History Making Win at Dallas Cup for La Roca FC U19 Boys

La Roca Futbol Club is the first Utah Soccer Team to Win the Dallas Cup Championship.

History Making Win at Dallas Cup for La Roca FC U19 Boys
South Weber, UT, April 20, 2022 --(PR.com)-- April 17, 2022, was an historic day for La Roca FC as they won the Dallas Cup Championship for the U19 Boys Division. Not only is this the first Dallas Cup win for La Roca FC, but this is also the first Dallas Cup win for any club in Utah. Dallas Cup is renowned and regarded as the most prestigious international youth soccer tournament in the United States.

Dallas Cup takes place annually in Dallas, TX, and is broadcast live on ESPN. Thousands of teams apply for admittance each year, but only the best of the best are accepted. Few ever get the opportunity to compete, and even fewer are good enough to go the whole distance and win the championship. This year, the U19 bracket consisted of 32 teams: 8 groups of 4 teams each. Only the first team from each group advanced.

Over the course of the tournament, the La Roca FC U19 boys team faced many challenges: plagued by injuries, yellow cards, missing teammates, and even some players who had to fly home in the middle of the competition to take their high school exams. All in all, La Roca FC entered Sunday’s Finals as the underdog fatigued by the many prior contentious matches encountered to advance and the wear and tear of being on the road. Against all odds, the La Roca FC team had to dig deeper than they ever had before to face the ultimate challenge of battling the hometown favorite, FC Dallas Academy.

Just 3 minutes into the Finals, La Roca FC received a red card, thus reducing their number of players on the field for the remainder of the game to just ten. La Roca FC battled down a man for the next 87 minutes plus 6 minutes of total stoppage to finish with an historic, first-of-its-kind, 2-1 victory. David Chevez, coach of the La Roca FC U19 boys team and former professional player from Peru and Greece said, “I’ve had many incredible moments in my career, but this just may be the highlight. This group of boys is special, not because I think they are the most talented or the biggest players on the field, but because of their humility and attitude to never quit.” Chevez went on to say, “The chemistry of this team is undeniable. They treat each other like brothers. If one makes a mistake, they lift each other up. They also have incredibly supportive parents who have never doubted my decisions as a coach. It was truly a thrilling experience. One I will always remember.”

La Roca FC’s Founder and Technical Director, Adolfo Ovalle said, “I feel what our boys and coaches did was an amazing accomplishment. Dallas Cup is without a doubt the most prestigious and competitive international tournament in the US. Having won it makes me feel so proud of each and every one of those boys and coaches. The boys have made history, not only for our La Roca FC club but for the state of Utah.”

The La Roca FC U19 boys team consists of Naime Odeh (04), Braden Bennett (03), jack Cook (04), Eric Estrada (03), Caleb Graves (03), Gage Pack (03), Jackson Gamer (04), Lincoln Harrestad (04), Luke Fackrell (04), Bennett Carlson (03), Hayden Pool (03), Manuel Vargas (05), Jadon Fambro (04), Braydon Gipson (05), Conner Gardenhour (05), Tyler Ware (05), and Landen Merril (04). Coaches include David Chevez (HC) Najah Odeh (AC) and Randy Carlson (AC).

Assistant Coach, Najah Odeh added, “Being part of this Dallas Cup tournament with these young men was priceless. We had a great deal of emotions, but I’ll tell you what, these boys stepped up and took on every adversity that they had in front of them. They played their hearts out and took on every obstacle that was presented! A big thanks and a shout out to the parents that helped with all the behind-the-scenes prep for these boys. We couldn’t have done this without you.”

The La Roca FC support from Utah deserves an honorable mention as well. Many of the players’ parents knew this was a once in a lifetime moment and paid hefty flight prices to attend Sunday’s game. Even more interesting, many of our players had already planned to attend their high school prom and had asked their dates weeks in advance. Some of their dates, who went to prom dateless the night before, showed their devotion by also flying to Dallas on Sunday to attend the event and cheer on their friends.

As the team returned home on Sunday night, a special seat on the plane next to Coach Chevez escorted the Dallas Cup trophy, a trophy that honors The La Roca Way and will be proudly displayed. The boys now look forward to finishing up their respective high school seasons, finishing out their ECNL national play, and are looking forward to what the future offers. But, Dallas, TX and April 17, 2022, will always be an forgettable and cherished memory in their journey.

About La Roca FC
La Roca Futbol Club was established in 2005 to provide a quality competitive youth soccer program in Utah and has grown to become the most successful club in the state with more State Cup Championship titles than any other club in the state. La Roca FC trains serious youth soccer players who desire an opportunity to develop and showcase his/her skills to the fullest potential. To date, La Roca has produced 20 professional players both domestically and internationally. La Roca FC offers players a chance to play at the highest level of state competition and compete in various regional and national tournaments and leagues. La Roca is a 501(c)(3) corporation under the direction of its Board of Directors.

For more information, visit https://larocafc.com/contact/, or contact Heidi Wheelwright at the La Roca FC office: 801-825-6040.
La Roca Futbol Club
Julia Howard