CARSON, CA – An incredible season for Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18 Residency came to a close in heartbreaking fashion on Saturday, as they fell 2-1 in extra time to FC Dallas in the United States Soccer Development Academy (USSDA) championship final.
While the ‘Caps young players were clearly gutted at the final whistle, the club can look back with great pride on their accomplishments this season. The team entered the final on a 34-match unbeaten run which included a Northwest Division title and five consecutive playoff wins to reach the championship match.
FC Dallas came in as the favourites, with a number of players on their team having won the U-16 USSDA championship in 2015.
But the ‘Caps were certainly not intimidated.
The Canadian side came out strong from the start and opened the scoring on 10 minutes. Centre back Vana Markarian (Ottawa, Ontario) scored with a great deflection off a corner kick from David Norman Jr. (Coquitlam, BC).
They kept coming and were nearly up two on 21 minutes when Terran Campbell (Burnaby, BC) headed a long cross off the far post, but somehow the ball stayed out.
Dallas began to find chances in the second half and capitalized on 81 minutes. Devin Vega received a pass in the box and struck a low shot near post past ‘Caps goalkeeper Aidan Aylward (Orleans, Ontario).
After the match went level, the ‘Caps pushed and pushed for a winner. But each chance came up just short.
Dallas, too, had a chance to win it at the end of regulation. A cross in the box ended with a point blank header, but an absolutely incredible save from Aylward kept it 1-1 and sent it to extra time.
We'll just call this THE SAVE. Absolutely ridiculous from Aylward to send this to extra time. pic.twitter.com/W3yJ1toTSA— WFC Residency (@WFCResidency) July 17, 2016
Tired legs took over in the additional 30 minutes as both sides gave it everything they had.
In the end, it was the Texas club who found the net as Dallas substitute Juan Ramirez roofed a shot in the box for the winner.
The ‘Caps U-18 and U-16 Residency teams will now have a short break before returning to training in August as the 2016-17 USSDA season starts in September.
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10’ – VAN – Vana Markarian (David Norman)
81’ – DAL – Devin Vega
106’ – DAL – Juan Ramirez
Whitecaps FC U-18
2.Aidan Aylward; 33.Michael Baldisimo (8.Marcello Polisi 74’), 2.Andre Baires, 19.Vana Markarian, 3.Kadin Chung; 58.Patrick Metcalfe, 28.Thomas Gardner, 18.David Norman (32.Noah Verhoeven 106’); 10.Daniel Sagno, 9.Gloire Amanda (40.Theo Bair 71’), 17.Terran Campbell
13.Luciano Trasolini, 16.Quinn Bredin, 31.Frazer Poulter, 52.Gabriel Escobar