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Vancouver Whitecaps FC Advances to 2012 Development Academy Championship Match

First-year Academy Squad Draws 1-1 with Colorado Rapids and Wins Group 1

First-year Academy Squad Draws 1-1 with Colorado Rapids and Wins Group 1

HOUSTON (July 20, 2012) – Vancouver Whitecaps FC will play for the 2012 Development Academy championship in the U-17/18 age group, finishing on top of Group 1 following a 1-1 draw with Colorado Rapids at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

With two wins and a draw, Whitecaps FC will conclude its first season in the Academy by facing 2011 runner-up FC Dallas in the final Sunday, July 23, at 8 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium, the newly minted home of the Houston Dynamo. Fans can watch the match live on, or follow on Twitter @ussoccer_ynt.

Colorado finished in third place and will face Baltimore Bays Chelsea FC in the fifth-place match on July 22 at 10 a.m. at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.

“I think this was our best performance in terms of keeping the ball and trying to out-possess our opponent,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Craig Dalrymple. “The nerves were out of the system two games in. It’s hard to keep the players not thinking about the next game, but I think they did a good job of it tonight. They still had the competitive spirit and wanted to win the game.”

Needing only a draw to ensure advancement, Whitecaps FC began the match with more composure than its previous two outings. The team enjoyed the majority of possession in the opening minutes, but failed to seriously threaten the Rapids goal. Colorado gamely matched their effort, once again trying to play off striker Idi Camara. Just before the quarter hour, Whitecaps midfielder Yassin Essa used his speed to gain space down the right flank, delivering a menacing cross that eventually found Caleb Clarke. He appeared to have a juicy chance, but his effort was blocked out for a corner.

As the half progressed, Vancouver looked to play early balls in behind the Rapids defense, some with impressive precision over distance. The Rapids back line adjusted and recovered well, and chances remained sparse.

In the 28th minute, Colorado managed the first shot on goal for either side as Austin Seifert tried his luck from 20 yards, his effort cleanly handled by goalkeeper Callum Irving.

They got another good look in the 39th minute off a free kick 30 yards from goal and dead center. Ricardo Perez, the Man of the Match from Monday night’s draw with De Anza Force, cracked a low drive that bypassed the wall, forcing Irving into a sure-handed save.

Vancouver nearly found success in first-half stoppage time when Ben Fisk found himself isolated on the left flank. Displaying the craftiness that led to consecutive hat tricks in the first two games, Fisk cut inside and targeted the lower left corner. A deflection forced Rapids goalkeeper Brad Holub to scramble back across his goal line to preserve the even scoreline.

The second half began at a measured pace, and Whitecaps FC nearly capitalized on a defensive miscue. After Holub distributed out of the back, his defender lost possession and presented Essa with an opportunity. Alertly seeing a chance, he tried to chip the goalkeeper from 35 yards out and only narrowly missed wide.

Camara broke the deadlock in the 63rd minute, finishing a well-constructed passing sequence by firing a low drive from the top of the 18-yard box that deflected off his marker and skidded under Irving.

The deficit inspired a renewed purpose to the Vancouver attack, but Colorado did well to weather the storm with stodgy defending through winning air battles, blocking shots and closing space.

They finally relented in the 78th minute off another great individual effort when Man of the Match Spencer DeBoice took control on the left side and slashed inside toward goal. He cleverly swiveled last-second and tucked a shot just inside the in near post.

Vancouver continued to create chances and had the game-winner on its foot when a penalty was awarded in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, but Carlos Marquez fired wide.

-2011-12 U.S. Soccer Development Academy Match Report-

Match: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Colorado Rapids
Date: July 20, 2012
Competition: Development Academy Finals Week – U-17/18
Venue: Houston Amateur Sports Park
Kickoff: 8 p.m. CT
Weather: 81 degrees, pleasant

Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
VAN                        0 1 1
RAP                         0 1 1

RAP – Idi Camara 63rd minute
VAN – Spencer Deboice 78

VAN: 1-Callum Irving (30-Marco Carducci, 84); 12-Declan Rodriguez, 15-Jason van Blerk, 14-Daniel Stanese, 17-Sam Adekugbe; 13-Alex Rowley (5-Tim Hickson, 76), 2-Bryce Alderson (11-Spencer Deboice, 64), 8-Ben McKendry (6-Carlos Marquez, 46); 7-Yassin Essa (3-Wesley Cain, 73), 4-Caleb Clarke (16-Carlos Patino, 55), 10-Ben Fisk (9-Adam Polakiewicz, 88) 
Substitutions Not Used: None
Head coach: Craig Dalrymple     

RAP: 18-Brad Holub; 4-Ben Braman, 3-Alex Braman, 7-Chris Gurule, 8-Karsten Hanlin; 2-Avery Ball, 20-David Pardo; 14-Jorde Lopez (10-Josue Chavez, 46), 46-Ricardo Perez, 24-Austin Seifert (19-Daniel Nevarez, 64); 9-Idi Camara
Substitutions Not Used: 12-Shane O’Neill, 13-Jason Prichard, 19-Daniel Nevarez, 25-Cameron Taycon, 31-Andrew Epstein, 42-Isaac Martinez, 46-Ricardo Perez
Head coach: Brian Crookham

Stats Summary: VAN / RAP
Shots: 8 / 7
Shots on Goal: 5 / 3
Saves: 2 /3
Corner Kicks: 4 / 2
Fouls: 4 / 11
Offside: 3 / 3

Misconduct Summary:
VAN – Yassin Essa (caution) 7th minute
VAN - Bryce Alderson (caution) 12
RAP - Idi Camara (caution) 18
RAP - Avery Ball (caution) 79

Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referee 1: Brandon Rinkenberger
Assistant Referee 2: Danny Thornberry
Fourth Official: Kyle Phillips Man of the Match: Spencer Deboice