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Rocket Robin

May 13, 2017 USL Toronto FC II vs Bethlehem Steel FC

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Result and details of the Saturday May 13, 2017 USL game
between Toronto FC II and Bethlehem Steel FC played
at BMO Field in Toronto at 6:00pm.

7 min...BS Cory Burke turns and rolls pass forward from
50 yard line up right to BS Marcus Epps who receives
it at 25 yards and cuts into top of the box on right.
He slows down at 15 yards when facing TFC Brandon Aubrey
and TFC Mitch Taintor comes up behind him and trips him up.
Referee Pierre-Luc Lauzier awards BS a Penalty kick.

8 min...BS Cory Burke GOAL...Burke rolls Penalty kick
to right side of net as goalie Angelo Cavalluzzo dives
to left.

Final Score:....Toronto FC II......0......Bethlehem Steel FC.....1...

TFC was marketing a shutout streak that had lasted a full
three games until their last game in Pittsburgh where they
lost 1-0. Their goalie Angelo Cavalluzzo had won Save of the
Week and Goalie of the Month during that time. The other
way of looking at it was during the last five games TFC has
not scored! Since losing 3-1 in Orlando (against Orlando City 'B')
on April 4, they played 0-0 against Rochester (TFC's only
home game), Ottawa, and Louisville, before the
Pittsburgh game.

Today was not a clash of powerhouses. TFC had a record
of 1 win, 3 losses, 3 ties for fifteenth (last) place in the East
and Bethlehem were until today 2 wins, 4 losses, 0 ties for
da-da....fourteenth place! They are the affiliate of
Philadelphia Union who are mired in last place in the MLS
league so if their team can't stock move on the big team
who are looking for improvements, the pickings must
be pretty slim.

On the visitor's side I was cheering for Chris Nanco who
I watched as recently as last year playing for League 1
Ontario side Sigma FC. He had a good game which was
running up the wing and getting crosses into the box
but also getting a few shots in.  He also earned the
only Yellow card of the game. 

I didn't realize until I was home but Josh Heard is a Welsh
born Canadian who played for PDL Victoria Highlanders
a few years ago and was subbed on today at 77 minutes.
Nanco wasn't even Sigma's best USL player today
as Richie Laryea scored for Orlando City B in their road win
in front of 19301 in Cincinnati.

TFC II had been reinforced by MLS contract players,
defender Ashtone Morgan, goalie Mark Pais, and forward
Ben Spencer. It wasn't a surprise to followers as they've all
been on the TFC II roster earlier this season. Morgan played
only the first half but he's been recovering from an injury for
what seems like a year. He was playing today as a winger.
Ryan Telfer took his place for the second half and played almost
as a forward. Pais filled in for the MLS team when Clint Irwin
was injured but didn't see any action and he won't get to play
with the Canadian Cavalluzzo playing so well this last month.

Tsubasa Endoh played almost all the freekicks and cornerkicks.
With the MLS team being so deep, he may not get back on
the main roster. Ben Spencer was just given an MLS contract
within the last two weeks but hasn't seen any action.

There's a group of Ben Spencer critics on-line. They are not
going to be pleased that he won and expresso machine as Man
of the Match (always a TFC II player). Laughable plays included
at 53 minutes when he was given a through ball and rushed up
the middle on the slight left and rolled a 22 yard shot directly
to the goalie. 75 minutes had him take a low 20 yard shot from
the right that was into the outside webbing of the net. 84 minutes
had Spencer knock down a chipped pass at 20 yards but had
a defender check him off the ball without getting away a shot.

TFC had three Canadian starters and three on the bench getting
two of them into the game.

TFC head coach Greg Vanney was watching the game for the
West stands with one of his younger kids.

Bethlehem goalie Jake McGuire earned the shutout. He had
to make some key saves. He was sharp except on one play
at 85 minutes, Shaan Hundal blasted a shot from 15 yards that
he couldn't hang on to and a defender had to boot the rebound
behind the end line. Injury time had Hundal get to a cross and
pop a header from 15 yards on the right that bounced and the
goalie was able to catch it wide left of the post. Hundal only came
in at 59 minutes and he'd have been my 'Man of the Match'.
Last year he was the teams leading scorer and now it's hard for
the Canadian to find playing time.

Angelo Cavalluzzo played goal for TFC II. He didn't have much
to do which is good as having to make the 'save of the week'
means the defence is letting you down! Of course partly it's
on the visitors as #14 in the league tables until today.

Attendance was announced as 3033 which was certainly a season
best for this team although it's only their second home game
of the year and is likely not to be repeated as the team
usually plays at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan just
outside the city limits of Toronto. They were piggybacking
off the MLS game that had finished an hour earlier in which
Toronto FC beat Minnesota United 3-2 in front of 27,249.
Another quarter of the fans who stayed for beginning of the
USL game left by halftime.

The fans were corralled into the East stands except the
supporter groups who were allowed to stay in the South—probably
for the best as they don't mingle well with the families
watching in the East. I wasn't taking anything for granted
as I brought my TFC II ticket today too in case I ended
up out in the parking lot. We had to wait 'upstairs'
at the 200 level while the lower section was cleaned.
TFC alumi Dwayne De Rosario was signing autographs and
a DJ was playing songs. I didn't know that area was accessable
from the lower deck from inside. This extra level
in proportion looks like it has more washrooms than ours.
At about 5:30pm we were allowed back down—general admission
although my row hadn't been cleaned at all. The same beer
sellers who had called last call at 65 minutes of the first
game were back again selling until the end of the first half.

MLSE had really hit promoting this match hard. I heard about
it through e-mail, team websites and twitter, and announcements
today at the beginning, halftime, and end of the MSL game.

Production values were high with the same announcer as the
MLS game, highlights on the video board after the first
half of the game we were watching instead of another replay
of the MLS game.

No excuses of people saying they didn't know about it.
It will be interesting to see how the team uses these figures.
They could say retaining just over 11% of the fans proves
they should move the team to another city filling a roster
of some CanPL team once that gets going. They cover the
salaries of their players but don't have to cover stadium
rental and staffing. Even today's total (if it were true)
is triple last year's crowd in Vaughan for even 'good'
weather days. This game had the first 20 minutes played
in a light rain but fans were sheltered by the roof.

TFC II's next game is Friday May 19 at Ontario Soccer Centre
with a 5:00pm kickoff. This game might start off with very
low as most people are just getting off work at that time.
The Rowdies are second in the East as of last week's
standings and are aiming big trying to get an MLS franchise
and just had their city agree to a stadium proposal.

Rocket Robin
twitter @RocketRobin01

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that was an interesting game.   very little attacking potential until the late changes which is odd when Ben Spencer is on there.   I realize he was coming back from injury but he has a first team contract and looked like we could loan him down to TFCiii.  maybe he "needs service" or I don't know what I'm talking about.

Best surprise was the play of Oyvind Alseth.   We don't need to go out and sign right back depth.   we have it.    he destroyed so many plays down that wing and got the transition into attack going.   Not sure if he would be effective as a winger in a back 5ish as I didn't see him get forward too much. 


Tsubasa looks like he was running through quicksand and I'm not sure with the first team depth as it is that he gets back in.  but again just my uninformed opinion. 


thanks for the great summary Robin. 

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