Playing their final away match of the season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 (5W-4L-4D) suffered a 2-1 defeat to Washington Crossfire (8W-3L-1D) in Redmond, Washington, on Wednesday evening.
In what was an important midweek clash in the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL), the Crossfire secured three valuable points with a goal in each half from Zach Hammond and Benjamin Fisk at Redmond High School to go top of the PDL’s Western Conference, Northwest Division standings.
Though former Whitecaps FC Residency product Gagandeep Dosanjh (pictured) pulled a goal back for the Blue and White in the second half, the Crossfire held on for a third-straight league win, while ending Vancouver’s four-match unbeaten streak in the PDL.
Washington made the brighter start to Wednesday’s contest by taking the lead through Hammond on four minutes following a goal-mouth scramble.
After finding the Crossfire’s high pressure to be a challenge during the first half-hour of play, the U-23 ‘Caps responded well through to halftime and after the game’s restart.
However, against the run of play, the Crossfire secured the points with a well-taken second goal by Fisk from the edge of the Vancouver box on 53 minutes.
Whitecaps FC’s lone reply came on 61 minutes when University of British Columbia Thunderbirds playmaker Dosanjh struck home a free kick after ex-Residency striker Coulton Jackson was fouled near the Washington box.
The U-23 ‘Caps pressed in search of an equalizer in the final half-hour of the contest, but were unable to find that all-important second goal. It meant Vancouver finished the 2012 PDL regular season with an away record of 2W-3L-3D.
Deputizing for the absent Craig Dalrymple, who was away with the club’s Residency squads at the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) playoffs in Texas, U-14 Residency head coach Bart Choufour felt Whitecaps FC’s PDL squad struggled with the Crossfire’s physical game plan.
“We came up short, while they took their chances,” Choufour told whitecapsfc.com. “We had trouble dealing with their physical play, and we couldn’t play through them on a consistent basis.
“With the kind of team we have, we have to punish teams by playing good possession soccer. We weren’t good enough in that department to make them pay.”
Whitecaps FC U-23 will now return home for their final three matches of the PDL season, starting with North Sound SeaWolves FC at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC, on Friday, July 6, at 7:30 p.m. PT. Admission to all PDL home matches is free of charge.
4’ - WAS - Zach Hammond (Benjamin Fisk)
53’ - WAS - Benjamin Fisk
61’ - VAN – Gagandeep Dosanjh
Shots: Washington 6 – Vancouver 6
Saves: Washington 5 – Vancouver 5
Fouls: Washington 15 – Vancouver 7
Offsides: Washington 6 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Washington 2 – Vancouver 4
22’ - WAS – Matthew Fischer
25.Andy Holte; 5.Callum Whittaker, 7.Jordan Burt (15.Brayton Knapp 71’), 22.Matthew Fischer, 27.Jack Ryan; 11.Benjamin Fisk, 17.Nik Besagno, 20.Thomas Chameraud, 69.Nick James; 4.Zach Hammond (6.Solly Gold 50’), 10.Nathan Sackeyfio
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23
30.Lucas Menz; 11.Reynold Stewart, 2.James Farenhorst, 4.Shawn Parkes, 24.Greg Klazura; 9.Alexander Marrello, 5.Bobby Jhutty, 16.Gagandeep Dosanjh; 7.Cam Hundal, 17.Coulton Jackson, 19.Sangyoon Hwang (3.Kianz Froese 57’)
Substitutes not used: 20.Tyrin Hutchings, 22.Leigh Sembaluk