In their second matches of the weekend, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams again earned a pair of split results away from home, but this time in reverse, as they faced off against LA Galaxy Academy on Sunday.
The U-18 Residency squad (9W-2L-2D) rebounded from a 4-2 defeat at the hands of Chivas USA U-17/18 on Saturday – only their second defeat of the season – with a 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy U-17/18 side in the early tilt at The Home Depot Center Field 5 turf. The U-16 Residency side (7W-4L-2D), meanwhile, could not sustain the momentum from their 3-1 victory over Chivas USA U-15/16 on Saturday, falling 2-1 to their LA Galaxy U-15/16 counterparts on Sunday.
Both Residency squads return to California in two weeks’ time. On Saturday, February 4, the U-18 Residency squad plays Cal Odyssey U-17/18 at 11 a.m. PT at Keith Tice Memorial Park, followed by the U-16 Residency team on the field at 1:30 p.m. PT playing Cal Odyssey U-15/16. Then on Sunday, February 5, the U-18 ‘Caps play San Jose Earthquakes U-17/18 at 11 a.m. PT on Cytomax Field at Mustang Soccer Complex, followed by the U-16 Residency side at 1:30 p.m. PT playing the Earthquakes U-15/16 side.
The U-18 ‘Caps knew that they were in for a tough match, as they faced off against the unbeaten Galaxy – especially with the fatigue of playing nearly an entire match with only ten men just a day prior. However, the young Vancouver squad rose to the occasion in a tight match versus the Californian side, squeaking out a 1-0 win off a 14th-minute goal from Yassin Essa, who combined well with striker Caleb Clarke on the play. Goalkeeper Sean Melvin got the shutout for the 'Caps, putting in a steady 90-minute performance despite, consistent pressure from LA.
“The players showed an unbelievable mentality today after a disappointing result on Saturday,” said Richard Grootscholten, Residency technical director and head coach. “We played one of the best teams in the league and we played absolutely well. Both teams played well, it was a fantastic match.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-18
Sean Melvin; Adam Polakiewicz, Daniel Stanese, Tim Hickson, Quinton Duncan; Alex Rowley, Ben Fisk, Bryce Alderson, Yassin Essa (Wesley Cain 66’), Spencer DeBoice (Ben McKendry 45’); Caleb Clarke
The U-16 ‘Caps also knew that they were in for no easy match. The Galaxy took control with two goals in a span of 10 minutes to take a 2-0 lead early in the second half. However, the ‘Caps responded with a fine goal from Marco Bustos on 59 minutes to cut the lead to 2-1. The Blue and White pressed for an equalizer late with several quality scoring opportunities – including a fantastic bicycle kick from striker Brody Huitema – but the Galaxy ‘keeper stood tall and came up with three or four great saves to prevent the ‘Caps from getting a point.
“We were playing against a bit of an older team, and they were quite strong,” said Grootscholten. “It was a very competitive game, and with a bit of luck, we would have gotten a result, but quality games like this will really help our young players. Overall, it was a fantastic afternoon.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-16
Marco Carducci; Sam Adekugbe, Jackson Farmer, Alex Comsia, Matthew van der Eyden; Mitch Piraux, Liam Elbourne (Elijah Adekugbe 40’), Marco Bustos (Parker Ellis 59’), Sebastian Cabrera (Matthew Chow 40’), Titouan Chopin (Carlos Patino 51’); Brody Huitema