VANCOUVER, BC – After a lengthy break, Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s Residency teams will continue the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) season this weekend in an important Pacific Northwest showdown.
The U-18 and U-16 boys will wrap up a seven-match home stand this Saturday, as they host Portland Timbers at Percy Perry Stadium in their final home match of 2013.
The U-18s kick off at 12 p.m. PT on Saturday, November 9 at Percy Perry Stadium in Coquitlam, B.C. – followed by the U-16s at 2:30 p.m. PT. Admission to all Whitecaps FC Residency home matches is free to the public.
Whitecaps FC’s U-18 squad currently sits in third place in the West Conference, Northwest Division with a record of 7W-2L-0D, while the U-16s currently sit in fourth place at 4W-2L-3D.
The Blue and White are fresh off a 1-0 home win against the always tough San Juan Soccer Club in their most recent outing on October 20.
Midfielder Mason James scored his third of the season in the 26th minute, which was the lone tally for the ‘Caps, while goalkeeper William Diaz got his first clean sheet of 2013-14 to improve the ‘Caps’ home record to 4W-2L-0D this season.
The ‘Caps will be back at full strength for this weekend’s contest, as the quintet of Marco Carducci, Matthew Chow, Marco Bustos, Jordan Haynes and Kianz Froese will return to the U-18 side after representing Canada at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Dubai.
The Canadian side finished third in Group E, after they drew their first two matches with Austria and Iran respectively before a 3-0 defeat to Argentina officially ended their tournament hopes. Although they did not advance, it was still an encouraging showing for the Red and White, who had never earned a point in the competition prior to the 2011 U-17 World Cup.
Portland Timbers currently sit fifth place in the West Conference, Northwest Division with a record of 3W-3L-2D. The Timbers looked impressive in their last outing though, in which they blanked San Juan Soccer Club by a score of 6-0.
Last season, the Cascadia rivals split the season series, as they swapped road victories. The most recent meeting was a 2-0 shutout for Whitecaps FC, where graduated players Yassin Essa and Spencer DeBoice potted home both goals and goalkeeper Sean Melvin obtained the clean sheet. .
“It’s a great game for the boys to focus on for this weekend. Always good playing against the other MLS Academy sides, especially this fixture which adds a little extra to it because it’s Portland,” U-18 head coach Gordon Forrest told whitecapsfc.com. “The players are excited to once again be playing at home and have been working hard over the last week in preparation to play.”
Whitecaps FC’s U-16 side currently sits in fourth place in the West Conference, Northwest Division with a 4W-2L-3D record.
Their most recent result was a hard-fought 1-1 draw against San Juan Soccer Club, where the Californian visitors took a lead in the 38th minute, but just a minute later Daniel Sagno evened things up with his third of the season off a slick pass from David Norman.
On 40 minutes, the San Juan goalkeeper was sent off for a reckless tackle, and the 'Caps had a penalty stopped in the 44th minute, but they were ultimately unable to score the equalizer.
Rich Fagan’s side will be getting back to full strength as well for this weekend’s match. Several players will be returning to a full-time role with the U-16s after splitting time with the U-18 squad the last couple of games in the absence of those who were away at the U-17 World Cup.
With a 2W-4L-2D record, the sixth-place Timbers are off to a decent start to the 2013-14 USSDA campaign. Their most recent result was a scoreless draw against San Juan Soccer Club on November 2.
Whitecaps FC’s U-16 squad traded shutout home victories last season with the Timbers. The first was a Whitecaps FC victory by a score of 2-0, where striker Terran Campbell scored a pair for the ‘Caps, and the second resulted in a 4-0 triumph for Portland.
“What a great opportunity for the youngsters to replicate their first-team heroes this week,” Fagan told whitecapsfc.com. “The Cascadia derby games mean something to the players, Residency or first team, and the players are always excited to play.”