DALLAS, Texas (Thursday, Dec. 7) - Dr Pepper Dallas Cup, the oldest and most prestigious international youth soccer tournament in the United States, has had numerous alumni from its near four-decade history go on to have successful soccer careers on the sport’s biggest stages. This weekend is no different as several tournament alumni will be in the spotlight during the MLS Cup and Liga MX final.
Saturday’s MLS Cup match between Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders FC will showcase prominent Dallas Cup alumni in each team’s Starting XI.
Forward Jozy Altidore (DC ’04), midfielder Michael Bradley (DC ’03), and defender Drew Moor (DC ’02) form the backbone of Toronto FC’s lineup which set a record for total points in an MLS season. Altidore is the second all-time goal scorer for Toronto FC and scored the clinching goal in their 1-0 win in the Eastern Conference Championship over the Columbus Crew.
Western Conference champion Seattle FC also has the spine of their team shaped by Dallas Cup alumni, with Clint Dempsey (DC ’01), Will Bruin (DC ’02), and Chad Marshall (DC ’98, ’00) in the center of the action. Bruin and Dempsey both scored in their 3-0 win over the Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference Championship.
The Liga MX champion will also be determined this weekend as rivals CF Monterrey and Tigres square off in a two-legged fixture, with the first leg being played tonight and the second leg following on Sunday evening. Jonathan Gonzalez, who played in the past two Dallas Cups for CF Monterrey, now starts in the midfield for their first team. Monterrey’s Rogelio Funes, a 2008 Dallas Cup alumni, scored a hat-trick in their semi-final match to help secure a spot in the final. Tigres starters, Jesús Dueñas and Luis Rodríguez also participated in the Dr Pepper Dallas Cup in 2007 and 2009, respectively.
In total, 16 Dr Pepper Dallas Cup alumni are on the rosters of the four teams vying for league championships this weekend. The next wave of talent will be on display next spring as Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXIX is held from March 25 through April 1, 2018.