The U-17’s have landed in Frisco, Texas, for the prestigious 2016 Generation adidas Cup tournament.
The objective is simple: win. The path to be crowned champions won’t be.
The U-17 Kia TFC Academy are up against some of the strongest competition as they take on FC Dallas (MLS, USA), Valencia CF (Spain), and the U-17 Mexican national team in the group stage of the tournament.
Nonetheless, the Young Reds have proved that they are one of the top teams in the competition and are up for the challenge.
The team finished second overall in the east region of the qualifying stage and earned a spot in the Champions Division, which determines the overall winners of the 2016 Generation adidas Cup.
Being able to play against the elite competition that they’ve been pit against will be a valuable experience for both the players and the coaching staff.
“It’s a good test for the players but it’s also an opportunity for us as coaches to get a good gage of where our players are in their development,” said Head Coach Danny Dichio.
“This is a really good tournament for us to see at the early stages which players can perform at the top level. At the end of the day we’re trying to produce and develop players and get them to the highest point which is the first team.”
Friday they’ll kick off against one of the toughest oppositions in the Champions Division: the U-17 Mexican national team.
“I think it’s a good opportunity for our players and for the staff to see a totally different set up and team. We know a bit about them, the qualities they have, and we’ll have to be at the top of our game and very organized," said Dichio.
“I think we have some very good quality in the squad and I think we could hurt them with our pace and our attacking threat. Defensively we know we’re going to have to be at our best,” he added.
The Young Reds will then face FC Dallas (March 20, 4PM ET), followed by Valencia CF (March 22, 4PM ET) to wrap up the group stage.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @TFCAcademy for live updates from the 2016 Generation adidas Cup.