To keep everyone up to date with all the happenings going on here in Dallas we will be proving wall-to-wall coverage every single day with pictures, video and a blog entry.
After arriving in Dallas on Saturday and checking out the Real Salt Lake vs FC Dallas game, all the players got a much-needed rest at the hotel in preparation for the opening game on Sunday morning vs Brooklyn Italians.
On the bus ride over to the fields all the players were focused and determined to start off the tournament on the right foot. The starting XI vs Brooklyn was: Eric Gonzalez, Santi Carrillo, Brandon Marquez, Corey Nemeth, Jon Zabasajja, Tigran Tiraturyan, Andrew Brody, Jose Hernandez, Coco Navarro, Aidan Tucker,and Luis Barazza.
The field conditions were not the best due to the weather that was around 40 degrees with a constant wind blowing. It made the field slick causing many players to slip in the opening minutes.
Real Salt Lake started off strong and looked like they would grab an early lead. Early shots by Aidan Tucker, Jose Hernandez, Tigran Tiraturyan all inside the 18 were blocked by Brooklyn’s GK.
In the 25th minute Andrew Brody beat the offside trap and looked like he would score the opening goal but unfortunately he slipped inside the 18 and the Brooklyn GK picked up the loose ball. The rest of the half was a back and forth game and once halftime hit RSL coaches told the players to keep up the great work and not change anything as they controlled the majority of the game.
Weather conditions slightly improved in the second half as the sun made its first appearance of the day. In the 58th minute Andrew Brody beat two Brooklyn players on the left-wing and played a ball into Coco Navarro who was sitting inside the 6 yard box. He trapped the ball with his back facing the net, turned around and fired a shot. The goal was called off as Navarro was just inches offside.
Five minutes later RSL was finally able to grab the lead when Eric Gonzalez played a low free kick into the box. Corey Nemeth ran to the ball, took a touch and deflected it across the face of the goal high into the net. The Brooklyn GK had no chance.
Four minutes later Jose Hernandez slipped the ball into a running Coco Navarro inside the 18. The Brooklyn GK ran out to intercept Navarro who faked the shot, took two touches and calmly scored.
The rest of the game was controlled by RSL who kept the ball in Brooklyn’s half for the rest of the game.
After the game the players all returned back to the hotel and rested up before they headed over to the Cotton Bowl for the Dallas Cup Opening Ceremonies.
In an Olympic style set-up teams from all over the world went through a tunnel and entered the field. Some of the countries that were represented included: England, Mexico, Japan, Canada and Costa Rica.
RSL and the rest of the American teams went through the tunnel as well and joined all the other teams on the field. After the ceremonies all the teams in attendance had an opportunity to watch Manchester United vs Club America U19 teams play which ended in a 2-0 victory for United.
After the game RSL went back to their hotel to rest up for Day 3 of Dallas Cup.