Martinez's Dallas Delight

@Everton

Roberto Martinez says Everton's involvement in this week's Dallas Cup is a huge source of pride to the Club.

An Under-19s squad featuring the likes of David Henen, Kieran Dowell and Liam Walsh flew out Stateside on Thursday and face their first fixture today when they take on River Plate of Argentina.

The Toffees will then tackle LA Galaxy on Monday 30 March, before completing their involvement in the group stage with a match against Japanese outfit Ryutsu-Keizai on Wednesday 1 April.

Everton earned their place in the competition by lifting the Premier Academy League title last season and, as such, are England's only representatives.

Martinez told evertontv: “It is a great experience first and foremost. It is a very prestigious competition that has been going on for a long time now.

“To have our team there is reason to be very proud. You get there by winning the league, so that [underlines] the status of our football club.

“It is a unique experience for players that age to go abroad, settle into a different culture and perform against some of the best teams around the world in terms of developing footballers.”

Given the opportunity of experiencing the Dallas Cup, Everton arranged for the likes of Callum Connolly, Jonjoe Kenny and Ryan Ledson to fly out in time for the opening game following recent international duty.

And Martinez is pleased with the strength of the Toffees’ squad out in the US.

“It is going to be a rich experience for our youngsters to be able to change their environment,” he added. “We are going to get a more mature set of players back – that is why it was important that those who had been involved in international duty for their countries flew out to join the group.

“We made sure we had a strong squad for the competition and we wish them the very best of luck.”

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