Whitecaps FC Residency host Seattle Sounders FC and San Juan Soccer Club in weekend USSDA action

U-18s and U-16s look to maintain first-place standing

Residency training - Dario Zanatta

Photo Credit: 
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

VANCOUVER, BC – After a two-week layover, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams will continue the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season this weekend with a pair of matches against their Western rivals.

Currently in the midst of a seven-match home stand, the ‘Caps host Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday at UBC’s Dhillon Field before meeting San Juan Soccer Club on Sunday at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, WA.

The U-18s kick off at 12 p.m. on Saturday at UBC’s Dhillon Field – followed by the U-16s at 2:30 p.m. Kickoff for Sunday’s U-18 match at Whatcom Community College is set for 11 a.m., before the U-16s get going at 1:30 p.m. to wrap up the weekend’s action. Admission to all Whitecaps FC Residency home matches is free to the public.

Whitecaps FC’s U-18 and U-16 teams both currently sit atop the West Conference, Northwest Division standings in their respective age groups.

U-18

The U-18s are fresh off a 4-0 thumping of Santa Cruz Breakers Academy to continue their lead of the West Conference, Northwest Division with a 6W-1L-0D record.

Homegrown defender Sam Adekugbe scored the game-winner in the 32nd minute and Titouan Chopin, Aymar Sigue and Dario Zanatta chipped in with the remaining tallies. Sigue and Zanatta, both U-16 players, were filling in for the five players currently away at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

The ‘Caps will be without the quintet of Marco Carducci, Matthew Chow, Marco Bustos, Jordan Haynes and Kianz Froese once again this weekend, as Canada’s U-17 side is set to open the U-17 World Cup on Saturday against Austria.

Seattle Sounders FC currently sit in fourth place in the West Conference, Northwest Division with a 3W-1L-3D record. They are also undefeated on the road this season.

Last season, the Blue and White won the season series over their Pacific Northwest rivals after winning two of their three meetings – their most recent result ended in a 3-1 triumph for the ‘Caps on July 14, 2013.

San Juan Soccer Club are still looking for their first win of the season 2013-14 season, as they currently hold a lackluster 0W-3L-0D record. They have already lost one match to Whitecaps FC this season. Bustos, Chow, and newcomer Kyle Jones scored for the ‘Caps in a 3-1 victory over San Juan in their season opener.

“Another exciting weekend of games for the boys with two very challenging games ahead for us,” U-18 head coach Gordon Forrest told whitecapsfc.com. “The game against Seattle Sounders FC is always a good fixture and opportunity for the players to experience a local derby and the rivalry that comes with it. We’ve also already experienced a very difficult game against San Juan SC in the first game of the season, so it will be a good test for us over the weekend.”

U-16

Whitecaps FC’s U-16 side currently lead the West Conference, Northwest Division with a 4W-1L-2D record. They dropped their first game of the season October 5 in a 4-3 defeat at the hands of De Anza Force.

After going down 3-0 in the first half, the ‘Caps battled back with two goals from Daniel Sagno and another tally from Thomas Gardner but could not muster up an equalizer. The Blue and White responded well the following day and earned a hard-fought scoreless draw with Santa Cruz Breakers.

It was Vancouver’s fifth clean sheet in just seven matches, including four in a row to start the season. Goalkeeper Aidan Aylward, formerly of Ottawa Fury, has also been a rock between the posts for the ‘Caps this season. He has posted a clean sheet in four of his five matches, while holding a sparkling 0.40 goals against average.

With a 3W-2L-2D record, the fourth-place Sounders are off to a decent start to the 2013-14 USSDA campaign. Their most recent result was a 3-1 home loss to San Jose Earthquakes.

Whitecaps FC U-16 lost both meetings against Seattle last season by scores of 4-0 and 3-1. The latter was the most recent game on March 30, 2013, where current U-18 defender Vaggeli Boucas scored the lone goal for the ‘Caps in the home loss.

San Juan Soccer Club is off to a tough start to the 2013-14 USSDA season, with a 0W-3L-0D record. Vancouver won their regular season opener against San Juan SC this year by a score of 3-0. Midfielder Thomas Gardner, and forwards Aymar Sigue and Cole Morokhovich provided the scoring for the Blue and White.

“We play a Northwest derby against Seattle on Saturday, and a very good team still trying to find their rhythm in San Juan SC on Sunday,” U-16 head coach Rich Fagan told whitecapsfc.com. “I expect two very tough games that will take maximum effort and performance from the players.”