By THOMAS FLOYD
Homegrown players may largely be seen as long-term investments for MLS clubs, but two of them took center stage Saturday during FC Dallas' penalty kicks win over the Houston Dynamo in the Walt Disney World Pro Soccer Classic final.
A pair of 19-year-old academy products accounted for the goals during the Texas rivals' 1-1 draw in Orlando. Striker Ruben Luna opening the scoring in the 15th minute for Dallas before Houston midfielder Francisco Navas Cobo knotted the match with a spectacular 88th-minute strike into the upper left corner.
Dallas' Brek Shea went the full 90 minutes at center back and converted the winning penalty for his side, which went 5-for-5 in the tiebreaker. Goalkeeper Chris Seitz came up with the only save of the shootout when he denied Houston's opening kick from midfielder Lovel Palmer.
Dallas exacted revenge from the two teams' first meeting of the preseason, a chippy 4-0 Houston win that saw Dallas left back Jair Benitez spit at Dynamo midfielder Geoff Cameron.
TORONTO FALLS TO ORLANDO
Starting six trialists, Toronto FC dropped a 1-0 result to third-tier Orlando City in the Disney Classic's third-place match.
Orlando player-coach Ian Fuller found the game's lone goal in the 76th minute, just four minutes after he entered the contest.
What do you think of the results? Do you see Luna and Navas Cobo breaking out in 2011? Should Dallas return Shea to the left flank or give him more time at center back? Should Toronto have fared better in Orlando?
Share your thoughts below.