Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams are back on the field for United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) action this weekend after a pair of successful results at home two weekends ago. The teams will be rearing to go after missing out on an opportunity to play last weekend against Crossfire Premier in Washington State after a cancellation due to bad weather conditions.
This weekend the ‘Caps will be competing on home turf for the second time in 2012 and hoping to maintain their undefeated home record when they compete against fellow West Conference Northwest Division foes San Jose Earthquakes at Newton Athletic park in Surrey, British Columbia on Saturday.
The U-18 Residency squad (9W-4L-3D) will play first at 9:30 a.m. PT versus San Jose’s U-17/18 squad, followed by the U-16 Residency squad (10W-4L-2D) opposing San Jose’s U-15/16 side at 12 p.m. PT.
"It's great to have a home match again. We haven't had a lot of home matches until now and at our last home matches we did well with both teams,” explained Residency technical director Richard Gootscholten. “The U-18’s will also be eager to play San Jose again after we lost to them in the final minutes last time. I’m looking forward to it."
Whitecaps U-18 residency squad will look to build on their 2-1 win against Strikers FC U-17/18 at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey two weekends ago. It was a welcome victory for the ‘Caps, as they’d uncharacteristically gone four matches without a win going into the encounter. Though they won, the team still expects to improve as the season progresses.
“I was not unhappy with the result, because we needed a win and that is good for the team,” said Richard Grootscholten, Whitecaps FC Residency technical director and head coach to whitecapsfc.com after the last match. “I was not so happy with the performance. We have some things to work on that we’ll show them on video. We created chances, but we have to score more goals, and our defending can also be better. We’ll work towards that for this next match.”
Grootscholten will continue to work with the squad in hopes of developing players for the first team after recently seeing goalkeepers Callum Irving and Sean Melvin, midfielder Bryce Alderson, and striker Caleb Clarke train with the Whitecaps FC MLS squad as they continue their preseason training in Orlando Florida.
The U-16 Residency squad will look to notch their fifth win in their past six matches after continuing their outstanding play in their last match, a 5-1 win versus Strikers FC U-15/16 at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey. In their past three matches, the young ‘Caps have scored 13 goals while only conceding one. Striker Brody Huitema also continued his terrific form with two goals last match, bringing his season total to 14 goals in 15 matches played.
“It’s obviously pleasing to see the team perform like this,” said Residency assistant technical director and assistant head coach Craig Dalrymple to whitecapsfc.com after the last match. “I think we’ve built on the last couple of road trips that we’ve had. What we have in this group is a bunch of players with the mentality and hunger to want to compete and win matches. The confidence that they’ve built is starting to show.”
Following this Saturday’s matchup, Whitecaps FC Residency squads settle in for two more sets of matches at home, defending their turf against the San Francisco Bay area’s De Anza Force on March 24th and second against Pateadores on March 31st.