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S.L. Benfica and FC Dallas Forge Partnership for Youth Development

S.L. Benfica and FC Dallas have announced a partnership aimed at developing young talent in soccer, offering a pathway to professional play in both Portugal and the United States.

The collaboration between the Portuguese powerhouse, boasting 38 league championships and two European Cups, and the two-time Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup champions will see the exchange of coaching expertise. This initiative aims to provide young players with exposure to different playing styles and cultures, enhancing their personal and professional growth.

FC Dallas President Dan Hunt emphasized the club's commitment to nurturing talent from within, stating that partnering with Benfica, renowned for its legacy and talent, creates incredible opportunities for athletes globally.

“The United States is a strategic market for Benfica’s growth strategy”, Benfica Vice President Manuel de Brito said. “Soccer has been the fastest-growing sport among young people in the U.S and Benfica has been very actively looking for opportunities for the last two years. We believe this partnership will help us increase our presence in the U.S. FC Dallas is the leading youth soccer academy in America, as numerous former FC Dallas Academy players are in the national teams of the United States, Mexico, and Canada. So, approaching FC Dallas was a natural step for Benfica. Possibilities are endless and I believe this partnership will be a success.”

“This partnership allows us to give our players worldwide exposure to one of soccer’s best academy programs,” said FC Dallas Technical Director Andre Zanotta. “Our shared philosophies make this an ideal partnership for our clubs.”

The collaboration will extend beyond coaching exchanges, with the clubs sharing training methodologies and expertise that have helped develop national team players. This includes recent transfers such as Croatian striker Petar Musa from Benfica to FC Dallas.

“Player development is at the core of Benfica’s DNA, and we are proud of the work we have done in this area,” said Benfica Campus Director Pedro Mil-Homens. “We look forward to sharing our insight and expertise with FC Dallas and will surely learn from them as well. This collaboration will benefit many of our players, who can have new experiences and an additional career path in the United States”.

Both Benfica and FC Dallas boast highly regarded academies, with Benfica's recognized with multiple awards, including the title of best academy in the world three times. FC Dallas Academy, widely regarded as one of the best in the U.S., has seen numerous players progress to the first team.

The partnership signifies Benfica's growing footprint in the United States, with initiatives aimed at fostering growth and collaboration, such as organizing training camps for aspiring players.

The collaboration between Benfica and FC Dallas is poised to offer young players exciting opportunities for development and exposure on the global stage.

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