With only four matches left to play in the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) regular season, both Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-16 and U-18 Residency teams have wrapped up playoff spots in their respective divisions. Now each squad are focused on topping their respective conferences.
On Saturday, the Residency squads square off against USSDA West Conference, Northwest Division rivals California Development Academy. The U-18 Residency squad will play first at 9:30 a.m. PT versus California Development Academy U17/18, followed by the U-16 Residency squad taking on California Development Academy U-15/16 side at 12:00 p.m. PT. Both matches take place at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey, British Columbia.
Late last month, the Residency squads earned key back-to-back victories against Southern California-based rivals DeAnza Force and Santa Cruz Breakers, with the 'Caps U-18 team defeating their West Conference rivals by 3-2 scores in both matches, while the ‘Caps U-16 squad captured victory with 3-1 scores on both occasions. “We want to compete as hard as possible,” said Craig Dalrymple, Whitecaps FC assistant technical director and head coach. “Each squad still has a chance to finish at the top of their respective conferences.”
Following this Saturday’s matches, Whitecaps FC Residency teams will take to the road, facing Crossfire Premier next Thursday, May 24, at Interbay Soccer Stadium in Seattle, Washington.
The U-18 'Caps head into Saturday’s match with a bit of a swagger, having won seven consecutive matches. With the team on a roll, the coaching staff will look to keep the team's eyes on the prize. “The U-18’s will have to stay disciplined,” noted Dalrymple. “The boys have to look at the big picture and see that finishing at the top of the table is important.”
The U-18 Residency squad currently sit second in the West Conference, Northwest Division standings, with two of their last three matches being played on the road.
The U-16 'Caps will look to keep the ball rolling against California Development Academy, having won three straight matches to clinch a playoff berth, and losing only once in their past nine games. “We’re going into the final games now,” explained Dalrymple. “The U-16s can’t become complacent this late in the season and it’s our job as a coaching staff to keep them ready to play.”