Whitecaps FC Residency teams got off to a flying start on Saturday as they hosted Portland Timbers academy teams in their opening matches of the 2017-18 Development Academy season. All matches took place at the Whitecaps FC National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC).
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The ‘Caps started their season with a 4-0 victory against the visiting Timbers.
Jose Hernandez headed in the opening goal in the 34th minute for a 1-0 halftime lead.
In the 54th minute, a Noah Verhoeven free kick was corralled by Theo Bair, who turned and volleyed a strike into the top corner to make it 2-0.
Six minutes later, Hernandez scored his second after some great combination play.
Finally on 70 minutes, Verhoeven again set up Bair who powerfully dribbled through the Timbers defence before calmly slotting it into the back of the net for the final goal of the match.
“Overall, very happy with the first game of the season,” assistant coach Niall Thompson told whitecapsfc.com after the match. “We had to adjust our press to make it difficult for the Timbers to play out, and we also had to adjust o early injuries. We refocused at halftime and had a very disciplined second half which resulted in three goals, so credit goes to the players for working extremely hard.”
The U-17s returned to the pitch with a 2-1 win to start the Development Academy season.
Damiano Pecile scored in the ninth minute after great work from defender Tboy Fayia to get a cross in.
Keisean Brooks then doubled the lead on 34 minutes on a penalty kick after Simon Colyn beat two defenders in the corner and was brought down in the box.
The Timbers scored on a counter attack in the 41st minute, but the ‘Caps held strong for a 2-1 win.
“A decent test for the boys,” noted U-17 head coach Adam Day. “We started wuite brightly and really should have put the game out of sight, but instead we were caught napping and let them back into the game. The second hald was very even and a good challenge. All things considered, we are relatively happy with the performance. There is plenty to improve, but we are on the right path.”
Playing their first ever Development Academy match, the U-15 ‘Caps earned a 2-0 victory against Portland.
After a scoreless first half, the first goal came after Kam Habibullah was fouled while cutting through the Timbers defence. Brian Ananias stepped up and buried the ensuing free kick for a 1-0 lead.
The second goal also came off of a free kick. Niko Sigur drew the foul and took the free kick, which was sent into the back of the net by Eric White.
“This was a good competitive match to start our season,” noted U-15 head coach James Merriman. “It was a positive performance that we can build from. We felt the effort and approach was very good. Not everything was working, especially in the final third, but we will take our learnings from today and continue to grow into our season.”