U-17/18 Vancouver Whitecaps Advances to Academy Championships Final

July 14, 2016

Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-17/18s took another step towards a U.S. Soccer Development Academy championship on Thursday at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, California. Using strikes from Andre Baires, David Norman, Daniel Sagno and an own goal, the Whitecaps defeated Players Development Academy 4-1 in the U-17/18 Semifinal.

While play swayed back and forth, PDA found chances early on. In the eighth minute, Josh Burnett collected the ball on the left before sending a pinpoint cross to the back post where Andres Camacho flicked-on a header just wide.

Fifteen minutes later, PDA's Isaiah Young went on a dazzling individual run, cutting into the box to gain space before slicing his low effort just past the left post.

Gaining back some possession, Whitecaps FC pulled their way back into the affair in the 28th minute. Cole Morokhovich sped down the left before whipping a cross in that was nodded away by a PDA defender. As the ball trickled to the top of the area, Daniel Sagno connected with it first time, but fired his low right-footed effort just wide of goal.

The chance would be a sign of things to come as Whitecaps FC would find the lead five minutes later in the 32nd minute. After PDA cleared an initial corner kick from the left, David Norman swung the ball back into the penalty area, where Andre Baires slid through at the six-yard-box to redirect the ball past goalkeeper Kevin Silva.

Vancouver picked up where they left off after the break, putting together a progressive build-up that saw Marcello Polisi's cross from the left connect with Terran Campbell's head at the right post. Campbell flicked the ball back across goal, which bounced off the left post and then off PDA defender Michael Colao into his own net. The failed clearance attempt wound up being an own goal, giving Whitecaps FC a 2-0 lead in the 50th minute.

Whitecaps FC snagged a third goal two minutes later as Norman played a short corner from the right which came right back to him. Looking to cross to the back post, Norman's ball carried further and caught Silva off his line. Silva was only able to get one hand to the ball before it found its way into the upper left corner.

Vancouver stayed hungry for goal, but Silva thwarted two point-blank opportunities down the left side from Glorie Amanda in the 58th and 61st minutes.

The pressure proved to be too much as Whitecaps FC grabbed a fourth goal on a nice sequence in the 68th minute. Patrick Metcalfe sent Campbell into the box on the right before setting up Daniel Sagno for a tap-in at the back post.

PDA kept playing for pride and came close to a goal in the 74th minute. Burnett forced an errant clearance from Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Aidan Aylward, which fell directly to Young. The PDA striker dribbled into the box before chipping Aylward, but just as the ball bounced towards the back post, Baires was there to clear it off the line.

PDA would finally get their goal in the 86th minute as Shane Kastl slipped Young into the box and the Eastern Conference Player of the Year made no mistake, finishing his effort inside the right post to cap the scoring at 4-1.

With the win, Vancouver Whitecaps FC will meet FC Dallas in Saturday's U-17/18 championship game at 7:30 p.m. PT (live on U.S. Soccer YouTube).