VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams wrapped up their United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) campaigns against Crossfire Premier on Saturday with the U-18s finishing their successful season with a win whilst the U-16s lost.
Having already sealed the West Conference Northwest Division, Whitecaps FC U-18s finished on a high note beating Crossfire Premier 2-1 as they began to prepare for the playoffs that start June 24 at FC Dallas Stadium in Frisco Texas.
The U-16s have endured a turbulent season with a very young team and ended the campaign with a 4-0 loss. They now look forward to the Academy Showcase, which will happen simultaneously during the playoffs in Frisco, Texas.
Whitecaps FC capped a successful season, in which they saw off the challenge of title rivals Seattle Sounders FC to win the West Conference Northwest Division, with a 2-1 victory against Crossfire Premier.
Vancouver opened the scoring on 30 minutes when a Mitch Piraux shot from outside the box found its way through a congested area and into the back of the net as Whitecaps FC went into the break 1-0 up.
Crossfire got a goal back on 75 minutes after Matthew van der Eyden gave away a penalty kick that was converted to give Vancouver a nervy end to the match.
In the final minute Crossfire were awarded a free kick outside the box that was well struck and looked to be going in but 'keeper Nolan Wirth managed to make a great save to preserve the win for Whitecaps FC.
U-18 head coach Gordon Forrest was delighted with his team’s performances over the course of the regular season and is looking forward to the playoffs.
“It was good to finish the conference on a final win,” said Forrest. “We’ll now prepare for the next phase, but credit to the players for their hard work and their efforts in these conference fixtures. They’ve been putting in some really good team performances; they scored the most goals in the conference and they conceded the least so there’s a lot of things the players deserve credit for.”
Whitecaps FC lineup:
Nolan Wirth; Matthew van der Eyden, Jackson Farmer, Alex Comsia, Sam Adekugbe; Liam Elbourne (Jordan Haynes 46’), Mitch Piraux, Marco Bustos; Yassin Essa (Titouan Chopin 60’), Spencer DeBoice, Brody Huitema
The U-16s were arguably the better footballing side on the day but were beaten 4-0 by a clinical Crossfire Premier team.
Whitecaps FC started promisingly and almost took the lead in the 20th minute as Tommy Gardner shot from point blank range only to be denied by a fine low stop from the Crossfire 'keeper.
The opposition keeper also did well to keep out a couple of well struck Dario Zanatta strikes from outside the box to keep the scores level.
Vancouver were punished for their profligacy when in the 33rd minute Crossfire scored against the run of play with a long range effort bouncing awkwardly for 'keeper Marco Carducci and into the back of the net.
Crossfire Premier added a quick second on 38 minutes to stun the home team going into the halftime break.
Two minutes after halftime the match was as good as sealed when a corner for Crossfire was converted at the near post to make the score 3-0.
Vancouver conceded a fourth shortly after on 55 minutes and despite a couple of long range efforts from Matthew Chow being saved by the Crossfire 'keeper the score remained 4-0 until full-time.
Head coach Craig Dalrymple was pleased with the team’s character after letting in the goals and praised the players for their improvement over the season.
“We were the better footballing side against an older, physical side,” commented Dalrymple. “Essentially the game was over from a score line perspective but to their credit they got back to playing football again and were the brighter side in the second half. We’ve set them all personal targets as coaches and they’ve all achieved their own personal goals that we set for them; that’s how we know they’ve got better as players.”
Whitecaps FC lineup:
Marco Carducci (Aidan Aylward 60’), Kadin Chung, Matthew Baldisimo, Vagelli Boucas, Eric de Graaf; Jeevin Kang (Matteo Polisi 60’), Francesco Saporito, Tommy Gardner (Daniel Sagno 65’); Terran Campbell (Joshua Cuthbert 50’), Dario Zanatta (Cole Morokhovich 70’), Aymar Sigue (Matthew Chow 45’)