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The Gordon Hill column: Will I be seeing tomorrow’s stars?

It was great being a top player for Millwall and Manchester United and playing for my country, that is something nobody will take away from me.

But now I am looking at tomorrow’s stars and I am getting a lot of pleasure seeing them this week as I am at one of the biggest Youth Soccer Tournaments in the USA.

It is called the Dallas Cup. Youth teams from all over the world are here to compete and earn the right to play in the final on Sunday in one of the country's best soccer stadiums (pictured), the home of MLS team FC Dallas.

The tournament

There are some top local sides who are playing in this great tournament, including Solar FC, Texans FC and Andromeda FC. They are representing North Texas in different age groups.

I have had the pleasure of going to this tournament for a couple of years and have seen the next stars of tomorrow play and show their skills, teams from England and the rest of the world. The top teams have all come over to play - Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd, and this year Everton and Man Utd are over here to play in the Gordon Jago Super Group as it will be known. There will be some up and coming new stars on show.

There are teams from Trinidad, Germany, Holland and Mexico, plus a lot of MLS academy sides such as the FC Dallas academy. Chicago Fire, Houston Dynamos and LA Galaxy have all entered teams, so I think there could be some new names on the radar.

In the other age groups there are teams from all over the world, Not only can you see tomorrow's stars, but 'down the road' stars as well.

The facility

What can you say about this facility - where was it when I played? They must have close on 20 fields all manicured and able to cater for any game at any time.

The grounds staff must be congratulated as it is a worthy facility on the world stage, but a great tribute must go to Lamar Hunt. Without his love for the game and his passion to see the game succeed, this would never have happened. Thank you Lamar, you were US soccer thorough and through.

The people who make it happen

This tournament is run by a former manager of mine, Gordon Jago (Millwall), who has done a fantastic job over the years and is stepping down after many years of making it a success.

My hat goes off to Gordon, he has worked his heart out. Gordon is handing it over to another good friend of mine, James Rice, another person who wears his heart on his sleeve and will do just as good a job. I also can't forget a special right hand man to Gordon and that is Randy Jones who, along with Gordon, makes the team complete.

But this tournament cannot be put together unless you have the most important people, the volunteers. My hat goes off to all of them as they make this a great week for all and give up their time for free.

Don’t forget the refs

I have watched the standard of the refereeing at this tournament and it is of a very high standard, something that was very clear when I sat down for a chat with a good friend of mine, George McCaffery, a top ref academy instructor. Yes I did say a friend, even though he is a ref!

We do sometimes agree, I wanted to know how his refs from the UK prepare - and what a great answer I got. They have eight counties that they deliver the course to and George works with the FA. He delivers programmes for the refs coming into the game, very similar to what we do for players. It is a two year programme and they take the top young refs from these eight counties and bring them over here to represent the FA.

Because there are only eight, only the top young ref from his county gets selected to come. George's standard is high and what I have seen is first class. Well done George.

Teams are playing in the following groups:

- U19 (Sponsored by Metro PCS)

- U17

- U16

- U15

- U14

- U13

This week should be a good one, not only for the players but also for football in general. I for one am going to enjoy it and it is lovely to see the smiling faces on these young players, all striving to do one thing, play at the top.

By Gordon Hill

Gordon Hill was capped six times for England in the 1970s and made 132 appearances for Manchester United, scoring 51 goals. He scored both United goals in their 1976 FA Cup semi-final win against Derby and played in the Red Devils' 2-1 FA Cup final triumph against Liverpool in 1977.

He has played for Millwall, Derby, QPR and FC Twente, and managed Chester City and Hyde. He has also played in Finland, the USA and Canada, where he managed the Novia Scotia Clippers in the Canadian Soccer League.

As a media commentator, Hill has worked with Sky Sports, BBC, ITV and Talk Radio. He lives with his wife Claire in McKinney, Texas. Hill now owns and runs Texas-based club United FC


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