Mixed weekend for Whitecaps FC Residency U-16 and U-18 teams in USSDA

'Caps begin life in academy league

Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency completed a mixed weekend of results against Real Salt Lake Arizona in U-15/16 and U-17/18 action at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Washington.

U-18

In the first match of the doubleheader, Whitecaps FC Residency U-18's earned a win in their first match of their inaugural United States Soccer Development Academy league campaign with a 5-1 victory over Real Salt Lake Arizona. Caleb Clarke led Vancouver with two goals, while Bryce Alderson, Ben Fisk, and Carlos Marquez all scored tallies of their own, as the ‘Caps decisively handled their opponents from start to finish.

Alderson got the ‘Caps on the scoreboard first, as he curled in a corner kick. Vancouver went up 3-0 by halftime. After the break, Real Salt Lake were able to restore some confidence and create some offensive opportunities of their own, cutting the deficit to 3-1 before drawing a penalty. However, ‘Caps starting goalkeeper Callum Irving was equal to the task, stopping the spot kick to ensure victory over the Arizona-based outfit.

Head coach Richard Grootscholten was pleased with his side’s efforts and highlighted the fact that his team understood what level of play is expected after a successful summer in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL). “These players know how we want them to play and they played a very good game today,” Grootscholten told whitecapsfc.com. “We scored some very good goals and gave little away defensively. I am very satisfied and thought we took some good steps today.”

U-16

Later in the afternoon, the U-16 squad completed the second half of the doubleheader against Real Salt Lake Arizona U-15/U-16. In their first-ever competitive match in the USSDA league, the Blue and White were narrowly defeated by a score of 2-1. The young ‘Caps showed their nerves in the first half, conceding a goal early, but rebounded admirably in the second half to play a consistent and confident style, which saw Ali Musse score the equalizer. However, the ‘Caps also conceded a second-half goal and ultimately fell short after a strong effort.  

Grootscholten saw some positives on the field, but also understands that this was a new experience for his young squad. “It was a tough game. We came out and tried to determine the level of play,” he said. “We were absolutely better in the second half and can be better."

With the first weekend now in the books, Whitecaps FC Residency next battle California Development Academy in USSDA action on Saturday, September 24, at Del Oro High School in Loomis, California. The U-18 squad will start things off at 12 p.m. PT, followed by the U-16 team playing at 2:30 p.m. PT.