Downtown soccer team will play in premier tournament


Downtown soccer team will

play in premier tournament

Members of a Downtown United Soccer Club team will follow in the famous footsteps of soccer greats David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Robinho and Kaka when they take to the field next month in the Dallas Cup, the most prestigious international youth soccer tournament in the U.S. The Dallas Cup, which will take place April 17-24, will feature sides from 19 countries, including the best clubs of young players from Europe and South America. All the superstars mentioned above competed in the tournament as youth players.

DUSC’s Under-14 “White” Team, based at Pier 40, at West Houston St. on the Lower West Side, won the coveted berth after posting victories in top local and regional tournaments, earning a No. 4 national ranking for its age group. 

“This will be a chance to see teams from around the world,” said Jerel Blades, 13, team co-captain, “to see what their different styles are and how we compare to them.”

Much like the city it represents, the DUSC Under 14 “White” Team finds strength in its diversity, drive and dedication. The 18 players, who come from all over the New York metropolitan area, are black, white, Asian, Hispanic, Christian, Muslim and Jewish. They speak a cornucopia of languages, from French, Italian and Spanish, to Chinese, Farsi and Wolof. One-third of the players are on full scholarship, reflecting DUSC’s commitment to provide opportunities for children to play, regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

DUSC is also committed to promoting educational opportunities for its players. The Dallas Cup is a favorite stop for college scouts, often the first contact for youngsters seeking access to higher education.

“Playing for DUSC has taught me how to fully commit myself, not only in soccer but in all the aspects of my life,” said Antony Galvano, 14.

DUSC provides recreational, academy, travel and inner-city school soccer programs for more than 1,000 boys and girls, ages 3 to 19, from all over New York City.

To help defray the $20,000 cost of attending the Texas tournament, the team will hold a fundraiser on Sun., April 3, at Central Bar, 109 E. Ninth St. at Fourth Ave. Admission is $20 at the door.