Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams overcame a hectic double-header to take home three wins from their four matches in United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) action in California this weekend.
The U-18s had a weekend to remember, coming from behind to beat De Anza Force 4-2 on Saturday before handily defeating Santa Cruz Breakers 6-0 on Sunday at Cabrillo College in Aptos, east of Santa Cruz.
The U-16’s meanwhile suffered an unlucky result against the Force, losing 2-1 on Saturday before recovering to defeat the Breakers 1-0 for their first shutout of the season.
The weekend’s results improved the U-18s’ record to 3W-3L-1D and the U-16s’ to 2W-4L-1D.
Match recap v De Anza Force
Determination and a never-say-die attitude were on full display during Whitecaps FC’s battle with De Anza Force on Saturday afternoon.
After the U-18 'Caps conceded a pair of strikes in the 11th and 35th minutes, they bounced back in emphatic fashion in the second half to score four unanswered goals.
DeBoice then netted his second of the afternoon, and the game-winner, just before the hour mark while second half substitute Carlos Marquez clinched the result in the dying minutes.
After the match, Gordon Forrest praised his players for the character they showed in fighting back.
“Obviously it was a positive end result from the game,” he said. “We started the game quite well then we lost two quick goals that we could have avoided. We were 2-0 down at halftime, but credit to the guys, it was great to see them respond straight away in the second half.
“We scored two quick goals so it was great to see that character from each of them and to go on to score another two goals made it a very pleasing afternoon.
“There were parts of the game that we need to look at tidying up but overall it was a good first game for me as head coach.”
Whitecaps FC U-18 lineup v De Anza Force (4-3-3)
Nolan Wirth; Quinton Duncan, Jackson Farmer, Alejandro Varela (Matthew van der Eyden 85’), Sam Adekugbe; Liam Elbourne (Carlos Marquez 58’), Mitch Piraux, Sebastian Cabrera (Marco Bustos 53’); Yassin Essa, Brody Huitema, Spencer DeBoice.
Match recap v Santa Cruz Breakers
Whitecaps FC capped off their California road trip in sensational fashion with a 6-0 thrashing of Santa Cruz, with the goals coming from all areas of the park.
Huitema grabbed his second of the day a minute later then second half substitute Titouan Chopin (pictured) finished off the scoring in the last minute.
The result made it two wins from two games for Forrest, and although the Scotsman was thrilled with the results from the weekend, he stressed it wasn’t all about the final score.
“Again it was a very positive day,” he said. It was a positive performance from the players but the result is not the main thing for us. Breaking it down into individual and collective groups on the pitch, it was great to see certain things happen today.
“The results are not the main objective from these games, we work on certain aspects and formations during training and we try and bring it alive in the games and if you end up getting a positive result from that, then great.
“It’s been a good couple of games for me to learn a lot about the players and just to see them in action, and now there’s an aura of confidence about the group, which is a good thing because that will then seep into the individual’s performance as well.”
Whitecaps FC Under-18 lineup v Santa Cruz Breakers (4-3-3)
Sean Melvin; Quinton Duncan (Matthew van der Eyden 46’), Jackson Farmer, Alex Comsia, Sam Adekugbe; Liam Elbourne, Marco Bustos, Carlos Marquez; Yassin Essa (Sebastian Cabrera 62’), Brody Huitema, Spencer DeBoice (Titouan Chopin 54’).
Match recap v De Anza Force
It was a bittersweet evening on Saturday for Whitecaps FC.
The U-16 'Caps dominated their opponents for the majority of the game and they only conceded the second goal when central defender Vagelli Boucas was on the sideline receiving treatment in the 70th minute.
De Anza controlled the game in the opening minutes and drew first blood after a quarter of an hour, but from that point on, the match belonged to the visitors.
The ‘Caps found an equalizer moments before the break through striker Aymar Sigue - his first with the club since joining from FC Edmonton Reserves - and they went close on several other occasions to take the lead.
But disaster struck when Boucas had to leave the pitch temporarily due to injury.
The Force sent a long ball into the box and they duly capitalized with the man advantage.
Despite the final score, head coach Craig Dalrymple said it was the team’s “best performance of the season” to date, and was satisfied with how the team adapted to the new 4-4-2 diamond midfield system.
“It was a very pleasing performance,” he said. “We were the better team today for sure.
“Our pre-game objectives were met, we worked on a different formation and we looked to execute some different things on the field while trying to maintain our playing style and we did that today.
“We created enough chances to win it comfortably and we actually played better than we did in the first half.
“This performance was the best of the year and we’re heading in the right direction with a very young group, and I think the results will come down the road.
“But we’ve just got to be a little bit patient with it.”
Whitecaps FC Under-16 lineup v De Anza Force (4-4-2)
William Diaz; Joshua Cuthbert (Marcello Polisi 45’), Alex Comsia, Evangelos Boucas, Jordan Haynes (Olamide Ajibike 72’); Matteo Bordignon, Jeevin Kang (A.J Lopez 63’), Francesco Saporito, Matthew Chow; Aymar Sigue (Evan Gray 60’), Terran Campbell (Dario Zanatta 50’).
Match recap v Santa Cruz Breakers
Whitecap FC built on Saturday’s encouraging performance with a 1-0 victory over Santa Cruz on Sunday.
The U-16s dominated proceedings in the first half, which culminated in a goal from striker Dario Zanatta at the midway point.
Zanatta followed a play into the box, seized on a lucky bounce and cooly finished to give his team the lead.
Dalrymple said his charges “outplayed and outchanced” their opponents in the first half and had several opportunities to double their lead before the break.
After halftime, Santa Cruz pressed forward for the equalizer and made it difficult for the ‘Caps to find any rhythm.
But it was all in vain.
“We stuck to our principles and defended well and it was a good win in the end,” Dalrymple noted.
“We created a lot more chances than usual this weekend and created enough to win. We need to be a little sharper in front of goal but that will come.
“Our shape was good, our discipline was good and the boys once again hit their pre-game objectives so I’m very pleased for them.”
Whitecaps FC Under-16 lineup v Santa Cruz Breakers (4-4-2)
William Diaz; Matthew Baldisimo, Evangelos Boucas, Evan Libke (Olamide Ajibike 72’), Jordan Haynes; Marcello Polisi (Jeevin Kang 25’), Francesco Saporito (Matteo Bordignon 60’), A.J Lopez (Joshua Cuthbert 45’), Matthew Chow; Aymar Sigue (Evan Gray 60’), Dario Zanatta (Terran Campbell 50’).