With the September announcement that Dallas Cup Executive Director Gordon Jago would be stepping down from that position on June 1, 2012, Jago and Tournament Manager Randy Jones immediately began making contact with professional and top youth soccer clubs around the world.

The object — to bring to Dallas the very best youth soccer teams to participate in Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXIII, Apr. 1-8, 2012. With Jones' 17 years' involvement in the Dallas Cup and Jago's lifelong soccer career as player, coach and manager, their list of Federation and club contacts is incredible. Telephone calls were made, emails, letters, and faxes dispatched.

Within a few weeks, replies were received from over 200 clubs and 23 countries.

Teams from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Barbados, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, England, France, Germany, Guatemala, Ghana, Japan, Mexico, Nigeria, Peru, Ireland, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Venezuela and, of course, the United States, have all expressed interest in participating in Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXIII.

"A tremendous and immediate response, with many more yet to arrive," says Jones. "Now comes the difficult task."

From experience gained over many years, Jones knows of the difficulties in obtaining entry visas for teams from many of the countries, and also in obtaining airline flights at the Easter holiday period. Even now, three months from the tournament's first kick, scheduling flights from Manchester and London is proving difficult, with so many teams having already booked their spots. Demand is so great, in fact, that some teams are having to book flights a full three days before the start of the tournament on April 1.

Both Jago and Jones are delighted with the response. Manchester United, Boca Juniors, Paris Saint-Germain, Everton FC, Eintracht Frankfurt, Tigres, Esporte Club Bahia, Cortiba F.C. and the Mexican U20 National Team have all been confirmed as participants in this year's 16-team U19 Super Group, while final negotiations are being conducted with teams from Bolivia, Canada, Japan, Peru and the USA.

"Without a doubt, [this will be] the strongest Super Group since I joined Dallas Cup in 2002," Jago says.

Jones agrees, and says the entire event could be among the most competitive in the history of the illustrious tournament.

"With so many international teams in all age groups, plus many of the top USA Clubs and USSF Academy teams attending, the local 29 Dallas youth teams will have the opportunity to play against the very best teams from around the world," he says. "It will also give the Dallas soccer fans the opportunity of seeing the different styles of play from Europe, Asia and South and Central America."

Will there be another David Beckham, Robinho, Wayne Rooney, Raul or Chicharito on show as they begin their soccer careers? You'll have to be there to find out, "Where Dreams Come True."


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