Whitecaps FC U-23 host Portland Timbers U-23s on Saturday at Thunderbird Stadium
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 (2W-1L-1D) have crucial points at stake this Saturday when they meet Portland Timbers U-23s (3W-0L-0D) for the first time this season in United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL). Kickoff at the University of British Columbia’s Thunderbird Stadium is set for 2 p.m. PT.
Following their win at home to Fraser Valley Mariners FC this past Wednesday, Vancouver will look to retain their winning form in the league and leapfrog Timbers U-23s for first in the Northwest Division standings. Portland will provide no easy task for the home side, as the team has conceded only one goal in their three victories thus far, and hope to continue their streak in their first road match this season against the ‘Caps.
Head-to-head, Vancouver will be searching for that ever elusive first win over Portland, who hold an all time record of 5W-0L-1D against their Cascadia rivals. Last season saw the closest matches yet, with the ‘Caps falling 2-1 at Swangard Stadium on June 12, 2011 before earning their first point in the series in a 2-2 draw at Hare field in Portland on July 10, 2011.
WHITECAPS FC U-23
The Blue and White have done well under coach Craig Dalrymple to create an exciting brand of football from all positions. The team has now seen goals come from five different players, with more than half from the boots of MLS players; illustrating the great chemistry the side can create under differing lineups.
Goalkeeper Callum Irving has started in all matches this season and shown great maturity on the ball, registering 15 saves and two shutouts. At his sides are fullbacks Bobby Jhutty and Adam Polakiewicz who were crucial last match in both protecting the outside wings and also grabbing an assist each to gain insurance in the score line.
TIMBERS FC U-23s
Portland have had impressive showings in their PDL appearances thus far, finding the back of the net at least three times in each match and only conceding once.
Much credit goes to striker Matt Sherrod, recently named the PDL’s Player of the Week. Sherrod currently leads the league with 20 shots, and comes off his first hat-trick of the season in last Saturdays match at Victoria Highlanders FC. The striker will threaten to build on his tally of five goals thus far, which have come from both aerial and ground strikes.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 go on the road for following Saturday's match, as they face a rematch with Sounders FC U-23 at Curtis Highschool on Wednesday May 30, at 6 p.m. PT.