Preview: Whitecaps FC Residency continue road trip with weekend matches

‘Caps set to take on Cal Odyssey and San Jose Earthquakes

Sam Adekugbe thumbs up

Photo Credit: 
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams will play their second and third games of the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season this weekend as they take a trip down to California to face Cal Odyssey and San Jose Earthquakes, with the former coming at Clovis East High School and the latter at the Mustang Soccer Complex – Cytomax Field.

Last season’s U-18 team ended off in first place in the West Conference, Northwest Division standings with a record of 23W-8L-4D and 73 points. Cal Odyssey had a tough go last season, finishing in eighth place in the West Conference, Northwest Division with a record of 5W-22L-1D, while San Jose Earthquakes finished in fourth place at 17W-12L-2D. Kickoff against Cal Odyssey is scheduled for 11 a.m. PT on Saturday, September 14, while kickoff against the Quakes is scheduled for 11 a.m. PT on Sunday, September 15.

Rich Fagan’s U-16s will hope to improve upon their sixth place finish in the West Conference, Northwest Division, with a record of 8W-17L-3D last season, going into this new seasons’ first official weekend of matches. Cal Odyssey will be looking for a much better go this season after finishing in last place of nine teams in the West Conference, Northwest Division with a 5W-20L-3D record. San Jose Earthquakes will be on the hunt for consistency this season after a fifth place finish in the West Conference, Northwest Division with a record of 11W-11L-6D. Kickoff against Cal Odyssey is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT on Saturday, September 14, while kickoff against the Quakes is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. PT on Sunday, September 15.

U-18

The U-18s are coming off of a 3-1 win over San Juan SC on Thursday to open their 2013-14 USSDA campaign. Marco Bustos, Matthew Chow, and newcomer Kyle Jones provided the scoring for the 'Caps.

The Blue and White will be looking to have another great season, having won seven of their last 10 matches to end last season, while also defending their position as the top team in their division.

With a difficult weekend of travel ahead, and playing back-to-back games, head coach Gordon Forrest will be looking for a tremendous start to the year by relying on experience to get his team a pair of victories, as Whitecaps FC will be welcoming back 10 players who are returning to the U-18s, with a number of them looking to follow in the footsteps of newly signed homegrown player Sam Adekugbe to the MLS squad.

Last season the U-18s won both meetings with Cal Odyssey, winning the most recent matchup 5-1 on May 19, 2013 as Marco Bustos scored the game-winner, and Burnaby native Titouan Chopin chipped in with two of his five goals on the season to easily secure the home victory.

Whitecaps FC also performed well against San Jose Earthquakes last season, winning both matchups, while outscoring the Quakes 6-1. The most recent meeting saw the ‘Caps beat the Earthquakes 3-1 at UBC, with goals from Marco Bustos, Spencer DeBoice, and graduated striker Yassin Essa.

U-16

The U-16s, meanwhile, also got the new season off to flying start with a 3-0 win over San Juan SC on Thursday with goals from Thomas Gardner, Cole Morokhovich, and Aymar Sigue.

The 'Caps will be looking to have a bounce-back season after a very young group finished in sixth place in the 2012-13 season.

Head coach Rich Fagan’s U-16s will be facing off against a Cal Odyssey team with whom they split the season series with a season ago, alternating home wins for each side. The most recent result was a 2-1 victory for the ‘Caps on May 19, 2013, as returning 2012-13 leading goalscorer Dario Zanatta netted both goals to give the Blue and White a big win at home.

Last year’s season series with San Jose Earthquakes did not go as smoothly as the ‘Caps lost both matches to the Quakes 3-2. The ‘Caps will be looking to demonstrate their growth over the last year, as the team has 21 returning players that have not forgotten the season sweep they suffered at the hands of their West Conference, Northwest Division rivals.

Despite some tough results last season, this season looks to be immensely promising as three quarters of the roster will be returning.

The first weekend of games is finally here for Whitecaps FC Residency and they are bound to be good ones. Stay tuned to whitecapsfc.com for all the results.