Vancouver Whitecaps U-12 and U-13 Boys teams performed well during weekend tournaments in the Netherlands.
The U-12 side were at the Yerseke Mosselen Tournament, where the team finished fourth in the competition, while the U-13 side claimed third place at the prestigious 'Good Old Tournament' in Holland.
Both teams have one more encounter before returning home from their European trip. They travel to Germany to face their age-group counterparts from Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.
Whitecaps U-12 Boys - Yerseke Mosselen Tournament
Vancouver Whitecaps U-12 Boys finished fourth at Yerseke Mosselen Tournament in the Netherlands this past weekend.
Having seen his U-13 side win the same Dutch youth tournament last year, head coach Bart Choufour looked to defend the title with his current crop of U-12 players, with tournament matches only 20 minutes in length.
Needing to finish in the top two of their four-team group, the Whitecaps started their tournament campaign with a 1-0 win over FC Den Bosch U-12's. Aidan Moore finished off a pinpoint Russell Coffin cross to secure their first win.
Vancouver's second match ended in a goalless draw with their U-12 counterparts from Dutch Eredivisie club Roda JC Kerkrade. Despite dominating the game, the young 'Caps had to settle for a point.
The last group game was against the Zeeland U-13 provincial team. Zeeland is the only province in the Netherlands that does not have a professional club and, as a result, runs a development program for its best young players. The Whitecaps ended their group stage with another 0-0 draw, though Merlin Fisk had the best of the goalscoring opportunities for the Canadian visitors.
As a result, the Whitecaps took second place in their group and moved on to join Ajax U-12/U-13 B combination, and the U-13 sides of Fortuna Sittard, Zeeland province, UNION, and Sparta Rotterdam in the next stage.
After being grouped with UNION and Fortuna Sittard, the Whitecaps defeated UNION 1-0 on a Daniel Pervan penalty after Fisk was taken down in the box following a penetrating forward run.
After a goalless draw with Fortuna Sittard, the Whitecaps had to wait for the result of the UNION versus Fortuna Sittard match before knowing if they had reached the tournament final or the third-place match. Fortuna Sittard went on to defeat UNION 3-0 to reach the final, and thus put the Whitecaps in the third-place game with Zeeland province.
After drawing with Zeeland in the group stage, Vancouver fell 2-0 and had to settle for a fourth place finish. Fortuna Sittard, meanwhile, took the title in a penalty shootout versus Ajax U-12/U-13 B combination.
Whitecaps U-13 Boys – Good Old Tournament
Vancouver Whitecaps U-13 Boys finished third at the Good Old Tournament in the Netherlands over the weekend.
Bart Choufour's side were grouped in one of four groups of four to start their tournament campaign, with the top two teams advancing to the next stage. Tournament games were played over two 15-minute halves.
The U-13's first match was against Belgian club FC Kontich U-14's, with the 'Caps claiming a late 1-0 victory when Kyle Sohi converted Michael North's byline cross with two minutes remaining.
The next match came against ADO Den Haag U-13's, who had lost their opening tournament game. The Whitecaps were not at their best against the youngsters from The Hague, with goalkeeper Colten Cook needing to make a big stop late on to preserve a 0-0 draw.
A slow first half versus FC Den Bosch U-13's gave way to the Whitecaps claiming a 2-0 victory after the break, with Derek Santos volleying home the opening goal after taking Justin Virk's chipped pass with great control. Matthew Chow then chipped the Den Bosch goalkeeper for Vancouver's second goal after getting on the end of a superb through pass from Virk.
The win gave the Whitecaps top spot in the group, with Choufour's side advancing to meet the U-13 sides of German giants Werder Bremen, Danish club
Brondby, and Dutch side RBC Roosendaal in the next stage.
The Whitecaps started well with a 2-0 win over RBC. After out-shooting the Roosendaal youngsters seven to one in the first half, Vancouver took the lead when Chow took a pass from Santos before rounding the RBC keeper and making it 1-0. Chow then scored his second goal of the game when he headed home North's cross from the left for the two-goal victory.
Their next match proved to be an outstanding encounter against Brondby, despite the Whitecaps falling to a 1-0 defeat. Vancouver were unlucky to lose the contest, as Sohi and North struck the Danish club's crossbar during the match. Brondby's winner came on the counter-attack, with 'Caps goalkeeper Lucas Johnson having been beaten from a sharp angle. It was the U-13's first defeat on their European trip.
With a four-way tie in the group after two rounds of games, the Whitecaps missed out on the tournament final, despite beating Werder Bremen 1-0 on a goal by North. With Brondby beating RBC in their final group game, the Danes went through to the final on a tiebreaker after finishing level on six points with the Whitecaps.
It meant that Vancouver finished in third place, while Brondby comfortably won the tournament with a dominating performance in the final.