Copa Rayados Internacional 2015

The 2000 and 2001 NTX ODP Boys participated in the Copa Rayados Internacional 2015 during Thanksgiving weekend. The tournament consisted of four games, but due to inclement weather causing field closures,only the first two games were played.

2000 Boys pictured above:
Goal Keepers: Sebastian Hattar and Alex Heinle; Defenders: Dawson Baker, Ivan Cabrera, Noah Carr, and Romeo Natera; Midfielders: Jared Cox, Azriel Ordaz, Fernando Perez, Keagen Plymell, Robert Reese, and Abraham Zuniga; Forwards: Adan Barajas, Douglas Duarte, Alan Quezada, and Hector Tijerina, Jr.

2000 Boys Game Recaps
by Coach John “JT” Thomas

ODP NTX 00B vs Morumbi (Mexico): We faced the team Morumbi, from Guadalajara, coached by Juan Romo, a club team affiliated with Chivas de Guadalajara and Jaguares de Chiapas. Morumbi have great technical players, as they train four days a week. We were able to stay in the game for the first 25 minutes as Jared Cox, Douglas Duarte and Hector Tijerina controlled the central midfield. Passes to flanks to find Adan Barajas and Azriel Ordaz enabled NTX to attack their outside backs and send in a few crosses to Alan Quezada for direct shots at goal. Our outside defenders had their work cut out for them, as they were up against speedy, technical players, but Romeo Natera and Dawson Baker were able keep them in check most of the game ,having to sacrifice their bodies as they timed their challenges to keep Morumbi’s talented forwards from approaching the goal. The defense continued to work out of the back, as keepers Sebastian Hatter and Alex Heinle distributed the balls as play allowed. The young athletes showed heart and dedication as they went down on the score, but never gave up and were always playing with will and determination to score as if the game was for the championship.

ODP NTX 00B vs Prepa Tec de Monterrey (Mexico):We went up against Prepa Tec de Monterrey, who was coached by Guillermo Franco, a former Mexican national soccer team striker who retired from the international scene in 2010. During the game, Prepa Tec de Monterrey took an early lead, but that didn't stop our players from trying to come back. Our central defense was led by Noah Carr and Ivan Cabrera. Our outside backs, Dawson Baker and Azriel Ordaz, had their work cut out for them in this game. Prepa Tec played with speed on the outside; our midfielders had to be on their toes at all times, while the back line had to adapt to the style of play and start working the offsides trap. The midfield was again controlled with Jared Cox as the holding midfielder; he did a great job of switching the ball and coming out of the back with a calmness to create plays — a difficult thing to do, when Prepa Tec pressured high up the field. The midfielders Douglas Duarte and Robert Reese were able to support Jared to create a passing triangle at times to release out of pressure and send the balls to our attacking trio, which was made up of Alan Quezada, Hector Tijerina and Adan Barajas. In the second half, Abraham Zuniga, Fernando Perez and Keagen Plymell came in to supply speed in the attack ,and with the work rate, they put Tec de Monterrey's outside defenders under heavy pressure, winning a few corner kicks. Our closest opportunity at goal came from a resulting corner kick which was taken by Jared Cox, who was able to find Dawson Baker at the back post. Dawson's header was hit back across the goal, only to be denied at the line by a stretched-out goalkeeper. The young squad consisted of some of the top players from North Texas, who are extremely skilled and talented players. This team was together for the first time in San Antonio and fought hard every match, even though they were facing difficult, experienced opponents that train and play on a weekly basis. Our athletes showed passion and dedication throughout the tournament.

The Copa Rayados Internacional tournament has always been a great challenge for the teams that have participated before the current 2000 Boys, but this year, the teams seemed to be more organized and technically sound. The players learned what it was like to play against speed and size. Both of the opposing teams were from the third division of professional teams from Mexico. As a result, this tournament provided a very good training experience for the 2000 BODP team.

OUR GOALKEEPERS — Sebastian and Alex, were tested from the start with shots from almost every angle. They were able to make several saves and redirect the play from their positions. Both keepers did a great job considering the skillful attacking play they faced.

OUR DEFENSIVE FOUR — Dawson, Ivan, Jared, Noah and Romeo — played very well. They learned that if they are more organized, it will help to stop penetration. They also learned to trust each other, and that communication is a very important part of playing together to move and play as one.

OUR MIDFIELDERS — Jared, Azriel, Fernando, Keagen, Robert and Abraham — adapted to playing against a very fast and organized team. They discovered how to play faster, make quicker decisions in order to maintain possession and move the ball into the attacking third.

OUR FORWARDS — Adan, Douglas, Alan and Hector — played under pressure the entire game. Although playing under pressure, the forwards were able to put together several opportunities to move the ball in the final third for some clear chances and shots on the opposing goal.

2001 Boys pictured above:
Goalkeepers: Peter Neal and Carson Roberts; Defenders: Marshall Dickson, Ryan Jones, Miles Ludington, and Taka Miller; Midfielders: Ivan Blaylock, Sean Francis, Mason Garza, Timothy Qin, and Kaleem Shabout; Forwards: Christopher Campos, Esteban Daughtry, Edward Knight, Ian Miller, and Niko Zeppenfeld

2001 Boys Game Recaps
by coach Alex Perez

ODP NTX 01B vs FB Prepa Tec (Mexico): was a very intense game. Our boys’ starting line was Carson in goal, a back line of Taka, Ryan, Miles and Marshall, three midfielders (Kaleem, Tim and Ivan) and three forwards (Ian, Christopher and Edward). The opponent started sending long balls behind our defenders, but our defenders were able to manage their attack in the first half, and keep it scoreless. We made the subs in the second half, and the team kept the concentration until a clean tackle was made by our midfielders in the penalty box. The referee called a penalty kick. With the 0-1 score, our team kept generating chances and, five minutes later, a play made by Ian and Niko ended in a goal by Mason, which tied the game. The 1-1 tie gave us motivation, but with three minutes left in the game, another clean tackle from our defenders in the box resulted in a penalty kick. The final score was 1-2.

ODP NTX 01B vs Houston Dynamo Academy (Mexico): We decided to pressure right from the start with the following starting lineup: Peter in goal, defenders Taka, Kaleem, Miles and Marshall, midfielders Sean, Tim and Ivan, and forwards Niko, Ian and Mason. The high pressure worked until the fifth minute; after a foul outside the box, the opponent scored from a free kick to the top left corner of the goal. The team generated a couple of breakaways, but could not finish the chances. We made a couple of subs in the second half, and during a goal kick for NTX, the wet field helped our opponent; we turned the ball over to their central forward and with just our GK to beat, the opponent finished it. We kept generating chances with an 0-2 scoreline, and with a breakaway we were able to score to take the game to 1-2. Unfortunately, during a corner kick against us, one of our forwards tried to clear the ball, deflected it, and it went into the back of our net, to make it 1-3. Right at the end, we gave the ball away in defense, and the opponent scored a fourth a final goal.

Despite the results, our team looked good for playing for the first time in a competitive tournament. There is still much for us to work on tactically and technically, to play better as a team, but we have a good foundation for Region III Summer Trial in July 2016.