It was a busy weekend for the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency program, with the U-16 and U-18 squads playing California-based Real So Cal across the border in Tukwila, Washington, and the U-14 teams in action against South Fraser FC at Simon Fraser University.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-18 (3W-0L-1D) improved on their three-match unbeaten streak with a victory over Real So Cal U-18 (2W-3L-1D) by a score of 5-1 last Saturday. The result sees them remain undefeated in 2011 USSDA competition as they continue their impressive start.
Vancouver used a dynamic, four-goal surge in the second half to easily defeat Real So Cal in a match that saw Whitecaps FC Residency U-18 in complete control from start to finish against a defensive style of play from their opponents. Caleb Clarke led the team with two goals to increase his season total to seven, while Ben Fisk, Yassin Essa, and Bryce Alderson also all chipped in with goals of their own.
Goalkeeper Callum Irving helped backstop Whitecaps FC Residency U-18 and gave Vancouver the confidence they needed to attack Real So Cal in the final third. After an early goal from Clarke in the fourth minute, the ‘Caps caught fire in the second half and scored three goals in four minutes just past the three-quarter mark to claim victory.
Head coach Richard Grootscholten was pleased with his team’s efforts, enjoying the different style of play from their competitors to provide a different type of challenge. “They played a defending style and that is good because it helps us work on our movement,” said Grootscholten. “We like to play a possession style of game, so this definitely helped us get better”.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-16 (3W-1L-0D) also improved on their two-match winning streak by defeating Real So Cal U-16 (2W-4L-0D) by a score of 3-1 on Saturday afternoon, as they continue their pursuit of table leaders De Anza Force U-16.
Vancouver started the first half slowly and as a result were behind on the scoreboard at the half, 1-0, and in need of an inspiring effort to make a second half comeback.
In the second half, Vancouver looked like a much different side and rode the momentum provided by Matthew van der Eyden and his goal to open the squad’s offensive repertoire. Ali Musse quickly added the match-winning goal in the 75th minute and also provided an insurance marker five minutes later to give Vancouver a 3-1 victory.
Head coach Grootscholten summarized after the match, “Good result. We struggled to find our possession game today, we lost the ball a lot, but in the end we won and it’s important that we can still succeed even when we do not play our best”.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-16 and U-18 will now have a couple weeks off before journeying to California for away fixtures against San Diego Surf U-16 and U-18 at San Diego Polo Club on November 12.
The Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-14 squads also took to the pitch this past weekend with two matches versus South Fraser FC and saw a bag of mixed results.
The senior Whitecaps FC U-14 Residency squad earned a victory over South Fraser FC. Head coach Bart Choufour was pleased with his side’s effort in the victory, “We played very strong. It certainly was a very good team performance with the ball but also defensively,” said Choufour. “We created a a lot of chances. We were able to take advantage of the room in the midfield.”
In the second match, the junior Whitecaps FC Residency U-14 squad were defeated by South Fraser FC. The junior ‘Caps created plenty of offensive chances but were unable to score in the defeat.
Head coach Choufour thought his team did well, but unfortunately fell victim to timely goals scored by South Fraser FC. “We started very strong and had chances in the first 35 minutes,” said Choufour. “They scored on the run of play, but we’re very pleased with the effort”.