VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams will look to continue their perfect start to the 2013-14 United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season this weekend against a pair of Californian rivals.
After opening the season undefeated in five straight matches, Whitecaps FC’s U-18 and U-16 sides will continue their five-match long home stay of the young season on Saturday, October 5, against De Anza Force at Musqueam Park. The U-18s begin at 10:30 a.m., while the U-16 match is slated for a 1 p.m. kickoff.
The two teams will then host Santa Cruz Breakers Academy on Sunday, October 6 at UBC's Dhillon Field. Kickoff for the U-18 match will be 12 p.m. before the U-16s play at 2:30 p.m. to wrap-up the weekend.
The U-18s are rolling right now with a perfect 5W-0L-0D record to begin the season. Two weekends ago they won their first two home games of 2013-14, with the most recent result being a big 4-2 over Pateadores.
Midfielder Kianz Froese potted home two of his team-leading four goals, and Winnipeg, Manitoba native Marco Bustos scored the game winner in the 80th minute to give the Blue and White their fifth straight victory to kick off the new season.
Goalkeepers Nolan Wirth and Marco Carducci have also been lights out so far, as Wirth has posted a 1.33 goals against average in his three victories, while Marco Carducci has pushed his clean sheet streak to 180 minutes to begin the season.
This week will definitely test the depth of the young squad, as several players have departed for Canada’s U-17 World Cup pre-camp, including Kianz Froese, Matthew Chow, Jordan Haynes, Marco Bustos, and Marco Carducci.
Though a lot of the team’s key players will be missing, there are many players left to step up in their absence, including new addition Mason James who has been a major bright spot for the ‘Caps with two timely goals so far.
Through the tremendous start, head coach Gordon Forrest’s side currently sits in first place in the West Conference, Northwest Division standings.
De Anza Force has also opened their season with an undefeated record, boasting a solid record of 3W-0L-1D. They currently sit in third place in the West Conference, Northwest Division standings.
Last season, Vancouver did not lose against De Anza Force. The first meeting resulting in a 4-2 road victory while the second outing ended in a 3-3 draw where the ‘Caps blew an early two-goal advantage by conceding three straight goals, but managed to tie it late off a terrific strike from graduated striker Brody Huitema.
Santa Cruz Breakers Academy have not started well in their 2013-14 season, currently holding a lackluster 0W-4L-0D record. The team will look for their first win of the season, after getting dominated last season by the ‘Caps in their two meetings by an aggregate score of 14-0.
The most recent result ended in an 8-0 thumping by the Blue and White, where graduated stars Huitema and Spencer DeBoice both notched hat-tricks to give Whitecaps FC the home shutout win.
"We’re expecting two very difficult games. Saturday’s one is also very difficult against De Anza Force who have been performing very well,” U-18 head coach Gordon Forrest told whitecapsfc.com. “Also, the exciting thing for me this weekend is that I get to see five or six of the 1997-born players play, and this is very valuable for these younger players to get some experience.”
Whitecaps FC’s U-16 side are also boasting an undefeated record five games into the new season, currently at 4W-0L-1D, including a 2-0 win and a 2-2 draw against Pateadores and Strikers FC respectively. The ‘Caps battled hard and took the early 2-0 lead with goals from last season’s leading scorer, Dario Zanatta, and Jeevin Kang, who scored his first of this season.
The ‘Caps have been very impressive this season as they have yet to concede a goal in the first half of any game this season. Canadian U-15 goalkeeper Aidan Aylward, formerly of Ottawa Fury, posted a clean sheet in three of his four matches, and Burnaby native Luciano Trasolini posted a clean sheet in his lone start.
De Anza Force are looking to rekindle their success from last season, when they won the West Conference, Northwest Division with a 22W-4L-9D record. This season they are still looking for their first victory, as they currently hold a 0W-3L-1D record, even though they have only allowed one goal in each game so far.
Whitecaps FC U-16 lost both meetings against De Anza Force by identical scores of 2-1 last season.
Santa Cruz Breakers Academy, meanwhile, have been inconsistent this season, amassing a 1W-2L-1D record to begin the season. They will be looking for better results this season after finishing eighth in the West Conference, Northwest Division last season with a 6W-16L-6D record.
Last season, the ‘Caps went 2W-0L-0D against Santa Cruz Breakers Academy, with the most recent result coming in a 5-0 home shutout for the Blue and White, where Dario Zanatta notched a hat-trick, and Terran Campbell and Daniel Sagno scored to give the ‘Caps the victory.
Rich Fagan's side will have to stay focused and ready to continue their hot start to the season after having two weeks to prepare for this weekend's tough schedule of matches.
“Having not played in two long weeks, the boys are very excited to get back in action,” Fagan told whitecapsfc.com. “De Anza Force and Santa Cruz Breakers Academy are both very strong clubs, and we will definitely have our hands full, so I expect us to have two very tough games this weekend.”