Whitecaps FC Residency squads capture playoff spots
In their second set of matches this weekend, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams both got positive results once again in United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) action against USSDA West Conference, Northwest Division rivals Santa Cruz Breakers. The U-18 Residency side (15W-4L-3D) started the day off with a 3-2 victory, followed by the U-16 Residency squad (14W-5L-3D) completing the positive run with a 3-1 win. With the two victories each over the weekend, both the ‘Caps U-18 Residency squad and U-16 Residency squad captured playoff spots with each squad having four games left on the regular season schedule.
The U-18 Residency squad clinched a playoff spot with a 3-2 victory on Sunday over Santa Cruz Breakers U-17/18. The Blue and White came out firing, trying to ride the momentum they created off a big win on Saturday against De Anza Force, as striker Caleb Clarke rang a shot off the bar early. However, Clarke would eventually break through with the first goal of the game. The Breakers then put one past goalkeeper Sean Melvin to tie it just before the half, 1-1.
The substitution of Yassin Essa would prove to be key for the 'Caps, as he scored the team’s second goal to make it 2-1. Clarke would then ice the win for the ‘Caps by scoring the key third goal to make it 3-2. With the six points captured in California, the U-18 Residency squad clinched a playoff spot with four games left in their regular season.
“It was a tough match but the boys pulled through,” said Richard Grootscholten, Whitecaps FC Residency technical director and head coach. “Our main goal was to make the playoffs at the start of the year, and today we achieved our goal so I’m very proud.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-18
Sean Melvin; Tim Hickson, Daniel Stanese, Jason Van Blerk, Adam Polakiewicz; Alex Rowley, Ben Mckendry (Declan Rodriguez 75’), Wesley Cain (Yassin Essa 54’), Spencer DeBoice (Ben Fisk 45’); Caleb Clarke, Carlos Marquez (Carlos Patino 61')
Whitecaps FC U-16 Residency squad also got the result they were looking for, winning 3-1 versus Santa Cruz Breakers U-15/16. Brody Huitema opened the scoring for the Blue and White on a beautiful cross into the box from Sebastian Cabrera. The Breakers wouldn’t go away quietly, as they scored before half to even the score at 1-1.
Cabrera would prove to be the man of match by adding two goals to his earlier assist. The midfielder scored his first goal from a beautiful free kick on a shot that any goalkeeper would have trouble with. Cabrera would then add another beautiful goal to his collection, dancing around a few Breakers defenders before putting the ball in the back of the net.
“Today’s game was full of adversity for the boys, but they pulled through,” explained Craig Dalrymple, Whitecaps FC Residency assistant technical director and assistant head coach. “We turned the page from development to winning by clinching our playoff spot. I couldn’t be prouder of the boys”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-16
Nolan Wirth; Quinton Duncan, Jackson Farmer, Sam Adekugbe, Matthew van der Eyden (Evan Libke 50’); Mitch Piraux, Elijah Adekugbe (Liam Elbourne 50’), Sebastian Cabrera, Matthew Chow; Said Jalali (Kalifala Konneh 58'), Brody Huitema