HOUSTON, TX – Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency put in yet another fine performance to earn a crucial 3-1 win against Northwest Division rivals Seattle Sounders FC U-18 Academy in their opening match at the 2013 United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) Finals.
The result leaves the ‘Caps on top of Group 1 after the first day as New York Red Bulls U-18 and Albertson SC U-18 played to a 3-3 draw in the other Group 1 match on Sunday.
After a see-saw opening 30 minutes, Whitecaps FC finally broke through on 39 minutes when Brody Huitema picked up a rebound and buried it to give the lone Canadian side at Finals Week a 1-0 lead over their Cascadia rivals.
That lead lasted until halftime as the ‘Caps went into the break confident with a 1-0 advantage.
However, the Sounders would not go away quietly and David Olsen equalized off of a corner kick on 66 minutes to draw level, 1-1.
The ‘Caps would not be denied though and found a winner on 80 minutes. The Blue and White broke quickly as Marco Bustos found Yassin Essa, who in turn made a super cross to the back post to find Huitema. The USSDA leading scorer then took a touch and calmly finished to make it 2-1 with less than 10 minutes to go.
With victory in sight, Vancouver put the match away on 85 minutes as billet brothers Sam Adekugbe and Bustos connected. Adekugbe was the provider, crossing to Bustos for the finish and the 3-1 lead.
In the end, the final whistle blew as the ‘Caps hung on for a big win.
After the match, head coach Gordon Forrest expressed great pride in his team's performance.
"It was a very difficult challenge, a derby game for our Academy Finals opener," Forrest explained to whitecapsfc.com after the match. "Both teams really went at it, but our boys were so committed and so enthusiastic and they played really well. Great credit to them. I really can't say enough about how focused they've been. Now we have to continue that throughout the rest of the week."
Next up for the boys is a match against New York Red Bulls U-18 this coming Tuesday, July 16. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. PT and live updates will again be provided on Twitter at @WhitecapsMatch.
Sean Melvin; Quinton Duncan, Jackson Farmer, Nicholas Prasad, Sam Adekugbe; Mitch Piraux, Kianz Froese (Jordan Haynes 45’), Marco Bustos (Liam Elbourne 89’); Spencer DeBoice (Titouan Chopin 61’), Yassin Essa (Matthew Chow 87’), Brody Huitema (Matthew Van der Eyden 90’)
Nolan Wirth; Alex Comsia