Playing in their third last match of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League (PDL) season, Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23 (6W-5L-3D) defeated Northwest Division rivals North Sound SeaWolves FC (4W-10L-0D) at Swangard Stadium in Burnaby, BC, on Friday evening.
"We had to get the win tonight and we pushed hard from the opening whistle," said U-23 'Caps head coach Craig Dalrymple to whitecapsfc.com. "We set a good tempo to the game and pressed them as high as we could. We created a lot of opportunities and went two up in the first half and then we came out in the second half with two quick goals in five minutes and put the game to bed."
It was a perfect evening for soccer in Burnaby without a cloud in the sky and a strong turnout of devoted fans on hand for the Friday night match. The play was equally as unobstructed with some quick back and forth between the rival sides. But the ‘Caps clearly appeared the dominant of the two teams, dictating the quick pace of the match and keeping the SeaWolves on their heels throughout. Despite a smattering of attempts on the counter attack, the ‘Caps would help goalkeeper Nolan Wirth earn a shutout in his first match for the U-23 squad this season. Wirth, who usually plays with Whitecaps FC’s U-16 Residency team, was stepping in for ‘Caps goalkeepers Callum Irving and Lucas Menz, as they prepare for the U-18 United States Soccer Development Academy playoffs in just over a week’s time.
Whitecaps FC striker Coulton Jackson would get on the scoreboard first in the 33rd minute, easily tapping in the ball off the goal line after a headed ball by James Farenhorst from the top of the six-yard box.
The ‘Caps would continue to turn the screws of the SeaWolves, scoring a second time only 11 minutes later when Gagandeep Dosanjh played a perfectly weighted through ball directly into the path of a streaking Cam Hundal, who cooly slotted it past North Sound goalkeeper Andrew Wildfong. Hundal’s blazing speed would continue to cause problems throughout, as the SeaWolves struggled to contain him on the right flank.
Whitecaps FC would serve up more of the same in the second half. Carlos Marquez performed a spectacular bicycle kick, which the SeaWolves keeper made an equally spectacular save on, but spilled it right into the path of Jackson, who tapped it in to earn himself a brace.
The Blue & White would finally put the match well out of reach for North Sound only moments later, as Bobby Jhutty struck a piledriver into the top left meshing from a good 25 yards out.
With the ‘Caps firing on all cylinders, it was an impressive performance indeed which can only help their run at a playoff position. "The boys are hungry enough to want to win out the season," explained Dalrymple, "and I think they've got a good chance to do it."
Whitecaps FC U-23 remain on home turf for both their final remaining two matches, beginning with another clash this Sunday at 12 noon PT against Victoria Highlanders FC at Minoru Oval Park in Richmond, BC. Following that, the U-23 'Caps wrap up their PDL campaign against Fraser Valley Mariners FC at Swangard on Wednesday night, July 11, in their final PDL match of the season.
33' - VAN - Coulton Jackson (James Farenhorst)
44' - VAN - Cam Hundal (Gagan Dosanjh)
48' - VAN - Coulton Jackson
49' - VAN - Bobby Jhutty
Shots: North Sound 8 – Vancouver 21
Saves: North Sound 5 – Vancouver 4
Fouls: North Sound 13 – Vancouver 9
Offsides: North Sound 3 – Vancouver 8
Corners: North Sound 3 – Vancouver 8
74’ – NS – Tody Tolo
77’ – NS – Christian Strangis
79’ – NS – Gene Tibbets
Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-23
1.Nolan Wirth; 9.Alex Marrello, 4.Shawn Parkes (20.Tyrin Hutchings 60’), 2.James Farenhorst, 11.Reynold Stewart; 5.Bobby Jhutty, 3.Kianz Froese (12.Declan Rodriguez 67’); 18.Cam Hundal, 16.Gagan Dosanjh, 17.Coulton Jackson (19.Sang Hwang 72’); 6.Carlos Marquez (24.Raegyn Hall 88’)
North Sound SeaWolves FC
1.Andrew Wildfong; 24.Giancarlo Santoro, 4.Gene Tibbets, 2.Christian Strangis, 30.David Hill; 23.Andrew Hill (15.Mitch Kim 46’), 8.Junpei Tsuji, 5.Derick Chaney (11.Michael Axelson 56’), 7.Ibukunoluwa Modupe-ojo; 10.Nayir Rodriguez (20.Tody Tolo 56’), 3.Jesse Klug (19.Josh Otusanya 56’)
Substitutes not used: 0.Elmer Rodriguez