It was a successful day of United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) action for Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency squads on Saturday at Surrey's Newton Athletic Park, as the U-18 and U-16 squads both won against their visiting counterparts from California-based Strikers FC Development Academy. The U-18 Residency side kicked things off with a 2-1 win in the first match, followed by an impressive 5-1 win by the U-16 squad in the afternoon tilt.
The U-18 Residency squad got back to winning ways with a 2-1 win against Strikers FC U-17/18. The 'Caps got on the board first on 16 minutes after Carlos Marquez was taken down in the box, earning a penalty shot. Caleb Clarke stepped up to the spot, burying a strike off the inside of the right post to give the home side a 1-0 lead. The 'Caps continued to press, but the visitors equalized on 41 minutes after a good run from the left wing and a centering pass, setting up a low finish to the bottom corner. The 'Caps came back strong in the second half and found a winner on 76 minutes, as Clarke received pass from Yassin Essa and beat the defender with a terrific turn before calmly finishing into the bottom right corner of the goal.
“We had a lot of chances in the first half, but we have to score more goals,” Residency technical director and head coach Richard Grootscholten told whitecapsfc.com. “We also have to work more on the defensive part, but that will come. We scored a fantastic goal in the second half and then you have to control the match, and I think we did a better job of that in the second half.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-18
Callum Irving; Declan Rodriguez, Tim Hickson, Daniel Stanese, Adam Polakiewicz; Yassin Essa (Wesley Cain 82'), Bryce Alderson, Ben McKendry (Spencer DeBoice 87’), Ben Fisk, Carlos Marquez (Alex Rowley 45’); Caleb Clarke
The U-16 Residency squad continued their strong form with a 3-1 win against Strikers FC U-15/16. Brody Huitema continued his scoring streak with two goals on the day, increasing his total to 14 goals for the season.
The 'Caps got on the board first 10 minutes into the match, as a Matthew Chow's free kick was spilled by the goalkeeper, paving the way for Huitema to slot home the rebound. Huitema then doubled the advantage on 22 minutes, heading in a fantastic cross from defender Quinton Duncan. The visitors pulled one back five minutes later, as the visitors' striker beat the 'Caps to a bouncing ball up field and lobbed a shot over goalkeeper Nolan Wirth and into the back of the net. But the home side would not be deterred, as they restored their two-goal advantage just a minute later, with Sebastien Cabrera finishing an easy tap-in after a corner kick rolled all the way to him unmarked at the far post. The Blue and White continued to take control of the match in the second half, with Titouan Chopin blasting home a rocket from 25 yards out into the bottom corner on 55 minutes and Jordan Hayes chipping in a shot after being sent in from a fine pass from Marco Bustos.
“It’s obviously pleasing to see the team perform like this,” said Residency assistant technical director and assistant head coach Craig Dalrymple to whitecapsfc.com. “I think we’ve built on the last couple of road trips that we’ve had. What we have in this group is a bunch of players with the mentality and hunger to want to compete and win matches. The confidence that they’ve built is starting to show.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-16
Nolan Wirth; Quinton Duncan, Sam Adekugbe, Jackson Farmer, Jordan Hayes; Matthew Chow (Matthew van der Eyden 65’), Mitch Piraux (Liam Elbourne 70’), Elijah Adekugbe, Sebastian Cabrera (Carlos Patino 57’), Titouan Chopin (Marco Bustos 57’); Brody Huitema (Parker Ellis 62’)