Over the past four decades, several moments have helped shape the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup into the oldest and most prestigious international youth soccer tournament in the United States. Over the next several weeks, the Dallas Cup will embark on a mission to recount 40 of the most influential players, teams, and events in the tournament’s history to help celebrate four decades of excellence.
· At Dallas Cup IX in 1988, a momentous event took place as Pelé, arguably the greatest soccer player of all-time, attended the Dallas Cup as a special guest during the tournament’s Opening Ceremonies. During his playing days, Pelé won three World Cups with Brazil, and he remains the country’s all-time leading scorer. The presence of the Brazilian legend, one of the most recognizable faces in sports at the time, was a watershed moment for the Dallas Cup, as it symbolized the tournament’s rise in prominence in international youth soccer.
· Several top flight coaches also have ties to the Dallas Cup. Former manager of the Argentina and Colombia National Teams, José Pékerman, current Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez, current manager of Celtic FC Brendan Rodgers, and 1899 Hoffenheim’s coach Julian Nagelsmann, all either coached or played in the Dallas Cup.
· In 1999, the U-17 USMNT featured Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley, two iconic figures in US Men’s soccer history.
Landon Donovan (#20) and Damarcus Beasley (#3) at 1999 Dallas Cup
· Trailing only the United States, Mexico has the second most “Boot and Ball” championship trophies for a country across all age groups, accumulating 60 since 1982. Mexico’s National Team, both past and present, has always been well represented by Dallas Cup alumni. At the 2018 World Cup, tournament alumni including Jesus Corona, Carlos Salcedo, Andres Guardado, and Javier Hernandez played for El Tri.
· Manchester United, the most valuable club in world soccer, has a rich history at the Dallas Cup, including nine tournament appearances and a U12 championship in 1998. The 2018 United side, featuring promising young stars Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood, reached the semi-finals of the 2018 Gordon Jago Super Group in before bowing out to fellow Premier League side Arsenal.
To read the full list, click here.