For the quintet of Vancouver Whitecaps representing Canada at the FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Mexico, their World Cup dreams are over.
It was the first time in 16 years that Canada had made it to the finals and after a 3-0 loss to Uruguay and a well-deserved 2-2 draw with England, the young Canadians went crashing out of the tournament in disappointing fashion following a scoreless draw with Rwanda this afternoon.
Five members of the Whitecaps Residency were in Mexico: Bryce Alderson, Yassin Essa, Matteo Pasquotti, Adam Polakiewicz, and Daniel Stanese.
All of them saw playing time and made valuable contributions for Canada.
Midfielder Bryce Alderson was Canada’s captain for the tournament, started all three games and played 258 minutes, being substituted late on in the final two games.
Midfielder Yassin Essa started all three games, playing the full ninety against England and Rwanda and clocking up 247 minutes.
Midfielder Matteo Pasquotti saw the least gametime of the Caps contingent, coming on as sub in the first two games and playing just 18 minutes.
Defender Adam Polakiewicz played every minute of every game, whilst his Caps defensive team-mate Daniel Stanese played well and the full ninety against both Uruguay and England before being surprisingly relegated to the bench against Rwanda.
All five did themselves proud and from a selfish Caps perspective, it will be great to have them back playing for the Residency team against Victoria and Abbotsford next weekend.
Not being Canadian, I don’t feel it is my place to go on too much about what went wrong for Canada and what needs improving.
Scotland didn’t even make it this far after all!
There are some real positives to be taken from the tournament. The Canadian U17’s leave with two points. That’s two more than they’ve ever achieved at that level in the past.
It will be good experience for a number of the guys and this can only bode well for the future of the Canadian national team. They’ve had a taste of what being at a big tournament is like. They’re all going to want more.
They also walk away with what could be the goal of the tournament from goalkeeper Quillan Roberts.
For the Whitecaps contingent, they will only grow, learn and develop playing alongside MLS players in the PDL. The success of Russell Teibert shows them what can be achieved.
What I would like to see for these guys is more games. Sixteen PDL games is not enough and it won’t help the Whitecaps or the Canadian game.
The CSA should set up some kind of highly competitive Canadian-wide youth league or tournament. The Whitecaps, TFC and Montreal are all doing great jobs in developing their guys but the whole future of the Canadian game shouldn’t be left on their shoulders.
Only with the right investment and a good number of competitive games will we see many of these players reach their full potential.
I’m glad the Whitecaps have it right. I’ve enjoyed the PDL games I’ve been to this season.
Get out there and support these guys for the remainder of the season. Support The Future.