Vancouver Whitecaps FC’s U-16 Residency squad will head out on winter break after hitting the halfway point of their first-place run in the 2013-14 United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) campaign.
The U-16 team currently holds a 8W-2L-3D record while sitting in the top spot in the West Conference, Northwest Division.
The Blue and White have gone perfect on the road this season, boasting a 5W-0L-0D record. They are also 3W-2L-3D as the home team so far this season.
The team kicked out of the gates by going undefeated through the first five games of the year, while maintaining the consistency needed to lead the division for the entire first half of the season. The team then roared into the prestigious 2013 USSDA Winter Showcase in Bradenton, Florida, going perfect in all three contests.
Head coach Rich Fagan is impressed with the group so far and feels like the sky is the limit for the young squad.
“Effort and performance have been the key message from the staff to the players," said Fagan. "If the players continue to give their maximum effort and performance I would expect the second half of the season to be as pleasing as the first half has been.”
Striker Aymar Sigue is having a breakout season for the ‘Caps, leading the team with nine goals. Dario Zanatta is also on a career pace as he is second on the team with seven goals after leading the team with eight goals all of last season.
The team has had many notable honours this season, having defenders Matthew Baldisimo and Kadin Chung, midfielders Thomas Gardner and David Norman, and strikers Terran Campbell and Daniel Sagno named to a Canadian U-15 national team camp in Florida on November 10.
Also, Andre Baires, Francesco Saporito, and Dario Zanatta were called up to the Canadian men's U-16 team for a second camp of the year under head coach Rob Gale just a few weeks ago. The current U-16 group is part of Canada’s long-term preparations as they’re building towards the next round of men’s U-20 competitions.
Coach Rich Fagan’s side is full of talent, as players like Sigue and Zanatta have even spent a great deal of time with the U-18 squad through the first-half of the USSDA season. The team’s depth in talent has become a key to a turnaround from last season’s sixth place finish in the West Conference, Northwest Division.
"The U16 USSDA playoffs are a realistic goal for this group,” noted Fagan.
The second half of the season should be full of exciting soccer and hopefully the team can maintain the same consistency it has shown through the first-half of the 2013-14 USSDA campaign.
The U-16 side will return to action on February 1 in a road clash against Cascadia rival Portland Timbers’ youth academy squad.