Vancouver kicks off play with big win

[FINALS WEEK] Canada under-20 midfielder Ben Fisk was the star on Day 1 of the 2012 Development Academy Finals Week at Houston Amateur Sports Park with a hat trick for the Vancouver Whitecaps in their 4-1 win over the North Carolina Fusion in Group 1 play of the U-17/18 age group.

“It’s the best possible result,” Fisk said. “We had to get on the board quickly and get points in the first game. I think that’s a must to win the group. We did the right things and we’ve just got to keep it up.”

Whitecaps pro Bryce Alderson set up Fisk's first goal, and the Caps also got a goal from Ben McKendry and two assists from Yassin Essa.

“He’s scored goals all season,” Vancouver head coach Craig Dalrymple said of Fisk. “He’s scored goals in the [MLS] Reserve League for the first team. He’s a confident kid. He can use both feet and defenders really don’t know how to handle him because when he’s on his game like he was today he’s always going to score goals.”

Midfielder Ben McKendry scored the final goal for Vancouver in the 80th minute on a smashing header from close range after Essa hit an out-swinging cross from the right flank. Essa, a speedy winger who was born in Ethiopia, finished with two assists on the night.

-- In a game that featured MLS pros in the starting lineups of the both teams, FC Dallas and Chivas USA played to a 1-1 tie. Kellyn Acosta, who just signed with FC Dallas, set up Nicholas Rochowski, while Marco Delgado equalized for Chivas USA. 

-- In other games, Solar Chelsea beat Baltimore Bays Chelsea, 2-0, on goals by Sam Hayward and Zach Mathers, and De Anza Force and the Colorado Rapids played to a 2-2 tie.

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