FC Dallas and FC Bayern Munich Enter Historic Player Development Deal

FC Bayern Muenchen Unveils New Partnership

Courtesy: FC Dallas

In an effort to improve and expand the team’s talent pool, FC Dallas has entered into a historic player development deal.

The club announced a comprehensive multi-year partnership with FC Bayern Munich, allowing players within their professional academies a pathway to soccer in both the United States and Germany. The two clubs will also come together to exchange talent.

“We are thrilled to join FC Bayern Munich in this groundbreaking collaboration,” FC Dallas chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement. “One of our primary goals is to develop an academy and a club that can compete at the highest level on a global scale. This unprecedented partnership with one of the most successful clubs in the world marks a significant step toward that goal, and we look forward to working closely with the outstanding leadership at FC Bayern”.

FC Dallas and FC Bayern Munich will collaborate on coaching, exchanging expertise that helped develop national team players, including Thomas Müller, Mats Hummels, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Kellyn Acosta. Opportunities will also be created for the youngsters to play fixtures against one another in their respective countries.

“The United States is home to our very first international office, highlighting our commitment to engaging and growing FC Bayern’s fan base in the Americas”, said FC Bayern Munich’s Executive Board Member for Internationalization and Strategy, Jörg Wacker. “Our intention from the beginning has been to help support the growth of soccer in the U.S., supporting the existing development of players. For us FC Dallas is the ideal partner.”

In December, three U.S. homegrown players from FC Dallas visited Munich to experience the same training as FC Bayern stars. The German club has been working since 2014 to help grow the game in North America.

“This is a unique alliance between two historic teams at the forefront of youth development,” said FC Bayern Munich’s President of the Americas, Rudolf Vidal. “We are proud to announce this partnership with FC Dallas, who have pioneered professional soccer in the U.S. Working with FC Dallas at this elite level will complement the extensive grassroots infrastructure we have helped create over the last few years in North America.”

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UFC Returns To Texas For UFC Fight Night Austin

UFC 217: Vick v Duffy

Courtesy: Getty Images

UFC is returning to the Lone Star State. This time the landing spot is Austin.

After holding UFC 211 in Dallas last year, the spotlight now turns to UFC Fight Night Austin on February 18 at the Frank Erwin Center.

The main event this weekend will feature a welterweight clash between Donald Cerrone and Yancy Medeiros. Cowboy Cerrone is 32-10 and currently ranked No. 11 in the welterweight division.  He’s hoping to jump back into the title picture after losing to Darren Till last October. Medeiros is going into the fight at 15-4 and No. 15 in the rankings. He won his last fight at UFC 218, defeating Alex Oliveira with a third round knockout.

The card will also feature a little Texas Connects Us flavor. Fort Worth’s James Vick will have a chance to make an even stronger case for a shot at the lightweight title as he takes on Francisco Trinaldo. Vick is 12-1 and ranked No. 12 in the lightweight division. Trinaldo is right behind him at No. 14.

Vick began his professional MMA career fighting in regional shows in Texas. Soon afterwards, “The Texecutioner” won a spot on the roster for the first live season of The Ultimate Fighter. He’s been fighting in the UFC since 2012 and has won eight of his last nine fights, including a TKO win over Polo Reyes at UFC 211 in Dallas.

‘That was the greatest fight of my life and the greatest moment of my life,” Vick said about his victory at UFC 221. “I’ve trained in five or six different gyms in the Dallas Fort Work area and I have so many friends and teammates here and so many of them were there watching. It was a special moment I’ll never forget.”

Despite the climb up the lightweight charts, he’s yet to grab a fight against the top guys in the division, which has led to some frustrations.

“It gets a little frustrating, me performing the way I’m supposed to and doing everything I need to but I can’t get the top guys to agree to fight me,” Vick said.  “It gets kind of annoying.”

In the preliminary bouts, middleweight Geoff Neal will take on welterweight Brian Camozzi. The 27-year old Neal, nicknamed “Handz of Steel”, was born in Austin but currently trains in Dallas.

In the UFC Fight Pass Early Prelims, Dallas bantamweight Steven Peterson will face featherweight Brandon Davis. Peterson goes into the fight with a 16-5 record.

Other major fights on the main event card include a heavyweight matchup between No. 6 Derrick Lewis and No. 8 Marcin Tybura, plus Houston’s Sage Northcutt will face Thibault Gouti in a lightweight division battle.

In the women’s strawweight division, Houston’s Jessica Aguilar will take on Livinha Souza.  Aguilar’s last fight was at UFC 211 where she lost to Cortney Casey by unanimous decision.

Doors open at the Frank Erwin Center at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Prelims will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the main event card starting up at 8 p.m.