This Sunday afternoon, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency (3W-1L-2D) welcome Portland Timbers U-23's (3W-2L-1D) in a Western Conference, Northwest Division clash in the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL). The match is slated for a 3 p.m. PT kickoff on Bell Pitch at Empire Field.
Sunday's match-up is the first between the two sides this season, and with both teams in the top half of the PDL's Northwest Division standings, it should be a hotly contested affair. Portland are the defending PDL champions and should prove to be a good test for a Residency squad that has been improving, as the season has progressed.
The young 'Caps come into the match without several players, as six members of the full-time program were called to international duty with Canada's U-17 national team this week, as they prepare for this year's FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. Defenders Adam Polakewicz and Daniel Stanese, as well as midfielders Bryce Alderson, Wesley Cain, Yassin Essa, and Matteo Pasquotti will be missed, but Residency head coach Richard Grootscholten should receive plenty of support from Major League Soccer roster players Long Tan, Wes Knight, and Blake Wagner.
Whitecaps FC are coming off a 2-1 triumph at home to Victoria Highlanders FC last weekend - thanks to some last-minute heroics. The winning goal was scored on a blistering 35-yard strike from Tan, who has seen action in the PDL, MLS Reserve League, and with the first team this season.
The U-23 Timbers come into Sunday’s match after a busy week of PDL action, which including a 4-1 victory over Tacoma Tide in midweek and a Saturday afternoon match-up at? Abbotsford Mariners.
Portland boast a potent offence, as their 16 goals this season is good for second in the Northwest Division. Up front, Myles Byass and Brent Richards have paced Timbers U-23's with six goals and four goals respectively, while goalkeeping duties have been shared between Jason Dodson and Garrett Staples.
CROSSFIRE IN COQUITLAM
Whitecaps FC Residency's next PDL match sees Washington Crossfire pay a visit to Coquitlam's Percy Perry Stadium on Sunday, June 19, at 4 p.m. PT.