BELLINGHAM, WA- Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams showed great character in a pair of positive results versus San Juan Soccer Club. The U-18 squad improved to 8W-2L-0D with a comfortable 1-0 win while the U-16 side drew 1-1 to boost their record to 4W-2L-2D.
The Blue and White now have next weekend off, before hosting Portland Timbers’ academy squads on November 9.
After coming up just short against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, the boys bounced back with a 1-0 victory over San Juan SC at Whatcom Community College. It was the second meeting of the season between the two sides- Whitecaps FC downed San Juan 3-1 in their season opener.
The Blue and White’s first chance of the afternoon came in the first 15 minutes. Kyle Jones’ well-crossed ball found Mason James on the far post, but Jones’ effort sailed marginally high of the goal.
Minutes later, the 'Caps found their goal. Dario Zanatta latched onto a ball slipped from James before placing it past San Juan’s goalkeeper to make it 1-0
From there, the boys dictated the pace of the match, controlling possession well against a side set up to counterattack against them.
With 10 minutes left to play, William Diaz made a sprawling save to keep out a good strike on goal from San Juan to retain his clean sheet.
Assistant coach Steve Meadley - leading the squad with head coach Gordon Forrest away in the United Arab Emirates for a visit to the FIFA U-17 World Cup - was glad to see his side respond positively after dropping points the day before.
“It was an absolute excellent response from yesterday’s disappointment. That was the task today, to learn from yesterday’s mistakes and come out today to rectify those, which the boys did,” said Meadley. “Their spirit and commitment to the cause was much better today and it showed in their focus and in their play.”
On a cloudy afternoon in Bellingham, WA, Rich Fagan’s boys battled San Juan SC to a 1-1 stalemate.
After a cagey opening half an hour to the match, the first half concluded with a period of frantic action.
First, the visitors broke the deadlock on 38 minutes.
Not to be outdone, the Blue and White showed great character to equalize a minute after conceding. The goal came from Daniel Sagno, his third goal of the season. The Winnipeg native was the recipient of a great pass from David Norman.
On 40 minutes, a San Juan player was sent off for a reckless tackle.
The 'Caps nearly capitalized on the man advantage in the 44th minute. Marcello Pololisi was pulled down in the box, but unfortunately the ensuing penalty was saved by the 'keeper.
Whitecaps FC controlled the run of play for much of the second half but were unable to find the go-ahead goal.
Head coach Rich Fagan was pleased with the boys effort and praised their strong start to the match.
“The boys probably played their best football of the season in the first half and did enough to win the game,” Fagan told whitecapsfc.com “The effort and performance was there and the players emptied their tank. We couldn’t ask for much more.”