DALLAS -- Hyperion Resources chairman and CEO Albert Huddleston will bring the Iraq Under-14 National soccer team to Dallas next spring to compete in the U-14 division of the Dr. Pepper Cup XXVII, to be played in Dallas April 17-24.
Dr. Pepper announced the addition to the tournament Thursday afternoon. Huddleston said that Hyperion has been active in Iraq over the past two years and has also sponsored training for Iraqi Oil Ministry personnel in Dallas as well as at its west Texas operations.
"Since I have experienced their wonderful Iraqi hospitality and friendship, it was only natural for Hyperion to sponsor a highly skilled Iraqi youth team to compete at the prestigious Dr. Pepper Dallas Cup and reciprocate with our own Texas hospitality," Huddleston said.
He said he was impressed both with the "passion and superb skill" of the Iraqi soccer players and the enthusiasm of their fans.
Hyperion Refining, a subsidiary of Hyperion Resources, is the Texas company that has optioned more than 3,200 acres of land in Union County on which it plans to build a new oil refinery and energy center. The project is currently in the environmental permitting process.
The Iraqi team will be among 184 teams competing for top honors in the Dr. Pepper Cup. Iraq joins top soccer clubs such as: FESA, of El Salvador; Tigres Mana, of Mexico; Crusaders SC, of California; Elite Soccer of England; Chicago Magic of Illinois; and Archbishop Tutu-Ikapa United, of South Africa.
Dr. Pepper calls the tournament "the most prestigious boys youth soccer tournament in the world."
This will be the first time the Iraq U-14 National Team has ever traveled to the United States. The 18 Iraqi players will be accompanied to the United States by a staff of six. They are expected to arrive at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport the week of April 2.