There were contrasting fortunes for Whitecaps FC Residency teams as they took on San Diego Surf at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington on Saturday.
The U-18s romped to an emphatic 5-1 victory against their San Diego counterparts whilst the U-16s were undone by an early flurry of goals as they lost 3-0.
Following today's matches, both teams will head back to Bellingham tomorrow to take on Nomads SC.
Whitecaps FC (11W-6L-2D) showed their dominance against San Diego throughout the match and could have won by a greater margin.
They opened the scoring on 21 minutes as some good combination play found Spencer Deboice on the edge of the area and the striker unleashed a powerful shot to beat the goalkeeper.
Deboice then combined well with Sam Adekugbe three minutes later and the defender broke behind the San Diego backline before laying the ball off for Yassin Essa to double the lead.
After the break, Adekugbe got on the scoresheet himself with an impressive solo effort as he broke out of the defence and carried the ball into the area, keeping his composure as he applied the finish on 72 minutes.
Six minutes later Whitecaps FC grabbed a fourth as Essa managed to get behind the defence and, despite being in a position to score, unselfishly played the ball wide to Mitch Piraux who applied the finish.
San Diego managed to get a consolation with three minutes remaining but the victory was wrapped up in style as Essa was played in to calmly slot the ball past the goalkeeper in the final minute.
Coach Gordon Forrest was impressed with the sides ability to keep working hard through the full 90 minutes.
"It was good to score a few goals from some very good possession and good opportunities and we created even more opportunities than the five goals we scored," said Forrest.
"The opposition tried to stop our guys playing and they worked hard as well so that's credit to our boys for keeping at it, playing through them and working that little bit harder than the opposition. You've got to give a lot of credit to our players for how they moved the ball about and the chances that they did create so it's pleasing to see that when you're working on certain things at training, that they take that onto the field as well."
Whitecaps FC U-18 lineup:
Sean Melvin; Matthew van der Eyden (Quinton Duncan 70'), Jackson Farmer, Nicholas Prasad (Alexander Comsia 46'), Sam Adekugbe; Mitch Piraux, Marco Bustos, Kianz Forese (Sebastian Cabrera 46'); Yassin Essa, Titouan Chopin (Matthew Chow 60'), Spencer Deboice (Jordan Haynes 70')
The U-16s (6W-11L-2D) were beaten by three first half goals as they took a while to get into the match.
After seven minutes San Diego opened the scoring with a well-taken goal after playing the ball behind the Whitecaps FC defence and they quickly added another two on 22 minutes and 32 minutes.
With the side trailing 3-0 at half-time, the players regrouped and performed far better after the break, dominating possession.
There were strong claims for a penalty early in the second half as Aymar Sigue made a run into the box and was brought down by a San Diego defender. The referee waved play on despite the defender appearing to pass back to the goalkeeper as well.
Whitecaps FC continued to pressurise their opponents and came close to an equaliser on 65 minutes when A.J. Lopez drove down the right flank, cut inside and drove the ball hard across the 18-yard box. The cross came to Joshua Cuthbert but the defender could only direct his shot straight at the goalkeeper.
Time was running out for Whitecaps FC when another opportunity went begging and a low cross that was cut back for Daniel Sagno bounced awkwardly and the substitute's effort was saved comfortably to keep the final score at 3-0 to San Diego.
Dalrymple saw an improvement in the players in the second half and hopes that they can take away a valuable lesson from the match.
"First half we weren't quite ready in the mental aspect of the game to deal with an opponent like we saw today and once we figured that out and regrouped mentally at halftime they were much more positive in the second half," commented Dalrymple. "There are things to learn from the first half and positives to take away from the second half."
"Part of the young players' development is that they have to know how to prepare themselves mentally for each training session and each game they play, and for whatever reason today too many of them were off the pace of the game, both mentally and physically in the first half. Their quality wasn't good enough and they got exposed for that so tomorrow hopefully they'll recognize that and do a better job on preparation."
Whitecaps FC U-16 lineup:
Marco Carducci; Matthew Baldisimo (Matteo Bordignon 40'), Vagelli Boucas, Evan Libke (Erik Morden 40'), Eric De Graaf ; Jeevin Kang; Francesco Saporito (Aymar Sigue 40'), David Norman (Daniel Sagno 40'); Tommy Gardner; Dario Zanatta (A.J. Lopez 65'), Terran Campbell (Joshua Cuthbert 65')