Whitecaps youth teams set for summer

Vancouver Whitecaps FC have announced youth teams for the summer of 2008. The Whitecaps will field seven teams with a focus on the U-11, U-12 and U-18 boys and girls age groups that include a professional training program and tournament schedule.  The U-11 and U-12 Boys teams will embark on a European tour to Holland, while the U-11 and U-12 Girls teams will challenge for the Surf Cup in San Diego. The U-18 Boys and U-18 Girls will both participate in the Pacific Coast League in addition to the Surf Cup in California. The Whitecaps U-18 Girls Travel Team kicks off this summer program with an exciting trip to Toronto, Ontario, to participate in the Umbro Invitational College Showcase tournament. All Whitecaps youth teams are coached by Boys head coach Bart Choufour and Girls head coach Jesse Symons.  Mark Pennington is the team coach for the U-18 Girls Travel team. Whitecaps youth teams are selected in April from the Whitecaps U-11 to U-18 Prospects training program from September to March. The U-13 to U-16 age group players have the opportunity to be selected to BCSA provincial teams or Whitecaps affiliate Super Y-League teams. Whitecaps U-18 Girls Travel Team This Umbro Showcase event sees upwards of 30 college coaches from around North America scout players from clubs across Canada and the northeast US. The team opens with a special exhibition match to kick off the tournament on May 16th against the Toronto Lady Lynx W-League team. With three games over the weekend against other strong U-18 teams, including the Oshawa Kicks and Dixie Saints from Ontario, and the Lac St. Louis Lakers from Quebec, the girls are sure to be tested in this showcase event. After returning from Toronto, the U-18 Travel Team will play matches against local women’s teams in preparation for their second travel tournament of the program when they will be competing in the Nike Crossfire Challenge in the Seattle, Washington, area in July. Whitecaps U-18 Girls The Whitecaps U18 Girls is a team designed to develop and profile players throughout the province for university, college, national and European opportunities. This Whitecaps BCSA team will also provide transition opportunities to the Whitecaps women's team. The Whitecaps U-18's will compete in 16 Pacific Coast Soccer League matches and have already started league play away to the Victoria Stars on May 10, resulting in a 3-1 loss. The Girls will wrap up with an exciting trip to southern California, where they will play in the prestigious Nike Surf Cup tournament in San Diego. Whitecaps U-11 and U-12 Girls The U11 and U12 girls have also begun extensive training for summer events. On May 22, the U12 girls head to Portland for the weekend to participate in the Nike Friendship Cup, a tournament that sees ODP and provincial teams compete in high level competition. The U12 girls will also play in the Surf Cup along with the U11 girls from July 26-28. The U11 girls also play friendly matches throughout the summer culminating in the Nike Crossfire tournament in July alongside the U18 travel team. Whitecaps U-18 Boys The Whitecaps U-18 Boys is in partnership with the British Columbia Soccer Association and is designed to develop and profile players throughout the province for university, college, national and European opportunities. This Whitecaps BCSA team will also provide transition opportunities to the Whitecaps Men’s Residency program and Men’s professional team. The Whitecaps will play in the Pacific Coast Soccer League and have already begun league play with away losses at two established powerhouse PCSL clubs - a 2-0 defeat to defending champion Victoria United on May 10 and a 5-2 loss to provincial semifinalists' Vancouver Thunderbirds (UBC) on May 13. At the conclusion of the PCSL campaign, the U-18 boys will also compete in the Surf Cup in California from August 2-4. Whitecaps U-11 and U-12 Boys The U-11 and U-12 Boys have a busy schedule with training and friendly matches throughout the summer, finishing with a great two-week trip in August to the Netherlands, where they will train with guest coaches from Dutch professional clubs. They will also take part in a series of exhibition games against top European competition at the youth facilities of professional clubs, including VVV Venlo (August 15), Vitesse Arnhem (August 17), NEC Nijmegen (August 19), FC Utrecht (August 20), PSV Eindhoven (August 21), and Volendam (August 26). The Whitecaps will also participate in the Hollandia tournament – August 16, and The “Good old” tournament – August 23 & 24.