In a rematch of 2019 Southern Regional Championships semifinals, FC Dallas 01 Premier (TX-N) and PPA KSA 01 Pro-Profile (GA) played to a, 3-3, draw earning each team one point after the first day of play.
“We knew starting our event with a top-class team like KSA that the road to the final is going to be a difficult one,” said FC Dallas head coach Casey Cantor. “We are up against the other seven best 18U Boys teams in the country and are going to have to continue to play better each and every game as we move forward.”
KSA took the lead in the 12th minute as Deedson Vixamar received a pass from Sam Povolotsky. Vixamar dragged the ball from one foot to the other then poked home a left-footed shot to give KSA the lead. In a back and forth first half, FC Dallas stayed close thanks to some stellar goalkeeping from Connor Tullis going into halftime down 1-0.
FC Dallas tied it up in the second half when Carlos Santamaria clipped a cross into the box. Orlando Castro got free from his mark and timed his bicycle-kick to perfection, smashing the shot beyond the keeper from 12-yards out. Dallas took the lead a few minutes later as a cross from Porter Pomykal found Jide Adesanya in the center of the box for a close-range finish.
“I just jumped and it was instinct, it just happened,” said FC Dallas’ Orlando Castro. “It is definitely my best goal; I have no words to describe it.”
KSA equalized about 10 minutes later as Vixamar broke by two FC Dallas defenders to find Carl Henry Desir who was streaking towards goal. Desir expertly hit a left-footed shot by a sprawling Tullis to level the teams at 2-2.
KSA regained the lead in the 78th minute after drawing a penalty kick due to a mistimed tackle in the box. Jerry Desdunes stepped up and sent the keeper the wrong way, burying his penalty to the goalkeeper’s left.
After gaining some momentum, KSA had the air knocked out of it when FC Dallas equalized on an own goal. A dangerous corner kick whipped in by Kevin Adolfo ended up in the back of the KSA net as Kohnny Bruce challenged for the ball with the KSA keeper coming out for the grab. The ball bounced off the KSA keeper’s hands and deflected into his own net to tie the teams at 3-3.
Shortly after the goal, FC Dallas went down to ten-men as one of its defenders picked up his second yellow. The two teams continued to go back and forth trying to earn a winner before the final whistle but neither team could find another goal to break the deadlock.
With the win, FC Dallas and KSA both earn a point heading into day two of play. With both other teams in the groups also tying, all the teams are still neck-and-neck moving in tomorrow’s games.
“It’s always a goal to win a National title at the start of the season,” continued Cantor. “The previous head coach, Scott Dymond, recently passed away but helped make these boys who they are on and off the field. We would love to build on his legacy and leave Nationals with a title in his honor.”