33rd Dallas Cup: Watch out for India's Uttam Rai!

The 33rd edition of the Dallas Cup will be played from April 1 to 8 in Dallas, Texas. The India Under-16 boys, who are currently training at the IMG Academy in Florida, will be playing in Bracket D along with local US sides Houston Dynamo U15 Pre-Academy (Texas), West Coast FC (California) and Dallas Texans White West (North-Texas). Other foreign participants in the Under-16 category come from England, Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, Trinidad&Tobago and the United Arab Emirates.

Last year the same set of boys as the India Under-15 team had reached the quarterfinals after winning their Group G with six points ahead of Santa Clara Sporting (California) with five, while Sockers U15 Cup (Illinois) had four points and TSF Academy Grey (New Jersey) finished last with only one point to their name. But the tournament ended in the quarterfinals against FC Golden State with a 3-4 loss.

On a North Texas website they have put a list together of the Top 10 Players to Watch at Dr Pepper Dallas Cup XXXIII. And this list contains talented Indian Youth striker Uttam Rai. It is a great honour for the youngster, but also added pressure then players like Wayne Rooney, Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez, David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Raul have played in the tournament in the past.

The website wrote about Uttam: Rai is arguably the best youth prospect for the populous nation of India. He will be looking to make his mark on Dallas Cup in 2012 after being injured in this same tournament last season. This attacking talent has trained with Arsenal FC of England in the past.

For the India Under-16 team the 33rd Dallas Cup is good international exposure ahead of tougher assignments in future Asian Youth tournaments.

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