Vancouver Whitecaps FC had 17 players from the club's Residency, Premier Development League (PDL) and Major League Soccer (MLS) teams representing Canada across three youth levels in recent weeks, with several of them having an impact ahead of a crucial 2013 international calendar.
Whitecaps FC midfielder Bryce Alderson (pictured above) and striker Caleb Clarke along with three Whitecaps FC Residency graduates in goalkeeper Callum Irving (pictured below), defender Daniel Stanese, and midfielder Ben Fisk, and current U-18 Residency striker Yassin Essa took part in a training camp with the Under-20 team that ran from November 20 to 29 in the United States and Costa Rica.
Canada coach Nick Dasovic had a close look at the ‘Caps representatives and they didn’t disappoint.
In a 3-0 exhibition win against a local team in Florida, Essa found the back of the net after he was set up by Clarke, while Fisk also got his name on the scoresheet with a goal of his own .
A few days later in Costa Rica, Clarke scored a goal in each half – with Fisk also recording an assist - to give Canada a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica in their international friendly in San Jose.
In that match, Alderson, Stanese and Fisk played the full 90 minutes while Essa came on as a substitute at the beginning of the second half.
Dasovic’s team now look ahead to the 2013 CONCACAF Men's Under-20 Championship which runs from February 18 to March 3 in Puebla, Mexico.
The top four nations from that 12-team event will then qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey later that year.
Featuring the likes of Whitecaps FC Residency players Nolan Wirth (goalkeeper), defenders Sam Adekugbe, Quinton Duncan, and Jackson Farmer, midfielder Sebastien Cabrera, and striker Brody Huitema, the Rob Gale-led U-18 team played two matches against the United States during their week-long camp in San Diego and Los Angeles that began November 17.
In the first friendly in Carson on November 21, Canada were beaten 3-1 after the hosts scored twice in the final 20 minutes. Wirth, Duncan (who was the player of the match for Canada), Farmer, and Adekugbe each played 90 minutes while Cabrera appeared in the 72nd minute.
Two days later at the same venue, Canada were held to a 2-2 draw after conceding the equalizing goal three minutes from time.
After the United States went ahead in just the second minute, Cabrera got the assist on Dylan Sacramento’s leveller five minutes later. Les Rouges surged into the lead on 82 minutes but their hard work was undone by a late American strike.
Wirth played 67 minutes in goal, while Duncan, Farmer and Cabrera all played the entire match. Adekugbe started and was replaced in the 56th minute.
Head coach Sean Fleming was able to cast an eye over his team at a 12-day camp in the United States and Panama that began November 15.
In the first match against USA in Fort Lauderdale, Canada took an early lead inside 10 minutes before the hosts clawed their way back in the second half to win 2-1.
Carducci played the full match while Froese started and was replaced in the 66th minute.
The U-17 team then headed to Panama and were successful in both friendly matches against the Central American nation, winning 1-0 in each of them with Carducci named Canada’s player of the match in the second game.
It was good preparation for Fleming’s troops ahead of the 12-team CONCACAF Under-17 Championship in Ciudad, Panama, in April 2013.
From that tournament, four teams will progress to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates six months later.