The Houston Dynamo Academy U-16 squad will play for the Dallas Cup title on Sunday at Pizza Hut Park after a dominating 3-0 win over the Texas Football Club Saturday morning on Field 16 at the Pizza Hut Park complex.
The Dynamo will face California's Santa Clara Sporting, which crushed Mexican club Monterrey 7-0 in the other semifinal today. Santa Clara has outscored opponents 16-1 in five tournament games. Tomorrow's match will be played at 10 a.m. in the main stadium.
Coming off of an emotional shootout win over Solar Red on Friday, the Dynamo U-16s continued their steady improvement by dominating start-to-finish against TFC on Saturday. Isaiah Noreiga (Humble Kingwood Park) opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a great finish for a 1-0 lead.
Houston led just 1-0 at the half but took control early in the second half with a pair of goals that may have even surpassed the opener in terms of skill. First it was Gabriel Moreno, playing his first tournament with the Dynamo after being selected from the December Elite Camp, when he scored with a left-footed volley in the 50th minute. Manuel Chavez (Cy Springs), who has starred throughout the tournament, sealed the game with a chip from all of 22 yards, clinching Houston's spot in the final.
Goalkeeper Juan Navarrete held firm at the back for the Dynamo's fourth consecutive shutout. The U-16 squad is the third Dynamo team in four years to reach the final of the Dallas Cup. Houston reached the final in 2007 and 2008 with U-17 teams, winning the group in 2008 on a goal from current Denver University midfielder Matt Kirby. Last year, playing up in the U-19 age bracket, was the only year the Dynamo failed to advance to the final.