Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency continued their exhibition schedule in Guadalajara, Mexico over the weekend, posting two impressive wins. On Friday they defeated the U-19/U-20 side of Atotonilco FC by a score of 6-1, and followed that up Sunday with a 4-2 victory over Atlas de Guadalajara U-18.
Against Atotonilco, whose first team play in Mexico's fourth-tier Tercera División, Vancouver jumped to an early lead. Coulton Jackson took a pass from Doudou Toure and found the net just two minutes in. Atotonilco equalized just past the half-hour mark, but the Whitecaps restored the advantage before the break, as Toure went in alone on goal and finished. The Residency lads led 2-1 at the half.
Whitecaps assistant coach Steve Meadley described it as a tale of two halves with Whitecaps FC taking the game to the home side after the break. "They were a bit stronger in the first half than they were in the second and we took full advantage. Our subs that came in played well."
On 55 minutes, Alex Semenets made a good run into the box and fired in at the near post. He then made it 4-1 on 76 minutes, after collecting a through ball from La'Vere Corbin-Ong. Five minutes later, Jackson made a good run, got the ball from Carlos Marquez and scored his second. Then with five minutes remaining, Declan Rodriguez put the icing on the cake with a superb fully volley off a cross from Semenets
While the Residency players are having to adjust to a slightly different system under new coach Richard Grootscholten, they are making good progress according to Meadley. "The squad is getting better as the trip goes on, and their attitude has been excellent. They're giving a good effort and it's coming together nicely."
On Saturday, the team attended a Primera División game between home side Atlas de Guadalajara and Tigres at the Estadio Jalisco. It was a great experience for the young Whitecaps and helped set up their game Sunday against the Atlas U-18 squad.
Against Atlas, Doudou Toure showed how dangerous he could be early on. First he hit the crossbar with an 18-yard rocket just seven minutes in, then he hit the post shortly after that. Finally, on 35 minutes, he opened scoring as he collected a good through ball from Semenets and finished well.
Atlas responded almost immediately, and headed home an equalizer just three minutes later to make it 1-1 at the interval.
The home side applied pressure in the second half, with young Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Sean Melvin forced to make a couple of big saves. He was beaten again though on 72 minutes on a goal very similar to the first, as Atlas attacked down the left, sent in a good cross, which the striker headed in to make it 2-1.
Vancouver rebounded immediately though and equalized just a minute later. Declan Rodriguez who started the game on defence but later moved up to midfield, played the ball through for Coulton Jackson to finish. Three minutes after that Vancouver took the lead, as a long throw-in from Carlos Marquez found Rodriguez, who turned and blasted it home. Rodriguez then sealed the win on 81 minutes on a great individual effort, as he won the ball in midfield then raced towards goal to score his second of the game.
Assistant coach Meadley was very happy with Sunday's win and praised his player's character for coming back in a game that they really hadn't deserved to be trailing. He was also grateful for the teams depth, as a number of player have fallen sick on the trip.
Next up for the Whitecaps is a game Tuesday, November 16 against the U-19/U-20 side of Estudiantes Tecos.
Friday, November 12
Whitecaps FC Residency - 6
Atotonilco FC U-19/U-20 - 1
2' – VAN - Coulton Jackson (Doudou Toure)
31' - Atotonilco FC
40' – VAN - Doudou Toure
55' – VAN – Alex Semenets
76' – VAN - Alex Semenets (La'Vere Corbin-Ong)
81' – VAN - Coulton Jackson (Carlos Marquez)
85' – VAN - Declan Rodriguez (Alex Semenets)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
Callum Irving; Kalem Scott (Nelson Castillo 45'), Tim Hickson (Ben McKendry 68'), Daniel Stanese, La'Vere Corbin-Ong; Declan Rodriguez, Kevin Cobby (Matteo Pasquotti 65'), Coulton Jackson, Hector Garcia (Spencer DeBoice 56'); Alex Semenets, Doudou Toure (Carlos Marquez 65')
Sunday, November 14
Whitecaps FC Residency - 4
Atlas de Guadalajara U-18 - 2
35' – VAN - Doudou Toure (Alex Semenets)
38' – Atlas
72' – Atlas
73' – VAN - Coulton Jackson (Declan Rodriguez)
76' – VAN - Declan Rodriguez (Carlos Marquez)
81' – VAN - Declan Rodriguez
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency
Sean Melvin; Declan Rodriguez, Kalem Scott, Daniel Stanese (Ben McKendry 55'), La'Vere Corbin-Ong; Coulton Jackson (Nelson Castillo 75'), Matteo Pasquotti, Kevin Cobby (Bryce Alderson 65'), Spencer DeBoice (Adam Polakiewicz 30'); Alex Semenets (Hector Garcia 75'), Doudou Toure (Carlos Marquez 65')