MATHER, CALIFORNIA – The new United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season is underway and Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency are off to a flying start.
Vancouver’s U-18 and U-16 sides kicked off their respective 2013-14 USSDA campaigns Thursday with convincing victories over San Juan Soccer Club – outscoring the Mather, California outfit 6-1 in the process.
Three second-half goals carried Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency to a 3-1 win over San Juan Soccer Club Thursday evening in the Sacramento suburb.
Midfielder Marco Bustos had a goal and an assist and Port Moody native Kyle Jones scored in his Residency debut as the ‘Caps overcame the California heat to pick up their first victory of the season.
No less than six Residency players who appeared in the match, including goalscorers Bustos and Matthew Chow, returned from national duty abroad within the last few days – something that wasn’t lost on assistant coach Steve Meadley.
“I was very happy with the performance in trying conditions,” said Meadley, who was filling in for head coach Gordon Forrest. “It was hot and half the squad has just come back from heavy travel. It shows their commitment to the program and what they do here day in, day out.”
There wasn’t much to give between the West Conference, Northwest Division foes in the opening 45 minutes at the Mather Soccer Complex. Vancouver had a few chances, but San Juan’s keeper stood tall as the match entered the break all-square.
The visiting ‘Caps broke the deadlock in the 68th minute with a bizarre goal off a quickly taken free kick. As San Juan’s players disputed a foul committed just outside the box, Bustos put the ball down without hesitation and shot into an unguarded goal to give Vancouver a 1-0 lead.
Bustos’ Canadian U-17 teammate scored the eventual winner just minutes later.
On 74 minutes, Chow capped off a fine solo effort with a clinical strike at the top of the box, doubling Vancouver’s lead with 15 minutes remaining.
To their credit, San Juan didn’t disappear after Chow’s tally. They got a goal back in the 80th minute and had Vancouver on their heels for the rest of the match.
The ‘Caps managed to stave off the late pressure, however, and sealed the deal with an insurance marker in stoppage time. After some good work on the left side, Bustos floated the ball to the back post and Jones smashed home a volley to secure the victory.
“It was great for some of our new players to get time,” Meadley said.
“Full value for the win. They stuck to the principles … that’s what we ask of them and that’s what they gave us.”
68' - VAN - Marco Bustos
74' - VAN - Matthew Chow
80' - SJ
90'+ - VAN - Kyle Jones (Marco Bustos)
Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency
Nolan Wirth; Mark Baldisimo, Jackson Farmer, Nicholas Presad (Andre Baires 70’), Sam Adekugbe; Kianz Froese (Kyle Jones 76’), Mitch Piraux, Marco Bustos; Matthew Chow, Jordan Haynes; Titouan Chopin (Dario Zanatta 67’)
In the back half of Thursday’s doubleheader, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-16 Residency (1W-0L-0D) cruised to a 3-0 win over San Juan Soccer Club (0W-1L-0D) in their USSDA opener.
Former FC Edmonton Reserves striker Aymar Sigue had a goal an assist and Canadian U-15 goalkeeper Aidan Aylward posted a clean sheet en route to the convincing victory.
“Overall, it was an excellent team performance from the goalkeeper out,” Whitecaps FC U-16 head coach Rich Fagan told whitecapsfc.com. “Everybody did exactly what they were asked of. And what was most pleasing was they did it for the entire 80 minutes. They didn’t take two minutes off. They were outstanding from start to finish.”
After a scoreless opening 40 minutes, Vancouver scored three second-half markers – just as the U-18s had done earlier in the evening.
The young ‘Caps dominated possession in the first half and had the better chances, but simply couldn’t break through. Led by centre backs Eric de Graaf and Matthew Baldisimo, they also managed to absorb occasional first-half pressure with confidence and poise.
It was clear Fagan’s side came out of the break hungry for the go-ahead goal.
They pressed, pushed, and eventually converted in the 46th minute through Thomas Gardner. After receiving a cross from Sigue, the North Vancouver native took a touch and placed the ball perfectly to get the ‘Caps on the board.
Vancouver struck again just two minutes later and Sigue was once again involved. This time, the hulking striker found the back of the net himself after winning the ball at the top of San Juan’s 18-yard box.
Second half substitute Cole Morokhovich added an insurance marker in the dying stages of the match with a calm finish in tight as the U-16s walked away from the Mather Soccer Complex with their first win of the season.
Vancouver’s U-16 and U-18 sides are back in action this weekend Cal Odyssey and San Jose Earthquakes.
46’ – VAN – Thomas Gardner (Aymar Sigue)
48’ – VAN – Aymar Sigue
80’ – VAN – Cole Morokhovich
Whitecaps FC U-16 Residency
Aidan Aylward; Joshua Cuthbert (Erik Morden 68’) Eric de Graaf, Matthew Baldisimo, Kadin Chung; Jeevin Kang, David Norman (Manraj Bains 62’), Thomas Gardner; Francesco Saporito (Cole Morokhovich 53’), Aymar Sigue (Patrick Izett 62’), Terran Campbell