VANCOUVER, BC – Whitecaps FC Residency teams will be playing for local supremacy this weekend, taking on Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders FC at the 2013 Whitecaps FC Showcase at Newton Athletic Park on Saturday as they continue their United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) campaigns.
The U-18s sit in second place in the West Conference, Northwest Division with a 12W-6L-2D record and face a tough test against Seattle who are currently top with a 11W-3L-5D record. Both teams are currently on 38 points but Seattle edge out Whitecaps FC for top spot on account of their greater Points-per-Games-Played record having played a single match less. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. PT on Field #1 at Newton Athletic Park.
Whitecaps FC U-16s team are currently sixth in the West Conference, Northwest Division and hold a 6W-11L-3D record going into Saturday’s match with Seattle, who are second in the table with a 10W-3L-6D record. The match follows the U-18 game on Field #1 at Newton Athletic Park with kickoff at 2:30 p.m. PT.
Ahead of the crunch matches, there was good news for Whitecaps FC Residency teams as six residency players were selected for the Canadian men’ U-17 team ahead of the upcoming 2013 CONCACAF U-17 Championship being held in Panama.
Following three convincing victories on the bounce, the U-18s will be looking to continue their fine form against the league leaders. Last time out they recorded a 5-1 win against San Diego Surf followed by a 4-0 win against Nomads SC.
Coach Gordon Forrest is looking forward to how his team reacts to the mental challenges of playing a local rival as well as a fellow MLS outfit.
“There’s a first team rivalry and that filters down through the club, so in terms of players developing they need to know about the history and know about the rivalry,” said Forrest. “They need to be prepared to handle these types of situations so it’s a good challenge for them against a very good Seattle team. The players need to learn and they need to play against this type of good opposition and it allows us to assess the team on the technical and tactical side but also the mental side as well.”
Coach Craig Dalrymple saw his team collect a 1-1 draw against Nomads SC in the last match out and will be hoping his team can build on that result.
Dalrymple is looking for his team to show that they have improved since the two teams last met in 2012.
“My benchmark for the boys is that they need to perform better,” commented Dalrymple. “Have they improved from the last time we played Seattle, which was in November? In my opinion we have and the performance is up to them now.
“They need to take responsibility for their performance and show that they have improved not only as individuals but collectively as a unit, as a squad, and I’m very optimistic that they will. The litmus test for our boys is to perform and show that they have progressed and evolved since the match in November.”
Following this weekend's matches, Whitecaps FC Residency teams face another Cascadia rival as they travel to Portland to take on the Timbers academy sides on April 6.