The Houston Dynamo Academy Under-15 team opened the inaugural Torneo Internacional on Monday in Mexico City with a 3-1 defeat to Chivas Guadalajara. The competition, featuring four U-15 Academy teams from MLS and four U-15 Academy teams from Liga MX, is a collaboration between the two leagues to share ideas and compete on the field to gain more international experience at the youth level.
After Diego Hernandez opened the scoring for Chivas in the 14th minute, the Dynamo Academy equalized six minutes later as Kelechi Onyewuenyi finished a quality cross from Alejandro Lezama with a diving header to level the score.
But Jose Macias scored twice in the second half as Chivas opened the group stage with a victory.
“The tournament is top quality and the standard of the teams is excellent,” said Dynamo director of youth development James Clarkson. “The organization and professionalism has been excellent. Today was a tough start to the tournament but the boys fought for everything. We had an excellent first half and scored a tremendous goal to get level. The second half we had to work really hard. Tomorrow is a massive game and we have a real chance of progressing.”
The Dynamo U-15s will meet the Chicago Fire U-15s on Tuesday in the second group stage game for both clubs. Houston will complete the group stage on Wednesday against Pachuca.
To advance to Friday’s semifinals, the Dynamo must finish with more points than the Fire.
The tournament field includes FC Atlas, FC Dallas, Monarcas Morelia and Toronto FC. The semifinal winners will meet in the final on Sunday at Estadio Azteca.
The competition continues the Dynamo Acedemy's relationship with clubs from Mexico. The Academy U-23s played C.F. Monterrey's U-23s in July at Houston Sports Park.
Follow the Dynamo Academy on Twitter @DynamoAcademy for the latest news and tournament information from Mexico City.