For the first time in more than 18 months, the Whitecaps FC BMO MLS Academy was back in action against their fellow MLS counterparts on Saturday.
While the results in these first matches didn't go their way against Seattle Sounders FC Academy, they were pleased to have competition to continue building on.
The U-15s were defensively sound and battled hard, before ultimately falling 1-0.
"Although the result didn’t go our way, it was great to get back on the field against MLS opposition," said Scott Howey, U-15 head coach. "These games are an important step along the boys' development pathways. The boys have been working hard since coming out to the Whitecaps FC National Soccer Development Centre, learning what it takes to become a professional. The club management and ownership have been nothing but supportive during the past 18 months, and the boys repaid that support today displaying the four cornerstones well."
The U-17s played an even match for the majority of the 90 minutes, but eventually fell 4-1. Gabe Mata scored the goal for the 'Caps.
"It was a disappointing result, but a huge positive for the group to be back playing a league game for the first time in 18 months," said Ricky King, U-17 head coach. "The impact of not playing competitive games can’t be underestimated. We will use the lessons of the game today to help us to continue to grow and improve.”
The U-15s and U-17s now get set for their first road matches in MLS NEXT, as they travel to Utah to face Real Salt Lake on October 9.