The Liverpool FC Foundation Football College represented the club with pride as they finished runners-up in one of the biggest youth tournaments in the world.

The Reds youngsters narrowly lost 1-0 in the final of the prestigious Dallas Cup in Texas on Sunday after battling against a Costa Rico National U20 side at the Cotton Bowl stadium.

The college is open to boys and girls aged between 16 and 19, providing coaching alongside a suite of academic qualifications, including BTEC Levels 2 and 3 and GCSEs in Maths and English.

Based at Wyncote Sports Ground in south Liverpool, it is equipped with top-of-the-range facilities supplied by the University of Liverpool.

Held during Easter Week every spring, the invitation-only Dallas Cup selects the best 180 teams to play in its seven different age categories, ranging from U13 through to the prestigious U19 Gordon Jago Super Group.

College scouts attend the majority of tournament games and many students are offered scholarship in the USA as a result of their performances.

After gallant efforts in beating the Dallas Texans 2-0 in the tournament's semi-final following extra-time on Saturday, the Reds faced a tough task against the Costa Ricans in Sunday's showpiece clash.

They matched their counterparts in the early stages without any clear openings for either team. The Costa Ricans then began to control the midfield towards the end of the first half, but the stout defending of Ben Cartwright and Joe Brooks kept them at bay.

Michael Barrow and Joseph Halligan's attempts from distance were the closest the Reds came to breaking the deadlock as half-time approached.

Their opponents stepped the tempo up and scored the only goal of the game before the interval through something of a stroke of luck. A low cross from the left took a couple of deflections before it was turned into the net.

The Reds were unable to breach the South Americans' back-line in the second half and when the referee blew for full-time, the young Liverpool lads were distraught.

There was little to be disappointed about, however, as the tournament provided many highs during a USA tour which saw the Reds face Houston Dynamos, beat the state champions, Dallas Texans, and enjoy wonderful experiences with their home-stay families in Texas.

The players can be very proud of their achievements in Dallas. Reaching the final in their first year at the Dallas Cup, with such a demanding schedule and losing so narrowly to a national side, is tremendous. College scouts were so impressed with the players there have been offers of USA scholarships.

Dave Rowe, LFC Foundation Football College coach, said: "One of our players declared that the USA trip had been the 'best two weeks of his life'. Hopefully it will now inspire them all onto great things in their football and personal lives."

If you would like to follow in the footsteps of the Dallas squad, come along to the next open trial between 4pm and 6pm on May 12 at Wynocte Sport Ground, L18 6HF. To book a place, call 0151 724 4983. Follow the college on Twitter @LFCFootyCollege for updates.