Exclusive Interview with Founder Loek van Zijl
The Dallas International Girls Cup offers world-class competition. This year, the 9th annual girls-only tournament was a huge success, bringing together 152 teams from 12 nations to compete.
The Dallas Girls International Cup is an internationally acclaimed youth soccer tournament for girls born 2000 to 2007.
This tournament has attracted top teams from Sweden, Colombia, Ireland, Mexico, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, England and Canada with many of the USA teams playing in the ECNL.
The Mexican Women/Youth National Team, Blackburn Rovers Ladies, Ballerup-Skovlunde Fodbold, Rayadas Soccer, Colorado Rapids, FC Dallas, Houston Dash, Dallas Texans, Rise SC, Solar, San Diego Soccer Club, FC Tucson, and King City Royals were among the many clubs participating. This tournament is also a recruiting event used by collegiate coaches to scout players and more than 100 college coaches attended this year’s event.
Even though this year many youth soccer teams are opting to travel to France this summer for the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the tournament had the largest number of teams ever competing.
The 2019 Dallas International Girls Cup Champions & Finalists
|2007||NTH Tophat 07 Gold||Dallas Texans 07G||1-0|
|2006||Colorado Rapids U13G Volt ENCL||Oklahoma Energy 06 DA||1-0 PK|
|2005||D’Feeters 05G Black||Fever United 05G Penn||2-1|
|2004||Mexico U15 WNT/YNT||Solar ECNL U15||1-0|
|2003||Dallas Texans U-16 FDL||Sting Dallas RL 03||4-1|
|2002||Elk Grove Soccer||Sparta FC 02 Elite||2-0|
|2001/00||Australian School Girls||MN Thunder Academy ECNL||2-1|
What Do Coaches Say About The Dallas International Girls Cup?
“This event has an environment unlike other — the various languages, different styles of play and the soccer culture creates a love of the game that stretches far beyond what we do at our club or in our country,” said Colorado Rapids Boys South Director of Coaching Peter May. “I will bring teams back for years to come.”
Canada’s Woodbridge Soccer Club 04 Head Coach Omar Williams said, “This is an excellent tournament and was really well run. The facilities were great and the staff was very proactive. The competition was very strong and the way the coaches were hosted was brilliant. I am definitely bringing my 04 girls back. Our players were challenged and it is amazing for them to be immersed with players from all around the world.”
“The Dallas International Girls Cup was just great. Everything from the quality of the opening ceremony to the opportunity to play teams we have never played before — it is really great for the girls to see how teams from other countries play the game. The technical aspect of the games was so good. This was our first year playing, and we want to come back,” said Rebecca Nolin, Girls Head Coach of Darlington School.
“Last year I was scouting at the event and was blown away by the level of the quality — it was eye-opening for our girls to get this experience and they were very proud when they tied New Zealand,” said Nolin.
Shahieda Mcleod, Head Coach of South Africa’s Ikapa United Football Club 00/01-International team was also highly impressed and said, “The competition is very strong and we are glad we came.”
SoccerToday Interview with Loek van Zijl
Diane Scavuzzo: The Dallas International Girls Cup is an amazing international youth tournament just for girls. How many youth teams have you brought together — from all around the world —to compete in Dallas?
Loek van Zijl: We have top competitive teams from all over the world. We have girls’ teams from South Africa, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, England, Norway and several top Danish teams — and playing in Dallas, you always have the local teams which are amazing, and then we have another 40 out-of-state teams.
I think we are unique, compared to any other tournament in the USA for girls.
We had 152 teams representing 12 nationalities competing this year— and all girls, which I think is absolutely amazing. The team from Africa
Diane Scavuzzo: When you started this tournament nine years ago, what was your goal?
Loek van Zijl: I was approached by Nike and the Dallas Texans to start this event. The idea was to put together an exclusive international girls tournament and we achieved this goal year one, which was 9 years ago.
Nike always helps us by providing a great speaker, among other things. This year, U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Team head coach B.J. Snow was the speaker at our opening ceremony. He did a Q&A and the audience loved it. He was very inspirational.
Every year we are getting better and a little bit bigger. We are doing it one step at a time to maintain the quality.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do you like best about your tournament?
Loek van Zijl: I think it is the excitement — how the players feel about this tournament is special. The opening ceremony is a great example. The players are all so exuberant and excited about their own tournament. When you are at the opening ceremony in a room with 2,500 girls all screaming in excitement, it is rather special.
We have an international network and use it to invite teams — we monitor most European top tournaments and invite their champions. For example, we have a Dana Cup champion competing this year.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you sponsor teams to attend the Dallas International Girls Cup?
Loek van Zijl: We do not really sponsor teams but we help them with finding host families. The teams pay for the flights but once they are here, they are housed with families from the Dallas Texans and other area clubs, and this can be one of the best
Diane Scavuzzo: What advice do you have for teams traveling from overseas? As experts in youth travel, you know it can be a daunting experience …
Loek van Zijl: We have a complete travel guide for our teams. It is a comprehensive manual. We tell the teams everything. We want to do everything we can to help them be successful.
For more images, search for #DIGC2019 and or #DallasInternationalGirlsCup on Facebook and Instagram. For a complete list of teams participating in the 2019 Dallas International Girls Cup, please click link.