U16 and U18 boys in California to face San Juan SC, Girls Elite face Columbus
By Lev Jackson
The Vancouver Whitecaps will have a busy weekend with all three of their top-tier youth teams in action.
The Whitecaps FC U16 and U18 teams get back to work, playing their first game of 2013 in the USSDA (United States Soccer Development Academy) season.
The organization’s Girls Elite squad will be back at Simon Fraser University to face Columbus FC for their last game of the MWSL (Metro Women’s Soccer League) season.
Both Whitecaps boys’ teams will take on their counterparts from San Juan SC at Mather Soccer Complex on Saturday.
The Whitecaps U16 residency team is riding a five-game win streak and are looking to get closer to the second-place Seattle Sounders FC. After a slow start, the U16 Whitecaps boast a record of 6-4-1.
Like his players, head coach Craig Dalrymple is thrilled to return to the field on Saturday.
“I expect the players to be refreshed, recharged, and hungry for game action,” said the coach in a recent interview on the team’s website. “We expect both groups to continue improving on their play from before the break.”
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The U16 San Juan team sits one up from the league basement two wins in ten outings (2-6-2).
A big part of the U16 Whitecaps win streak has been Canadian U17 player of the year, keeper Marco Carducci.
The Whitecaps U18 Residency team, however, has not seen the same success the U16’s have.
They are coming off a 6-3 defeat to the Portland Timbers heading into the holiday break.
The U18’s now sit in fourth place in the Northwest Division with an even 5-5-5 record.
Head coach Gordon Forrest says his team has been training hard and is looking forward to their first game of the year.
“Players have been training hard to be back in action, but you never know how the break will affect players,” said Forrest told the Whitecaps website. “We’ve been doing good preparation for these games, and had a few practice matches as well, so we should be prepared this weekend.”
Their opponents, the U18 San Juan SC currently sit in last place with a record of 1-6-3.
The match will begin at 11 a.m. and be followed by the U16 game at 1:30 p.m.
The Whitecaps Girls Elite squad will play their final game of the MWSL regular season before taking part in the Cup Group portion of the season.
In 12 games this season, the Whitecaps girls are 10-1-1, their only loss being a forfeit.
Things couldn’t have gone much better their last outing as Chelsea Harkins scored twice, lifting her team to a 7-0 victory over SurDel FC.
The team will have a slightly tougher challenge in front of them on Saturday as they face Columbus FC at 2 p.m.
Columbus is 5-5-2 this season and fell to the Whitecaps 2-0 in their first meeting this season.