National League Champs
at July's National Championships.
By Brian Beaky
Some teams are humbled by losses. Others are motivated. If the results from last month's US Youth Soccer National League games are any indication, FC Dallas 97 Premier is one of the latter.
And the rest of the nation had better watch out.
Coach Scott Dymond's boys tore through the US Youth Soccer’s toughest league, which brings together regional champions and other top-performing teams from previous seasons for the highest level of league competition in US Youth Soccer. Led by forward Scott Lara, who tallied a division-leading nine goals in just seven games, and outstanding defense that conceded just four into its own net, FC Dallas 97 Premier finished with a perfect 7-0-0 record in National League play — just the fourth boys team in league history to accomplish the feat.
That perfect record clinched FC Dallas 97 Premier the top spot in the U18 Boys Red division, and guarantees them a spot at July's US Youth Soccer National Championships. The defending Region III champions, FC Dallas 97 Premier placed second at Nationals last year, conceding a header in the 84th minute of the final against NY-E's Manhattan SC PSG 96 to suffer a 1-0 defeat.
That runner-up finish made FC Dallas 97 Premier among the favorites in this year's National League, a status many teams might shrink from. Indeed, the boys surrendered an early goal to Cal-South's Fullerton Rangers 96 White just seven minutes into their opening game, and it might have been natural to question their comfort as the team everyone wants to beat. It also would have been wrong. Lara leveled before halftime and Jose Benitez added the winner in the 45th minute, starting FC Dallas' scintillating seven-game run. In fact, they would concede just three goals the rest of the way, while tallying 22 more of their own.
To learn more about the US Youth Soccer National League, visit USYouthSoccer.org.