It was a hard day for Whitecaps FC Residency teams in United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) action on Saturday. Both groups suffered defeats to Real Salt Lake AZ Academy amidst sweltering heat at Grande Sports World in Casa Grande, Arizona.
The U-18 squad began the day on the wrong end of a 3-1 result, followed by the U-16 team falling 2-0 in the second match of the doubleheader.
Facing another Major league Soccer (MLS) academy for the first time this season provided a stiff test for the ‘Caps elder Residency team.
The home side got on the board in the 11th minute on a play that looked like it may have been offside. RSL then doubled their advantage to 2-0 on 38 minutes to take control of the match.
Despite the deficit, the ‘Caps were hardly out of the match. With a minute before the break, striker Brody Huitema elevated to head home a goal for the Blue and White to get them back within 2-1.
A positive result for the visitors was not to be on this day though, as a third goal for RSL in the 57th minute ended up being the last tally of the match.
“They were in the game, from the first minute to the last,” said Craig Dalrymple, doubling up as U-18 head coach for this trip. “Their work rate was good, but they let themselves down a bit today on the technical side.
“It was quite hot, but you can’t use that as an excuse. These are learning experiences that are important for players to experience if they’re to progress to the first team.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18
Nolan Wirth; Titouan Chopin, Jackson Farmer, Quinton Duncan, Sam Adekugbe; Mitch Piraux, Kianz Froese, Carlos Marquez (Liam Elbourne); Yassin Essa, Spencer DeBoice (Carlos Patino), Brody Huitema
With a young group still finding their feet in the USSDA, the ‘Caps were in tough against their Arizona-based opponents.
RSL opened the scoring in the 10th minute on a quick passing sequence that led to a through ball, which was ultimately finished with a shot off the post and in.
The ‘Caps stayed in the match throughout, but the dagger came on 73 minutes when a loose ball bouncing through the box dropped kindly for RSL, ending with a volley on net. Goalkeeper Marco Carducci got a hand to it, but not quite enough as the ball again struck the post and ended in the net to seal a 2-0 final.
“Overall I was pleased with their performance, we achieved our objectives that we set before the game to keep them at bay, said U-16 head coach Dalrymple. “They had the odd chance which they converted and our play in the final third of the field wasn’t good enough.
“We’re a young group, under the age of most teams, so we’ll learn from these matches.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-16
Marco Carducci; Josh Cuthbert, Matthew Baldisimo, Alex Comsia, Jordan Haynes; Marcello Polisi (Matteo Bordignon 55’), Jeevin Kang (Francesco Saporito 55’), Marco Bustos (A.J. Lopez 60’); Evan Gray (Dario Zanatta 41’), Brian Im (Olamide Ajibike 41’), Matthew Chow
Whitecaps FC Residency teams now have a break from USSDA play, with their next matches coming on Saturday, October 20, when they travel across the border to play Crossfire Premier in Redmond, Washington.