HOUSTON, TX – Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 concluded their U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy (USSDA) playoff run with a tough 1-0 loss to SLSG Missouri at Houston Amateur Sports Park.
With the defeat, the Blue and White finished in sixth place in Academy Finals Week, a tournament in which they had reached the championship match last year.
Much like the ‘Caps prior two matches against New York Red Bulls Academy and Albertson SC, chances were at a premium in the first half, with both teams looking to prevent conceding an early goal in an important match.
Despite a slow first half, both teams looked to make the most of the second half and end their USSDA seasons on a strong note.
Midway through the second half, the American side got their opportunity. On 74 minutes, SLSG Missouri took a 1-0 lead when a throw-in made its way to midfielder Zachary Kavanaugh, who was left alone in the box. He fired the ball into the bottom left corner of the net, providing a goal that seemed to bring life into the match.
Shortly after, the Blue and White had a perfect chance to equalize, when a series of connecting headers by the ‘Caps offense inside the 18-yard box looked dangerous. Unfortunately, the ball was knocked just over the top of the net and out of play.
Despite chances for the ‘Caps to come back, they were not able to do so and ended their successful USSDA season with a valiant effort.
Head coach Gordon Forrest was proud of his team and the effort they displayed on the pitch in Houston.
"It wasn't the result we wanted today, but I'm really proud of the boys," said Forrest. "They gave the effort, but we just couldn't get a goal. The boys have put in a lot of effort in these playoffs and overall, it's been great for their development."
The ‘Caps will now return home before preparations for next season begin in late August.
VANCOUVER WHITECAPS U-18 Lineup:
Nolan Wirth, Sam Adekugbe, Jackson Farmer, Alex Comsia, Matt van der Eyden (Quinton Duncan 45’), Kianz Froese (Liam Elbourne 45’), Marco Bustos, Jordan Haynes (Mitch Piraux 59’), Spencer DeBoice, Brody Huitema, Yassin Essa (Tituaon Chopin 45’)
Subs not used:
Sean Melvin, Nicholas Prasad