In their first set of matches of the weekend, Vancouver Whitecaps FC residency teams both got positive results in United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) action against USSDA West Conference, Northwest Division rivals De Anza Force. The U-18 Residency side (14W-4L-3D) started the day off with a 3-2 victory, followed by the U-16 Residency squad (13W-5L-3D) completing the positive run with a 3-1 win.
A busy weekend for the 'Caps Residency squads, Sunday sees them face off against another division foe, Santa Cruz Breakers in Southern California. These matches will have huge playoff implications for both Residency squads. Whitecaps U-18 Residency squad start things off at 11 a.m. PT versus Santa Cruz Breaker’s U-17/18 squad, followed by the U-16 Residency squad taking to the pitch for a 1:30 p.m. PT match against the Santa Cruz U-15/16 side.
The U-18 Residency squad are now one win closer to clinching a playoff spot after defeating De Anza force 3-2 today and maintaining a six game winning streak. Under pressure from De Anza in the first half, the 'Caps squad struggled to find chances in addition to struggling with the 32° Celsius heat of Southern California. The squad was trailing by two goals after the first 42’. Yassin Essa would help cut that lead just before the break to make it 2-1.
But the team showed it’s mettle and came back out on the pitch rejuvenated, with Essa scoring again and leveling the score just six minutes into the second half at 48’. With the playoffs on the horizon the team was not content with just the point and pressed on. That pressure caused De Anza Force to turn-over the ball off a great steal by Wesley Cain who slotted it for Caleb Clarke to tap in after 70’.
“We struggled to get chances in the first half but the team showed a lot of character after the break,” said Whitecaps FC residency technical director and head coach Richard Grootscholten. “From the start of the second half it was a completely different game. We pressed them hard from the start and were able to recover. I'm absolutely happy with the result.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-18
Callum Irving; Jason Van Blerk, Daniel Stanese, Declan Rodriguez, Adam Polakiewicz; Bryce Alderson, Ben Mckendry (Alex Rowley 72'), Yassin Essa (Spencer DeBoice 68'), Ben Fisk (Wesley Cain 55'); Caleb Clarke, Carlos Marquez (Carlos Patino 65')
Whitecaps FC U-16 residency squad also got the result they were looking for, defeating De Anza Force U-15/16 squad 3-1.
Midfielder Sebastian Cabrera opened the books for Whitecaps FC in the 32’ off a corner kick. The game was fairly tight throughout but with the end of the match nearing, both teams pressed on the attack. The 'Caps would score first with Brody Huitema connecting with a cross from Matthew Chow to double the advantage. Refusing to give up, De Anza Force got one back in the 82’ minute, but Matthew Chow would get the insurance goal in extra time to make it 3-1.
“It was a 3-1 win against a very combative, hard working team,” explained residency assistant technical director Craig Dalrymple. “We had a good game plan going into the match and the players executed that which shows a lot of growth on the tactical side of things. So a pretty great road win and we'll see what they can accomplish tomorrow.”
Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency U-16
Nolan Wirth; Mattherw van der Eyden, Jackson Farmer, Sam Adekugbe (Elijah Adekugbe 60'), Quinton Duncan; Liam Elbourne (MatteoBordignon 80'), Mitch Piraux, Sebastian Cabrera (Parker Ellis 64'), Matthew Chow; Said Jalali (Kalifala Konneh 52'), Brody Huitema