On a perfect day at the 2013 Whitecaps FC Boys Showcase, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams earned a win and a loss against rivals Seattle Sounders FC Academy at Surrey’s Newton Athletic Park.
Supporters from Curva Collective and the Southsiders filled the stands to watch the U-18 side battle to an exciting 1-0 win, while the U-16s saw an early lead slip and eventually fell to a 3-1 defeat.
With first place in the West Conference, Northwest Division on the line, Whitecaps FC U-18s came away with a hard-fought 1-0 with against their Seattle Sounders FC Academy counterparts.
The ‘Caps had the better of the play throughout the first half, generating chances through Marco Bustos and Mitch Piraux, and free kick opportunities from Spencer DeBoice and Yassin Essa.
The boys in White thought they’d have a chance at opening the scoring in the 28th minute when Bustos appeared to be taken down in the box, but the referee deemed the foul to have occurred just outside the area. The ensuing free kick from DeBoice was blocked by the Sounders wall.
The second half saw the visitors come out strong. Seattle nearly scored on 67 minutes when they found an open shot in the box only to see it ring off the crossbar. Three minutes later they had themselves a break down the left flank, but Marco Carducci came up with an outstanding diving save before Jackson Farmer cleared the rebound attempt off the line.
After holding off the Sounders attack, Whitecaps FC finally put one on the board. Essa collected the ball on the right, cut in and fired a low strike into the bottom corner to give the home side a 1-0 lead.
Seattle would continue to press and nearly found an equalizer on 78 minutes when a long strike bounced off the turf and struck the post.
In the end, the ‘Caps held on for an entertaining win over their rivals, and head coach Gordon Forrest was pleased to see the effort put forth from his squad.
“It was a really good performance,” said Forrest. “We spoke beforehand about getting ready mentally and preparing for these types of occasions. The rivalry between the clubs filters down to the youth side, and the way they prepared and showed their passion and desire brought out some really good play.
“And what a difference it makes to have all the supporters out,” continued Forrest. “We’d really like to thank them for coming out. It lifts our players and pushes them on, so a massive thank you to them.”
Whitecaps FC U-18 lineup
Marco Carducci; Matthew Van der Eyden (Quinton Duncan ’80), Nicholas Prasad (Alex Comsia 89’), Jackson Farmer, Sam Adekugbe; Liam Elbourne, Mitch Piraux; Yassin Essa, Marco Bustos, Spencer DeBoice; Titouan Chopin
A doubleheader victory for the ‘Caps was not to be on Saturday, as the U-16s fell 3-1.
An early mistake from the Sounders gave Jordan Haynes a clear opportunity in front of net, and after being unable to bury his first attempt, he made no mistake on the second to give the home side an early 1-0 advantage.
Seattle responded from that early deficit and challenged Whitecaps FC goalkeeper William Diaz, but he did well to make a low save as the ‘Caps went into the break with their lead intact.
Early in the second half the visitors found an equalizer, and not long after that they took the lead after some defensive lapses from a young Vancouver squad.
The Sounders then found a third goal on a well-played cross and lovely volley to make the final score 3-1.
After the match, head coach Craig Dalrymple evaluated the performance of his youthful group.
“We played a real good first 20 minutes and last 20 minutes,” stated Dalrymple. “After we took the lead we lost belief in our gameplan a bit and conceded some preventable goals, but as the game went on we found our belief again. It was pleasing to see our youngest players perform well, with mostly ‘97s and ‘98s out there by the end of it, while Seattle’s team featured mostly ‘96-born players."
Seeing the stands filled with support for his troops was also important for the young ‘Caps.
“It was brilliant to see so many fans and supporters out there,” continued Dalrymple. “It’s important that they recognize that this club is a big part of the community, and the community was out in full force today, so it was a great experience for them.”
Whitecaps FC U-16 lineup
William Diaz; Matteo Bordignon, Eric de Graaf (Matthew Baldisimo 62’), Vagelli Boucas (A.J. Lopez 50’), John Kasper; Francesco Sporito (David Norman 50’), Jeevin Kang, Dario Zanatta (Daniel Sagno 40’); Matthew Chow (Andy Xu 60’), Aymar Sigue (Joshua Cuthbert 70’), Jordan Haynes