Written by Corbett Smith
Dallas Cup competition this week takes a toll on players pulling double duty with soccer playoffs
FRISCO — Blake Stricker was beat.
He’d been hit in the head and kicked in the ankle and was cramping near the end of Solar Chelsea’s Under-15 Pre-Academy’s 7-3 win.
“I’m exhausted,” Stricker said.
Stricker was on his third game in four days — with a big second-round playoff game with his high school team, Frisco Wakeland, looming Tuesday.
But that’s the reality for a large number of players who pull double duty with their club and high school teams over the week-long Dr Pepper Dallas Cup.
Players could play as many as nine games in 10 days shuffling between club and prep teams.
It’s a tug-of-war for the players, and the club and high school coaches as well, trying to maximize their playing time while not hurting the other team.
Solar coach Adrian Solca said he tries to stay in contact with his player’s high school coaches. All but two of the players on his team also play high school soccer.
Stricker’s high school coach, Frisco Wakeland’s Rusty Oglesby, has four players in the Dallas Cup.
He said there’s no sense attempting to prevent his players from competing in club tournaments, adding that a symbiotic relationship can exist between them.
Oglesby won a Class 4A state title at Wakeland in 2010, with a core group of his players competing in both the playoffs and the Dallas Cup.
Man U-Arsenal unity, sort of: For the last few decades, Manchester United and Arsenal have battled each other on the pitch for English and European glory. But the two sides are coming together, somewhat, in the most unlikely of places.
On Tuesday, Manchester United’s under-19 team will take advantage of an off day to train at Michael Johnson Performance Center in McKinney. The team will go through a 11/2 hour-long speed and conditioning session.
At the same time, Arsenal will have two players training in the complex. The Gunners sent them, plus a coach, for a three-week visit at MJP.
Welcome to Texas: With about 10 minutes to go in the first half, a swarm of bees made its way near FC Dallas Field 17 during the Solar/San Diego (Calif.) Aztecs FC Premier match, with players on both teams’ benches and officials sprinting across the pitch to avoid the swarm.
Players from FC Phoenix Academy — huddled on the sideline to watch a match between two teams from their bracket — didn’t know what do to, before someone in the stands yelled for them to lie flat on the ground.
“Man, I didn’t know what was going on,” a FC Phoenix player said. “I thought it was a tornado.”
“Well, it is Texas,” a Solar FC parent responded.