Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams travel to California to continue their United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) seasons this weekend.
On Saturday, the 'Caps U-18s and U-16s take on Cal Odyssey at College of the Sequoias Turf Field before heading to San Jose to take on the Earthquakes Academy teams on Sunday at Mustang Soccer Complex.
The U-18s currently find themselves in third place in the West Conference, Northwest Division with a 6W-5L-1D record. They kickoff at 10 a.m PT. on Saturday against Cal Odyssey U-17/18, who currently hold a 2W-11L-0D record and are bottom of the league. At the opposite end of the table, sitting in first place are San Jose Earthquakes U-17/18, with a 9W-4L-0D record, who Whitecaps FC play on Sunday with kickoff at 11 a.m. PT.
Craig Dalrymple’s U-16s also find themselves third in the table with a 6W-4L-2D record. They will take on Cal Odyssey (3W-8L-2D) at 12:30 p.m. PT on Saturday. The Odyssey are second to bottom in the league. On Sunday the U-16s play at 1:30 p.m. PT, taking on the sixth placed San Jose Earthquakes.
There was additional good news for the Residency program this week with goalkeeper Marco Carducci, defender Alex Comsia, midfield pair Kianz Froese and Marco Bustos, and strikers Matthew Chow and Jordan Haynes all called up to Canada's U-17 men's national team for an upcoming training camp.
Gordon Forrest’s team have been in fine goalscoring form in 2013, having registered a 9-0 victory against San Juan Soccer Club in a league encounter two weeks ago and then putting four past Crossfire Premier in last weekend’s friendly win.
While Forrest will miss the matches while away at a coaching conference, he is relishing the chance for his U-18 squad to test themselves again, specifically top of the table San Jose.
“This will be a good test to come up against another MLS franchise’s youth team and prove themselves against that type of competition,” said Forrest. “It’ll be an exciting task for the boys, especially against San Jose.
“It’s quite an extensive trip for the boys, they’re going to be covering a long distance in a short period of time and we have to make sure we do our job well in the first match in order to give us a chance to get ready for the second match.”
The U-16s are unbeaten since returning from the Christmas break, having recorded a 0-0 draw in the league against San Juan Soccer Club before drawing 4-4 in a friendly against Crossfire Premier last weekend with a brace apiece for Aymar Sigue and debutant Andy Xu.
Coach Dalrymple is looking to test the depth of his squad with the doubleheader and will be giving opportunities to some of the younger players at his disposal.
“Two games with heat, two games with a lot of travel, the players can’t be expected to play at optimum back-to-back for full games so we’ll definitely give young players throughout the squad the opportunity to play,” said Dalrymple. “We’re taking seven 1998-born players and for them it’s a good opportunity. It’s leading towards our philosophy of rewarding young players who have done well in their own age group.”