All three of FC Dallas’ representatives in the Chipotle MLS Homegrown Game (the most representatives in the league), played 45 minutes under the leadership of manager Landon Donovan. Jesse Gonzalez was the only starter of the three, and played the entire first half. Dallas’ other two players, Coy Craft and Alex Zendejas, entered the match at halftime and played the whole second half.
Jesse Gonzalez kept The Homegrowns in the match during his time with two big saves. The first came in the 9th minute as Gonzalez made a save on a half volley shot from very close range with fast reflexes.
Gonzalez would be called upon again in the 29th minute. Gonzalez was put into a one-on-one situation, and stood tall by using his entire 6’4 frame to make the save. Gonzalez was facing many of his Mexico U-20 National Team teammates, and shined.
Those saves set up a first-half lead for the Homegrowns after San Jose Earthquake man, Tommy Thompson scored in the 34th minute with a shot from outside the box for a 1-0 lead.
The second half saw the inclusion of the 18 year old Craft, and the 17 year old Zendjeas. Zendejas may be the youngest player in MLS, but he showed why Oscar Pareja is giving him first team time.
In the 48th minute, Zendjeas cut the ball to his left foot and shot from just inside the box. The shot grazed right over the top of the crossbar. He then prevented a goal with a headed clearance off the line after a Club America corner. Zendejas had to really get a nice jump and use his 5’7 frame to clear.
Craft would get involved in the 60th minute with an ambitious effort that beamed just wide. From there on out, he mostly used his build-up play to help his team.
Club America would score in the 68th minute off of a well taken Sergio Rodriguez penalty, and that score would hold through full time.
The match went directly to penalties from there, which Club America would use to win the match 4-3. Zendejas would shoot in the penalty shootout, but his shot was saved. Craft would not shoot in the penalty shootout.
All three players showed their strengths on a big stage, and really showcased just how powerful the FC Dallas academy is. The Dallas academy is truly setting the standard of producing American based talent.