Academy Playoffs Preview: What to expect from the 'Caps U-19s & U-17s

Playoffs in June!

It’s an annual tradition as Vancouver Whitecaps FC Residency teams head down south for the Academy Playoffs.

The group stage takes place Monday, June 18 through Saturday, June 23 in Oceanside, California. Follow the results from the tournament on Twitter at @WFCResidency.

Here’s what you need to know about the tournament:

U-19

SEASON SO FAR: The U-19s finished second in the Northwest Division, and ranked 10th overall. A number of players have spent time training with the first team during the season.

PLAYOFF OPPONENTS: Fifth ranked Pateadores, 21st ranked New England Revolution, and 30th ranked Crew SC Academy Wolves.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Jose Hernandez (22 goals), Theo Bair (16 goals), and Jefferson Alade (10 goals) led the team in scoring. Michael Baldisimo, Nicholas Fussell, and Georges Mukumbilwa have been the engines in midfield. Goalkeeper Thomas Hasal is back from injury and expected to be a key figure in net. Simon Colyn, who has been signed to an MLS Homegrown contract, also stepped up with 11 goals in 14 matches for the U-19s, after eight goals in 15 matches for the U-17s.

KEY TO SUCCESS: “Our soccer philosophy has to be clear and obvious in every game.” – head coach Rich Fagan

U-17

SEASON SO FAR: It’s been a younger U-17 team with a number of 2002-born players. Like the U-19s, the squad finished second in their division, and 10th overall.

PLAYOFF OPPONENTS: Eighth ranked Philadelphia Union, 19th ranked Barca Academy, and 27th ranked Orlando City SC.

PLAYERS TO WATCH: Damiano Pecile has been the go-to player in attack with 18 goals on the season. In midfield, Chance Carter is an explosive and powerful force capable of bossing the centre of the park. Both players have spent time training with the first team this year.

Other players to watch include pacey attacker Keisean Brooks (11 goals), and tenacious midfielder/defender Ali Zohar. And keep your eyes out for younger midfielder Kam Habibullah, who scored 17 goals in 24 matches with the U-15 squad.

KEY TO SUCCESS: “This has been the first team in my tenure to break the 100 goal mark. Consistency in our form will be the key. I believe this group can beat anybody on their day.” – head coach Adam Day

SCHEDULE

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