Home Canadian Soccer Disappointment for Canadian developmental teams: Whitecaps, Fury both lose

Disappointment for Canadian developmental teams: Whitecaps, Fury both lose

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Callum Irving: Whitecaps’ keeper’s heroics couldn’t prevent the inevitable.
Two of Canada’s top developmental sides had crucial post-season matches Sunday, and both came up short.

The Ottawa Fury missed out on its chance to win the PDL go to the PDL’s final four, as it lost 1-0 to the Carolina Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Final. And the, Vancouver Whitecaps U-18s fell to FC Dallas’s junior in the U.S. Development Academy final.

The Whitecaps held a 2-1 lead against the FC Dallas kids who came into the finals as the heavy favourites — having lost in the final last season. But, the viewer never got the feeling that the Whitecaps would be comfortable. The Caps scored on their only two shots toward goal in the first half; Ben Fisk scored his seventh goal in four games, and the Caps got an own goal from Dallas’s Flavio Guzman.

But FCD was dominating possession and coming at Vancouver in waves, with highly-rated attackers Danny Garcia and Jonathan Top — who has made two MLS appearances this season — regularly cutting open the Whitecaps defence. Make no mistake, Whitecaps keeper Callum Irving was the only reason this game wasn’t a blowout, as he made a handful of outstanding saves in the first half. All Dallas could show for its domination was a Garcia goal, a rebound off a penalty kick.

Irving then made arguably his best save of the night early in the second half, as he dove and got his hand to a low Top shot, as the FC Dallas forward had once again got behind the Whitecaps backline.

But, eventually, Irving and the Whitecaps were overrun by a Dallas team that showed why it’s so highly regarded.

But it wasn’t Top or Garcia who had the last laugh; it was substitute Jose de la Tajera who did the damage. He picked up a giveaway in the Whitecaps’ end, went in alone and nabbed the equalizer. Then, with less than 10 minutes to go, he headed home a corner to give Dallas a deserved lead.

All the Whitecaps could muster was a long, speculative free kick from Fisk that was easily dealt with.

While the Whitecaps’ loss had a feeling of inevitability to it, the Fury will spend the rest of the year wondering what could have been. It was a heartbreaking loss for the Fury, who lost the match deep into stoppage time, as Duke University’s Sebastian Ibeagha rose to meet a corner kick and headed home the winner. Ibeagha, a defender, is a former member of the U.S. U-20 program.

Sebastian IbeaghaThe Fury, which had lost just three times all year, faced a Carolina team that needed extra time to win its semifinal match over reading. But, after a scoreless first half, the Fury gave away any advantage it had when Niall Crick received his second yellow in the 64th minute, reducing Ottawa to 10 men. But Marcelo Castro and Carlo Basso both had shots cleared off the line, making the loss all the more heartbreaking for the Fury.

“They weren’t even good, we outplayed them for 90 minutes even down a man, feel cheated,” tweeted the Fury’s Drew Beckie after the match.

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