Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dallas Cup Super Group preview Cruzeiro EC

Dallas Cup Super Group preview Cruzeiro EC

By Daniel Robertson

Cruzeiro Esporte Clube, the lone Brazilian Super Group representative, returns to the Dallas Cup Super Group for the first time in a decade in 2010. From Belo Horizonte, the third-largest metropolitan area in Brazil with nearly 5.4 million people, Cruzeiro will look to continue the rich Brazilian tradition in Dallas Cup with nine of the last 15 Super Group champions coming from the soccer powerhouse.

One of the two main teams in Belo Horizonte along with Atletico Mineiro, Cruzeiro is a perennial contender in their Mineiro state championship having won it 36 times and six in the last decade. Cruzeiro also boasts a Brazilian league championship in 2003 as well as two Copa Libertadores(South American Champions League) titles in 1976 and 1997. Recently, Cruzeiro is enjoying good form having finished in the top 4 of the Brazilian Serie A the last two seasons qualifying them for the Copa Libertadores where they are currently second in their group after two games.

Having won the Brazilian national under-20 championship as recently as 2007, Cruzeiro has a rich tradition of developing young Brazilian talent. The biggest name to get his start at Cruzeiro is undoubtedly all-time World Cup leading scorer Ronaldo. At the age of 17, Ronaldo joined Cruzeiro and played just one season with them before being transferred to PSV of Holland. Other world stars that developed at Cruzeiro include Juliano Belletti of Chelsea, Giovanni of Hull City, Maxwell of Barcelona and Kerlon of Inter Milan.

Cruzeiro is looking for their first Dallas Cup Super Group championship in 2010 and brings a Sub-20 team that is traditionally one of the strongest in Brazil. While it is tough to discern who is coming with Brazilian teams given their penchant for indiscernible amounts of names and nicknames, one of the players to watch for Cruzeiro is a player known as Dudu(Eduardo Rodrigues). An attacking midfielder who has played for Brazil at the U-16 and U-17 level, Dudu made his debut for the team in Cruzeiro's 3-1 victory over Palmeiras in the Brazilian Championship. At just 18 years old, Dudu has already appeared for Cruzeiro six times and should be the focal point of their offense.

Cruzeiro's group features teams from both North America, Central America and Europe with games against 1899 Hoffenheim of Germany, CZ Elite from California and a Wednesday night Pizza Hut Park stadium showdown with Mexican giant Chivas de Guadalajara.

Dudu draws the penalty for the only goal of the game at 2:10 and features throughout the highlights.

Stay tuned to the Dallas Cup blog for more team previews and other Dallas Cup news as we count down to the thirty-first Dallas Cup coming to the metroplex March 28-April 4

No comments:

Post a Comment