VANCOUVER, BC - On a cloudy afternoon at Musqueam Park, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 (5W-1L-0D) and U-16 (4W-1L-1D) Residency teams both saw their undefeated starts come to an end at the hands of De Anza Force.
The first loss of the season for Gordon Forrest’s side came under tough circumstances as the team was missing five regulars (Marco Carducci, Marco Bustos, Matthew Chow, Kianz Froese and Jordan Haynes), whom were all called up to Canada for the FIFA U-17 World Cup hosted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The extended absence of the players due to international duty allowed for an opportunity for some of the younger players to step into a larger role and gain valuable experience.
The Blue and White generated a myriad of chances in the first half but could not find the back of the net.
Eventually, De Anza managed to open the scoring before the 'Caps mounted an onslaught of pressure, including Dario Zanatta beating the keeper twice only to be denied by the woodwork.
De Anza then added a couple more against the run of play before Zanatta scored for the 'Caps. The well-earned consolation goal came as a result of a well-struck free kick from Mitch Piraux that was saved by the ‘keeper. Zanatta then beat everyone to the rebound and placed it near post for his first goal of the campaign at the U-18 level (the Kelowna native has netted three goals for the U-16s).
Assistant Coach Steve Meadley was happy to see some of the youngsters from the U-16 team get a chance to strut their stuff with the older boys in a losing effort. He also felt the team was very positive going forward and created more than enough chances to earn a result.
“The result was a bit cruel to me," said Meadley. "They took their chances and we didn’t, that’s basically what it comes down to.”
55’- De Anza
70’- De Anza
85’- De Anza
87’ - VAN - Dario Zanatta
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency
Nolan Wirth; Andre Baires (Vaggeli Boucas 81’), Jackson Farmer, Nicholas Prasad, Sam Adekugbe; Mitch Piraux, Mark Baldisimo, Kyle Jones (Dario Zanatta 46’); Titouan Chopin, Mason James (Frances Saporito 61’), Nike Azuma (Patrick Izett 65’).
In one of the most exciting matches in the season thus far, the U-16 side came up just short in a valiant comeback effort. The boys in Blue and White fell to De Anza 4-3 after having fought back from a 4-1 deficit.
The goals came pouring in for both sides, as five goals were scored within the first half-an-hour of the match.
Daniel Sagno left his mark all over the game, scoring two sublime goals for Whitecaps FC on the afternoon.
De Anza opened the scored the first four goals before the first goal for the 'Caps came on 26 minutes, when Terran Campbell played in Sagno with only the 'keeper to beat before Sagno calmly slotted it home.
The visitors then put in another before Sagno doubled his account in the 36th minute. This time, the Winnipeg product was the recipient of a bit of hard work from Cole Morokhovich, winning the ball for the home side in the middle of the park before playing Sagno in for his second.
Head coach Rich Fagan’s side came out in the second half determined not to concede once more, managing to cut into the lead even further on the hour mark. Thomas Gardner buried home a perfectly-weighted pass from second half substitute Kadin Chung.
The ‘Caps pressed on for an equalizer in the final half-an-hour of the match, but despite a great effort, came up just short.
Goalkeeper coach Raegyn Hall was impressed by his team’s fighting spirit despite conceding early.
“I think the boys showed resiliency to fight back in the game after going down early. They showed a lot of character to make it 4-3. Unfortunately a few bounces didn’t go our way.”
Both teams are back in action tomorrow afternoon versus Santa Cruz Breakers Academy.
7 - De Anza
17 - De Anza - PK
25 - De Anza
26 - VAN - Daniel Sagno (Terran Campbell)
28 - De Anza
36 - VAN - Daniel Sagno
60 - VAN - Thomas Gardner (Kadin Chung)
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-16 Residency: Luciano Trasolini; Joshua Cuthbert, Manraj Bains, Matthew Baldisimo, John Kasper (Erik Morden 41’); Eric de Graaf, David Norman (Noah Verhoeven 76’), Thomas Gardner; Cole Morokhovich, Terran Campbell, Daniel Sagno (Kayden Chung 59’)