S.L. Benfica and FC Dallas Announce Talent Development Partnership

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February 13, 2024 – Major League Soccer (MLS)FC Dallas News Release

Frisco, Texas – S.L. Benfica and FC Dallas today announced a talent development partnership that will bring together two of the global game’s most successful youth academies to offer players a pathway to first team soccer both in the United States and Portugal.

The Portuguese powerhouse, who has won a record 38 league championships and two European Cups, and the two-time Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup champions will collaborate to exchange coaching expertise that will allow young, talented players to experience different playing styles and cultures to enhance their personal and professional development.

“Developing talent from within is one of our core philosophies at FC Dallas,” FC Dallas President Dan Hunt said. “Partnering with a club that shares our commitment and has the legacy and talent that Benfica possesses allows both of us to keep creating incredible opportunities for athletes and soccer professionals 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.”

Benfica and FC Dallas will also collaborate on sharing training methodologies and expertise that helped develop several national team players such as Bernardo Silva, Ruben Dias, João Félix, João Cancelo, Chris Richards, Ricardo Pepi, Jesús Ferreira and Paxton Pomykal.

FC Dallas and Benfica partnered to execute the transfer of Croatian striker Petar Musa from Benfica on February 2, 2024. Musa comes to Dallas after spending the last two years at Benfica where he made 66 appearances registering 17 goals across all competitions.

“Player development is at the core of Benfica’s DNA, and we are proud of…

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