VANCOUVER, BC – After a weekend in California, Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency return to the Pacific Northwest for an away match against Cascadia rivals Seattle Sounders FC. Both the U-18 and U-16 teams will look to stay atop their respective Northwest Divisions in the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA).
The ‘Caps will take to the pitch against Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, January 24. The U-18s will kickoff at 1 p.m. PT with the U-16s taking to the pitch at 3:30 p.m. PT. Both matches take place at Valley Ridge Field 2 in SeaTac, Washington.
Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency (12W-1L-3D) are ranked first in the Northwest Division, adding to their fourth ranked position in the USSDA.
Last weekend, Whitecaps FC recorded one win and one draw, going undefeated against California opponents without conceding a goal. The ‘Caps saw a 2-0 win vs. Strikers FC and a 0-0 draw with Pateadores.
Seattle Sounders FC U-18 Residency (11W-4L-1D) are ranked second in the Northwest Division, only five points behind Vancouver. Seattle split their last two matches with a 2-0 win against Chivas USA and a 2-0 loss to LA Galaxy.
The Blue and White will again be without the players who recently represented Canada at the CONCACAF U-20 Championships, including captain Marco Bustos, who was named Man of the Match in Canada’s first game, Jordan Haynes, Kianz Froese, and goalkeeper Carducci.
Head coach Niall Thompson isn’t looking at his missing players as a problem, but as an opportunity for others on the team to step up.
“Sunday's performance versus Pateatores was excellent," noted Thompson. "We played some great football and created many chances, which unfortunately we couldn't capitalize.
"I think the boys are really looking forward to this game," continued Thompson. "We'll do our homework and hopefully it pays off. Having Seattle this weekend will challenge the boys. We know Seattle well, as it's our closest rival, and of course the history between the clubs. Again, it's another chance for players to step up and deliver on last weekend's effort.”
Comparable to their older colleagues, Whitecaps FC U-16 Residency (10W-2L-4D) sit atop the Northwest Division and are eighth overall in the USSDA standings.
While in California last weekend, the Blue and White finished with one win and one loss. The ‘Caps win came Sunday after defeating Paleadores 3-0, whereas on Saturday they fell 2-0 to Strikers FC.
Seattle Sounders FC U-16 Residency (7W-6L-3D) currently are positioned in fourth in the Northwest Division. Similar to their U-18 counterparts, Seattle finished with one win against Chivas USA (2-1) and one loss to LA Galaxy (3-1) while in California.
Head coach Rich Fagan knows his players will not need much motivation for this weekend’s match up against Sounders FC.
“Seattle are always a difficult opponent," said Fagan. "They are aggressive and extremely hardworking. It’s also a derby match, so there is a little bit more in it for the players.”