Over the past four decades, many of the world’s biggest soccer stars have competed in the Dallas Cup, the oldest and most prestigious youth soccer tournament in the United States. Including matches played by the likes of David Beckham, Raul, Wayne Rooney, and Pirlo, among many other soccer icons, Dallas Cup alumni have combined to play in more than 430 FIFA World Cup matches. With the 2018 FIFA World Cup officially underway in Russia, that number will grow, with nearly 30 Dallas Cup alumni playing on the world’s biggest stage this summer.
To celebrate the start of the FIFA World Cup, we put together a Dallas Cup Best XI playing in Russia.
GK: Keylor Navas – Costa Rica (Real Madrid)
LB: Ronald Matarrita – Costa Rica (New York City FC)
CB: Kendall Watson – Costa Rica (Vancouver Whitecaps FC)
CB: Nacho Fernandez – Spain (Real Madrid)
RB: Kieran Trippier – England (Tottenham)
LM: Ivan Perisic – Croatia (Inter Milan)
CM: Jesse Lingard – England (Manchester United)
CM: Massimo Luongo – Australia (Queens Park Rangers)
RM: Gylfi Sigurdsson – Iceland (Everton)
ST: Carlos Vela – Mexico (Los Angeles FC)
ST: Javier Hernandez – Mexico (West Ham United)
Dallas Cup Notes
- Keylor Navas and Kendall Watson played on the same Saprissa team from Costa Rica that played in the 2006 Super Group.
- Nacho Fernandez (Real Madrid), Kieran Trippier (Manchester City), and Massimo Luongo (Tottenham) reached the Super Group semi-finals in 2007, 2009, and 2010, respectively.
- Iceland star, Gylfi Sigurdsson, played for U16 side Preston North End in the 2005 Dallas Cup.
- Jesse Lingard played in the 2012 Dallas Cup for Manchester United. His team advanced to the final after defeating Everton in the semi-finals, a team that featured current Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier.
- Ivan Perisic played in the 2001 Dallas Cup for U12 Croatian side HNK Hajduk. The team took part in the Dallas Cup homestay program with a Dallas Texan squad that featured US Men’s National Team player Omar Gonzalez.
- Javier Hernandez and Carlos Vela were on the same CD Guadalajara “Chivas” side that hoisted the U16 championship trophy in 2004.