SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - Vancouver Whitecaps FC's MLS squad won't be the only ones in California this weekend. The club's Residency teams head to San Diego full of confidence after replicating the first team’s undefeated month of March with both the U-18 and U-16 teams going 2W-0L-1D. Both squads are looking to make a run at the playoffs entering the final two months of the season with only eight games left in the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) 2013-14 season.
Heading into the sunshine state, the two teams will face San Diego Surf on April 12 at University of San Diego – Manchester field, and Nomads SC on April 13 at Kinsell Field, San Diego.
Six Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency players were named to the Canadian U-18 men's national team camp. The players have gathered on the west coast in Ventura, California, from April 3 until Friday, April 11. The camp features a pair of international friendly matches.The roster included defenders Andre Baires and Josh Cuthbert; midfielders Vana Markarian, Dario Zanatta, and Aymar Sigue; and striker Hayden Simmonds-O'Grady. All players are expected to join back up with the 'Caps Residency squads this weekend.
In their last action, the ‘Caps battled fellow MLS club San Jose Earthquakes U-18, eventually defeating them 4-3. The Blue and White finished the first half up 2-1 after a pair of goals from the squad’s leading scorers, Marco Bustos and Kianz Froese. The Earthquakes battled back in the second half to tie the game twice, but the ‘Caps would eventually come out on top with goals from Ali Musse, and the game winner from Froese to finish the day up 4-3. After notching a brace in the game, Froese now leads the squad with 10 goals followed closely behind by Bustos with nine.
Whitecaps FC U-18 currently sit at second with a record of 12W-4L-3D in the Northwest Division with only eight games left in the season, including the two upcoming games. Currently, the squad is seeded 14th in the playoff standings.
The ‘Caps will first face San Diego Surf on Saturday, April 12. Kickoff is set for 10a.m. PT.
The Surf hold a record of 4W-14L-3D, placing them eighth in the Southwest Division of the West Conference. Whitecaps FC U-18 and San Diego Surf U-18 last faced one another last season on March 16, 2013, in which the ‘Caps bested the Surf 5-1 at home.
The following day on April 13, the Blue and White face Nomads SC, who are 10W-8L-D2 and are 6th place in the Southwest Division. They are currently seeded 12th in the playoff wildcard pool. Sunday's match will kickoff at 12:30.
The ‘Caps and Nomads last faced each other last season on March 17, 2013. The Blue and White shutout the Nomads at home by a score of 4-0. Jordan Haynes, and Mitch Piraux scored a goal each while Marco Bustos found the back of the net twice.
“We are expecting two tough games this weekend,” Whitecaps FC Residency staff coach Niall Thompson told whitecapsfc.com. “Looking at the standings, both opponents are pushing for playoff berths. These away games are always a great learning environment for the players. Our focus is one game at a time, sticking to our game plan and keeping our possession-based philosophy throughout the season."
Last time out, Whitecaps FC U-16 drew even in a physical match at home against fellow MLS club San Jose Earthquakes. Prior to that match the squad had won three straight games.
The squad holds a record of 11W-3L-5D and sit third in the Northwest Division. The ‘Caps are currently seeded first in the playoff wildcard pool with eight matches left in the USSDA 2013-14 season.
San Diego Surf U-16 sit seventh with a 4W-8L-9D record in the Southwest Division of the West Conference. Saturday's kickoff is set for 12:30 p.m. PT.
In the last meeting between the ‘Caps and the Surf, the Blue and White were shutout at home by a score of 3-0.
The next day on April 13, the ‘Caps face Nomads SC who hold a record of 6W-10L-4D and are sixth in the Southwest Division. Sunday's match will kickoff at 3 p.m. PT.
‘Caps last faced the Nomads at home in the USSDA 2012-13 season and finished even at 1-1.
“Two big games this weekend against two tough opponents fighting for the last wildcard playoff position in their respective division,” Whitecaps FC U-16 coach Rich Fagan told whitecapsfc.com. “Our team is playing well, the players are confident, we have several returning from international duty and as always, the boys can’t wait to play – it’s an exciting time of year.”