VANCOUVER, BC – After a tough 1-0 loss to New York Red Bulls Academy, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency will be looking to rebound against Albertson SC with a victory on Thursday in order to have a chance at qualifying for the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) championship final for the second consecutive year. Kickoff for Thursday's group finale will be at 6:30 p.m. PT and will be streamed live at hi-podcasts.com.
The ‘Caps will also need some help from Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders FC in order to make the finals, as they must prevent New York Red Bulls Academy from winning in order for the Blue and White to advance.
Head coach Gordon Forrest’s side are coming off of a tough 1-0 loss to New York Red Bulls Academy on Tuesday. It was a back-and-forth contest against a very strong Red Bulls side which included an outstanding penalty kick save by 'Caps goalkeeper Sean Melvin. However, in the end the Eastern Conference club got the better of the 'Caps with a late goal, which now puts the 'Caps in a must-win scenario. In order to advance to the Academy Finals, Vancouver must defeat Albertson SC and Seattle must prevent New York from winning.
Prior to their last match against New York, the Blue and White kicked off their Academy Finals campaign with a 3-1 win against Seattle Sounders FC U-18 last Sunday. USSDA regular season scoring leader Brody Huitema netted a brace while Marco Bustos added the third.
Having lost only once this season - to fellow Northeast Division rivals New York Red Bulls during the regular season - Albertson SC are currently sitting in the driver's seat in Group 1.
The Long Island, New York, based side are coming off of a dominating 5-0 win against Seattle Sounders FC on Tuesday. Jeongho Ahn scored a hat-trick, while Junior Rosaro and Andrew Tineri both scored single goals to give them the big win. Seattle played most of the first half with 10 men, and much of the second half with nine men after receiving red cards on either side of the break.
In their first match, Albertson earned a 3-3 draw versus the Red Bulls. Ahn, Eric McKenna and Brett Nason scored in the hard fought result against the only team to have defeated them this season.
In order for Albertson to punch their ticket into the Academy championship final, they must either win or draw, depending on New York's result against Seattle. Should they finish level on points with the Red Bulls, they would need to maintain their goal differential advantage (currently +4 to the Red Bulls +1).
Should the 'Caps top Group 1, they will place in the USSDA championship final this coming Saturday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. PT. If they do not top the group they will play in a placement match on Saturday at a time to be determined.