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Youth Boys Apr 02, 2013

Whitecaps, Sounders academies split Saturday matches at college showcase

By Liviu Bird

In the only U.S. Development Academy matches in the Northwest last weekend, Seattle Sounders FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps won one match each in Canada.

The Whitecaps under-18 team pulled out a 1-0 win thanks to Yassin Essa’s strike with 20 minutes to go.

“It was a really good performance,” Vancouver coach Gordon Forrest said in a club release. “We spoke beforehand about getting ready mentally and preparing for these types of occasions. The rivalry between the clubs filters down to the youth side, and the way they prepared and showed their passion and desire brought out some really good play.”

If the first match was a defensive battle, the under-16s’ rematch was the exact opposite.

The host team jumped to an early lead, pouncing on a defensive turnover on top of the Sounders’ penalty area. Jordan Haynes gave his team the advantage, but the rest of the scoring would go the other way.

Vancouver’s defense held a 1-0 lead until the second half, when Seattle scored a flurry of three goals to win 3-1.

“We played a real good first 20 minutes and last 20 minutes,” Whitecaps coach Craig Dalrymple said. “After we took the lead, we lost belief in our game plan a bit and conceded some preventable goals, but as the game went on, we found our belief again. It was pleasing to see our youngest players perform well.”

The Curva Collective and the Vancouver Southsiders supported the academy in force against its Cascadia rival from the south. Both coaches noted the fans’ impact on the match.

“What a difference it makes to have all the supporters out,” Forrest said. “We’d really like to thank them for coming out. It lifts our players and pushes them on, so a massive thank you to them.”

Dalrymple added: “It’s important that [the players] recognize that this club is a big part of the community, and the community was out in full force today, so it was a great experience for them.”

The Academy games were held at Newton Athletic Park in Surrey, B.C., as part of the Whitecaps FC Boys Showcase. College coaches and Whitecaps Residency staff were on hand to scout players and take in the matches.

Coquitlam Metro-Ford Sparta won the under-18 premier crown with a perfect record, winning four matches and conceding only two goals the whole weekend. Surrey United took the under-16 premier division without conceding a goal.

For full results and standings, visit the Whitecaps FC Showcase site.

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