On the second day of this year’s United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) Winter Showcase, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams registered mixed results versus Concorde Fire from Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday.
In warm and windy conditions at the Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch, Florida, the U-18 Residency side earned a 1-0 victory over Concorde Fire U-17/18’s, while the U-16 Residency squad suffered a 2-1 defeat versus Concorde Fire U-15/16’s.
It was the second non-conference match that the young Blue and White squads played at the Winter Showcase in as many days, with both teams earning draws against the highly-touted FC Dallas Academy on Friday.
Playing a physical and committed Concorde Fire U-17/18 side, the U-18 Residency team claimed victory with a fine goal from recent Canadian U-20 national team call-up Caleb Clarke. On 27 minutes, ‘Caps defender Daniel Stanese fed Clarke in behind the Fire backline before the Richmond, BC, native finished his chance well for the match winner.
“We had a great first 20 to 25 minutes, as we played with pace and looked good in possession,” Residency technical director and head coach Richard Grootscholten told whitecapsfc.com. “Concorde Fire were an unbelievably tough team to play against, as they were aggressive, hard, and direct. It’s not easy to play against those types of teams. Though we didn’t score a second goal, we had the quality to see the game out today.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-18
Callum Irving; Jason van Blerk (Declan Rodriguez 20’), Tim Hickson, Daniel Stanese, Adam Polakiewicz; Ben McKendry, Alex Rowley, Carlos Marquez (Bryce Alderson 75’); Wesley Cain (Carlos Patino 80’), Ben Fisk (Spencer DeBoice 60’), Caleb Clarke (Yassin Essa 66’)
Subs not used: Nolan Wirth
The U-16 Residency side made a good start to their second match at the Winter Showcase, as they took the lead on 25 minutes through winger Titouan Chopin’s well-struck shot from 25 yards out. However, the young ‘Caps were unable to build on their halftime lead, as a big and mature-looking Concorde Fire U-15/16 side levelled matters on 50 minutes before striking the match winner four minutes later.
“We have a young and inexperienced U-16 team, so right now, there are some inconsistencies to their play,” Grootscholten said. “They found today’s game to be a tough one, as we faced a physically strong team, with two big strikers up front. We struggled to keep possession in midfield and they pressed us high up the pitch. We had one or two chances to equalize, but we couldn’t find a second goal. As tough as it was, it’s good for the players to play these types of games and learn that we still have a lot of work to do.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-16
Marco Carducci; Quinton Duncan, Alex Comsia, Sam Adekugbe, Matthew van der Eyden; Mitch Piraux, Elijah Adekugbe (Sebastian Cabrera 40’), Marco Bustos (A.J. Lopez 57’); Titouan Chopin (Brian Im 70’), Ali Musse (Francesco Saporito 66’), Brody Huitema
Subs not used: Jasdeep Lally, Evan Libke