Preview: Whitecaps FC U-23 look to extend winning streak against Lane United FC with playoffs in sight

Cheer on the U-23s in their final home match Friday at UBC

Niall Thompson U-23 head coach

Photo Credit: 
Bob Frid/Vancouver Whitecaps FC

VANCOUVER, BC – With just two matches remaining in the regular season and the playoffs in their sights, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 (6W-3L-3D) are looking to continue their recent run of form on Friday against Lane United FC (2W-6L-2D). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT at UBC's Thunderbird Stadium. 

Friday's contest is Whitecaps FC U-23's final home match of the regular season. 

WHITECAPS FC U-23

Thanks to a dominant recent stretch of play, Whitecaps FC U-23 sit second in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) Northwest Division with a 6W-3L-3D record. They are now only one point back of first-place Kitsap Pumas, who have a game in hand. 

The Northwest Division champion will automatically qualify for the USL PDL playoffs, while the second and third place teams will play a knockout match to determine the division's second and final post-season berth. 

The young ‘Caps are in the midst of a six-match winning streak, during which they’ve outscored opponents by a 21-3 margin, and lead the division with 31 goals on this season in just 12 matches. 

The most recent victory was a 4-1 win over Washington Crossfire. In-form striker Cody Cook led the way with two goals, while Marco Bustos and Reynold Stewart potted the other markers for the Blue and White. Cook’s 10 tallies on the season puts him third in the league goal-scoring race.

There will be three first-team players available for Friday's match: goalkeeper Marco Carducci and fullbacks Sam Adekugbe and Ethen Sampson

LANE UNITED FC                                                   

With a 2W-6L-2D record, Lane United FC sits dead last in the Northwest Division. Both of their victories, and one of their draws, came in the first three matches of the season. 

In a perfect contrast to Whitecaps FC, Lane United dropped every single one of their six matches in June, conceding 18 goals and scoring only two of their own. They finally broke out of the slump on July 1, however, earning a 1-1 road draw with Portland Timbers U-23. 

Despite their record, Whitecaps FC U-23 head coach Niall Thompson isn’t counting out Lane United. 

“We won't consider their record or where they are situated in the standings when it comes to our preparations for the game,” Thompson told whitecapsfc.com. “Our mindset is to get a better performance than the last one. We know every team wants to beat us right now, and we need to keep focus.”

HEAD-TO-HEAD

This will be the first-ever meeting between Whitecaps FC U-23 and Lane United, as this is Lane United’s inaugural season in the USL PDL.

NEXT UP

Whitecaps FC U-23 will meet Lane United again on Tuesday, July 8 in their regular season finale at Springfield's Willamalane Center. The match will kick off at 7 p.m. PT.