The Colorado Rapids Under-14 Team have opened their participation in the Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup, one of the most prestigious youth tournaments in the world, with a pair of convincing victories against international opposition. After a 2-0 win on Sunday afternoon over Prepa Tec of Mexico, the team earned a 3-1 victory on Monday against FC Astoria Walldorf of Germany. The team’s final match will be on Thursday against an FC Daallas side.
Sunday’s match saw Rapids goals from Greg Tracy on a penalty and Sam Vines, who also plays for the United States Under-14 National Team. Both goals were set up by Wilmer Cabrera, who also has spent time with the U.S. Youth National Teams.
In Monday’s win over Walldorf, Cabrera shone again, as his rebound was knocked home by Evan Austin for the first goal of the game. Erik Morales doubled the score with a 22 yard free kick, and Cabrera cushioned the lead, heading a long ball over the goalkeeper from the top of the box. Walldorf was awarded a last minute penalty kick, but it wasn’t enough to change the outcome.
The Rapids could advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament with a win over FC Dallas on Thursday, as the first-place team from each of the eight U-14 groups will move into the final stage. The Dallas Cup has been held every year since 1980, and included the participation of some of the top teams in the world. Previous winners at the Super Group level (Under-19) include Real Madrid (Spain), Liverpool (England), Corinthians (Brazil), San Lorenzo (Argentina), and Tigres (Mexico). The defending champions are England’s Fulham.