Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency have kicked off their 2012-13 full-time training program as the club prepares for their second season in the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) – the premier academy league in North America.
“We are very excited to start a new year for our player development programs,” said Stuart Neely, Whitecaps FC head of high performance. “Whitecaps FC are an ambitious club, from our Residency program to our first team. With a new crop of players come new challenges to conquer, and it is our full intent to continue to set the bar higher than we did the year before.”
The ‘Caps Residency program is organized into two tiers: Pre-Residency and Residency. Pre-Residency encompasses U-13, U-14 and U-15 teams, while Residency consists of U-16 and U-18 teams.
The U-16 and U-18 Residency squads head into their second season in the USSDA. The club had a very successful inaugural season in the development academy as both teams qualified for the playoffs, with the U-18 squad making a run to the championship final and finishing as runners-up among the 78 academies in the league.
Both teams open their USSDA seasons on Saturday, September 8, when they travel to Orange County, California, for a doubleheader against Northwest division rivals Pateadores. The following day, the ‘Caps return to action in Orange County as they take on Strikers FC.
Whitecaps FC Pre-Residency squads, meanwhile, will play a schedule of friendlies against local competition. Exhibition matches are scheduled within the Pacific Northwest region against elite club teams, including teams from the EA SPORTS BC Soccer Premier League (BCSPL), Major League Soccer Academies, and other USSDA Pre-Academy teams.
BC Soccer programs – including BC Soccer Provincial teams, BCSPL clubs, and other BC Soccer member clubs – have contributed to the development of 65% of U-16 and U-18 players and all pre-Residency players on this year’s rosters.
“It’s very encouraging to see that the mutual objective between Whitecaps FC and BC Soccer of building a clearly integrated and streamlined approach to player development is being achieved,” added Michael Findlay, BC Soccer director of soccer development. “We look forward to continuing to service our high performance players moving forward.”
For more information on Whitecaps FC’s Residency program, go to www.whitecapsfc.com/youth/eliteteams/residency.