It was a busy weekend for Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-14 Residency squads, as they took to the field in sunny San Jose, California, for the President’s Day Showcase to take on fellow pre-academy squads from Major League Soccer clubs LA Galaxy, hosts San Jose Earthquakes, and Portland Timbers.
Overall, the 1997-born U-14 group finished with a record of 1W-1L-1D, while the 1998-born U-14 squad ended the tournament at 2W-1L-0D.
Saturday, February 18, vs. LA Galaxy
It was a tough start to the tournament for the young ‘Caps, as they took on two very strong LA Galaxy squads. The ‘97s were defeated in the first match 5-1, with defender Evan Libke scoring a goal for the ‘Caps on a penalty kick. The ‘98s, meanwhile, fell to their California counterparts 3-0 in the second match.
Sunday, February 19, vs. San Jose Earthquakes
The ‘Caps were back on the field quickly, as they played their second set of matches against hosts San Jose Earthquakes. A goal from striker A.J. Lopez in the third minute and a pair of goals from striker Patrick Izett in the second half paced the ‘97s to a 3-0 win. The ‘98s followed with a 4-2 win off of goals from striker Rahid Rahiem, midfielder Liam Fraser, striker Terran Campbell, and Sam Lee.
Monday, February 20, vs. Portland Timbers
The final day of the tournament saw the ‘Caps finish strong against Portland Timbers. Midfielder Francesco Saporito scored to help the 97s to a 1-1 draw before Rahid Rahiem and striker Zachary Verhoven scored to send the ‘98s to a 2-1 win.
“To have these tournaments against really good teams that are the same age is invaluable,” said Bart Choufour, Whitecaps FC Residency U-14 head coach. “Obviously, we started with a tough day, but the boys really raised their level every match and improved throughout the weekend. It was a great learning experience.”
The U-14 Residency squads play their next pre-academy tournament in May when they travel to Portland for the Memorial Day Showcase.