delighted to take part in the Dallas International Girls Cup for the first time. It was a fantastic learning experience for our young U14 players and the tournament organizers could not have done more to make us feel welcome and valued”. We hope to see them back next year!
On Saturday, the U-20 US Men’s National Team faced off against the U20 Tigres team in an exhibition match for the tournament participants. This was a great opportunity for the young athletes in our tournament to see some of the best young soccer players in the world and future pros. The U20 US Men’s National Team won the game!
On Sunday, the tournament finals took place and most of the games live up to the billing as they were fiercely competitive games between great teams. Finalists were: Dallas Texans South 04 Girls and San Diego Surf EGSL 04’ (U12), Solar Chelsea Red 03 and Sting 03 Gutierrez (U13), Arsenal Ladies FC and Lonestar Soccer Club 02G ECNL (U14), FC Dallas 02 ECNL and Dallas Texans ECNL U15 (U15), Solar Chelsea Elite 00G and Dallas Texans ECNL U16 (U16), Dallas Texans U17 ECNL and Solar Chelsea SC 99G Elite (U17).
Winners for each age category are as follows: U12 Dallas Texans South 04 Girls, U13 Solar Chelsea Red 03, U14 Arsenal Ladies FC, U15 FC Dallas 02 ECNL, U16 Solar Chelsea Elite 00G, and U17 Dallas Texans U17 ECNL.