Everton Under-18s will play FC Dallas in the Dallas Cup semi-finals - and coach Kevin Sheedy is in buoyant mood going into Friday night’s tie at Toyota Stadium.
The Young Blues beat Real Salt Lake 3-1 on Wednesday to secure top spot in Group B and set up a clash with the tournament hosts.
It was Everton’s second win in three days and Sheedy believes his team are getting stronger as the competition is progressing.
“It will be a tough game,” said the former Blues winger. “I watched FC Dallas play after we’d qualified on Wednesday and they are a good team with some talented individual players.
“They are technically very good and there is a lot of pace in their side, but if we perform like we did last night, we’ll be fine.
“The energy levels we showed and some of the goals were scored against Real Salt Lake was pleasing. We actually created four or five good chances to score more.
“It’s been a great effort from the players to get through to the semi-finals and we are now faced with a winnable game. I’m confident we can progress - we deserve to be here and I’m looking forward to the game. Another big effort from the players can hopefully see us through.”
Before the Young Blues are in action against FC Dallas, Fulham and Brazilian side Fluminense contest the other semi-final tie.
Both matches take place at the 21,000 capacity Toyota Stadium.
Sheedy added: “That’s why we have come over to the competition - it’s an opportunity to play against different kinds of opposition at great stadiums.
“It will be an excellent occasion for us and another big learning curve for the players in their development.”