VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency sides wrap up their 2012-13 United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) regular seasons this Saturday as they take on Crossfire Premier at University of British Columbia Varsity Field.
The U-18s (18W-6L-3D) have already sealed the West Conference Northwest Division by virtue of Seattle Sounders FC, the only team that could catch Vancouver, losing the two games that they had in hand over Whitecaps FC. They face sixth placed Crossfire Premier (10W-13L-3D) in the 12:00p.m. PT kickoff at UBC Varsity Field.
Meanwhile, the U-16s (8W-16L-3D) can confirm sixth place in the West Conference Northwest Division with either a draw or a win against Crossfire Premier (14W-7L-5D) who sit in third place in the table. The match at UBC Varsity Field kicks off at 2:30p.m. PT.
Following this weekend, the 'Caps U-18 side will begin the USSDA playoffs on June 24 at FC Dallas Park in Frisco, Texas. At the same time and venue, the U-16 Residency squad will play in an Academy Showcase tournament.
Having already wrapped up the division title after an impressive campaign, Gordon Forrest’s U-18s now look to finish the regular season on a high note.
It was a close race at the top of the table between Vancouver and Seattle throughout most of the regular season, however the Sounders slipped up towards the end of the campaign as Whitecaps FC continued their impressive form.
Despite having clinched the Northwest Division and secured a playoff spot, Forrest sees the game as a chance to tighten a couple things up in preparation for the postseason.
“There was a bit of desire about the boys when we spoke to them about the playoffs ahead and concentrating on what we need to do,” said Forrest. “So there should be even more of a focus from the players to put in a good performance this week to be in a good space for the playoffs the following week.”
The U-16s have had an up and down campaign, with an often depleted squad due to call ups to the U-18s making for a very young group. However, in recent weeks they have managed to get a couple of wins and have should be in good form against Saturday’s opponents, having beaten Crossfire Premier 4-1 back in October.
Head coach Craig Dalrymple is looking for his team to finish on a high and to continue the improvements they’ve been making in recent weeks before they finish their season at the Academy Showcase
“The performances have gradually improved over the course of the second half of the season and with such a young group, to get some personal success and some team success in recent weeks, we’re very pleased,” commented Dalrymple. “It’ll be a good test against a group that has qualified for the playoffs, it’ll be a physical test this weekend and something I think the boys will be ready for it and we’re looking to finish the season on a positive.”