It did not take long for IMG to put a stamp on the Dallas Cup. Much-anticipated games drew crowds to watch the IMG teams compete on their first day of matches. With no detail overlooked, coaches prepared the teams to anticipate their opponents moves and organized a strategy fit for success, and it worked.
As the U-17s took the field vs. northern neighbor, Toronto Lynx from Canada, only 5 minutes went by before IMG was on the board. Not only were we fighting 11 other players, but weather conditions plagued both teams, with high winds and the temperature dropping by the minute.
With the wind to our advantage, IMG quickly took hold of the situation and begun the attack. Midfielder Cameron Baskett wasted no time crossing the ball knowing that the wind could take it anywhere, and a classic goal was the outcome of this action. A diving header by forward Andres Acevedo awoke the bench with cheers of excitement and put IMG up 1-0 early in the match.
Down one goal, Toronto wouldn't throw in the towel, and an all-out attack to tie the game was in full force. But IMG held strong. Great defensive performances by Chase Miller, Atticus Deprospo, Andrew Clare and Thomas MacFarland neutralized the opposing forwards and wrapped up the shutout victory. A good start to a long week of matches put IMG in contention to advance.
With three points under their belt, the boys were back in action for their second of three matches and faced Striker FC.
A couple degrees warmer and a bit less wind made for a better specator event, and the level of play did not disappoint. A hard-fought battle ended in a 3-3 tie and one more point for IMG. Andres Acevedo got his second goal of the tournament on a PK, Fernando Mares scored and Striker FC scored an own goal, but it was not enough to secure the win. It was enough, though, to put IMG in a good place to win the group with a victory Wednesday vs. Texas favorite Andromeda.
As the day fades away, and the boys turn in for a good night sleep, they know that they have everything to play for tomorrow at 2 p.m.
For Scores, Standings and Results visit: http://dallascup.com/schedules/12194271/12194310.html