HOUSTON, TX – Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency resume action at United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) Finals Week on Tuesday as they take on New York Red Bulls. Kickoff is set for 4 p.m. PT at Houston Amateur Sports Park Field #6 and will be streamed live online at hi-podcasts.com.
Alternatively, fans can follow the match on Twitter through @WhitecapsMatch. You can also get into the conversation by using the hashtag #BackForMore.
The 'Caps go into their second match sitting in top spot in Group 1.
The team will be buoyed by a confident performance in the first match of Finals Week as they dispatched Northwest Division rivals Seattle Sounders FC with a 3-1 win. Brody Huitema’s first half goal was cancelled out midway through the second period, but goals in the last 10 minutes from Huitema and Marco Bustos wrapped up the three points.
A second victory in as many matches would go a long way to securing a spot in Saturday's championship final. Only the teams that finish first in each group after the completion of the group stage will progress to the final.
NEW YORK RED BULLS
New York, the USSDA East Conference "Style of Play" award winners, opened their tournament campaign with a 3-3 draw against Northeast Division rivals Albertson SC. Both New York and Albertson have lost only once all season. After going down a goal early on, New York battled back with two goals from Alex Muyl. Albertson staged their own comeback to make it 3-2 before Jhon Estama rescued a point for the Red Bulls with five minutes remaining.
The Red Bulls, a fellow MLS club, won the East Conference Northeast Division with 69 points, equal to Vancouver’s haul, and a points-per-game average of 2.46, the highest in the USSDA.
Many New York players have experienced previous success at Academy Finals Week, as the club emerged triumphant from last season’s U-15/16 USSDA championship. Much of the squad have become key members of this year's U-18 squad.
New York look likely to again be without the services of the East Conference’s U-18 Player of the Year, Matt Miazga, as the centre back has been providing cover for the first team of late. Despite Miazga’s absence, New York can still rely on the likes of classy midfielder Adam Najem to supply chances to 17-goal top scorer and U-17/18 East Conference Starting XI member Muyl.
In their final match of the group stage, Vancouver face Albertson SC on Thursday, July 18 at Houston Amateur Sports Park Field #2. Kickoff will be at 6:30p.m. PT and will again be streamed online at hi-podcasts.com.