French U-17 team wins Disney's Soccer Showcase
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- France's Under-17 men's national team walked away as the top international team at Disney's Soccer Showcase presented by adidas at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. The French team competed in the adidas Super Group section of the tournament that included the United States', Japan's and Spain's Under-17 men's national teams, and U.S. Youth Soccer's four Olympic Development Program (ODP) teams. The French squad finished with a 2-0-2 record to complete the tournament as the only undefeated team in the section. The U.S. national team finished 1-3. In the club soccer section of the tournament, the Dallas Texans Soccer Club made the most of its 1,200 mile trip from Texas to Florida as the club took home five championships at Disney's Soccer Showcase presented by adidas at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex, the preeminent sports venue for amateur and professional sporting events in the United States. Of the 12 top-flight championships, six age groups for boys and girls, the Texans won five, three girls' championships and two boys'. No other club claimed more than two. The Texans won the boys' under-16 and under-14 age groups and the girls under-18, under-17 and under-13 age groups. The most surprising of those championships occurred in the under-18 girls where the Texans faced the defending Disney's Soccer Showcase champions and U.S. Youth National Champions Eclipse Select 88/89 (IL). Not only were the Texans able to defeat the Eclipse, they made it look easy. Dallas scored three goals in the first 19 minutes of the game and claimed the title with a 4-0 victory. Ian Farley, assistant coach of the Dallas Texans 89 Red, which won the under-17 girls' title, said the club's performance made a national statement about the quality of soccer in Texas. "North Texas soccer is among the best in the country and that showed here in this tournament," Farley said. More than 600 of the top college coaches in the country attended this year's Disney's Soccer Showcase presented by adidas searching for the best players in the nation. Attendees included Mike Freitag, the men's coach at Indiana, which has won five NCAA national championships, and Anson Dorrance, the women's coach at North Carolina, which has won 18 NCAA national championships. "This year's Disney's Soccer Showcase was the best to date," said Patrick Dicks, soccer program manager at Disney Sports Attractions. "The competition, quality of service and convenience were raised to unprecedented levels this year. We will carry that momentum to future Disney's Soccer Showcases through our state-of-the-art sports facilities, our team of expert sports and recreation professionals and the entertainment of Walt Disney World Resort. These resources allow Disney's Wide World of Sports to offer fans and athletes a unique sports and vacation experience that can't be found anywhere else." The success of the 2005 Disney's Soccer Showcase further entrenched the event as the leading youth soccer tournament in the country as voted recently by Soccer America, the leading soccer publication in the United States. The magazine surveyed more than 300 top youth soccer coaches around the country late last year and Disney's Soccer Showcase ranked No. 1 in all 10 categories for boys and girls events - best tournament competition, best tournament organization, best tournament facilities, best tournament showcase and best tournament destination. Registration for the 2006 Disney's Soccer Showcase presented by adidas opens May 15. Teams can register and find more information on Disney's Soccer Showcase at www.disneysoccershowcase.com For more information on events taking place at Disney's Wde World of Sports Complex, please visit www.disneyworldsports.com About Disney's Wide World of Sports® Complex Opened in 1997 at Walt Disney World, Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex is the preeminent sports venue for amateur and professional sports in the United States. The sprawling 240-acre state-of-the-art complex features the Milk House, a 30,000-square-foot field house which seats 5,000 for basketball; the 9,500-seat Ballpark at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex; and the Hess Sports Fields, which include multiple baseball, softball and soccer fields. In addition, the complex has 10 tennis courts, including a stadium court, and a track and field complex. The complex is home to more than 170 amateur and professional sports events each year, including the NFL Tampa Bay Buccaneers training camp, the Major League Baseball Atlanta Braves spring training, the Pop Warner Super Bowl, AAU National Championship events, the Sports Experience interactive area and the All-Star Cafe sports-themed restaurant. The complex is the centerpiece of Disney's Wide World of Sports, which includes 99 holes of golf among six golf courses, including the site of the PGA TOUR's prestigious FUNAI Classic, the Richard Petty Driving Experience, the Walt Disney World Marathon, BASS fishing excursions, plus Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon, the two most popular water parks in the United States, and a variety of sports and recreation activities such as boating, fishing, parasailing and surfing.