Rocket Robin

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Rocket Robin last won the day on September 12

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About Rocket Robin

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  • Birthday 11/30/1999

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  1. my takes on League 1 Ontario action: Saturday September 16th Sigma FC 6 Pro Stars FC 0 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o245.htm Saturday September 16th North Mississauga Panthers 3 FC London 1 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o246.htm Sunday September 17th Toronto FC III 3 Oakville Blue Devils 3 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o247.htm my 50th L1O game this season. Sunday September 17th Woodbridge Strikers 4 Toronto Skillz FC 1 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o248.htm
  2. Result and details of the Saturday September 9, 2007 USL game between Toronto FC II and New York Red Bulls II played at BMO Stadium in Toronto at 8:00pm. 34 min...TFC Jay Chapman GOAL...TFC Brian James at TFC 45 yard line in middle passes ball forward and left to TFC Ben Spencer who rolls ball from NYRB 40 yard line on left forward to TFC Jordan Hamilton who charges forward from 30 yards on left and sends low bouncing cross from 22 yards just outside top corner of box. Chapman running forward to 7 yards even with right post beats charging goalie Evan Louro and rolls ball under him to left side of net. 41 min...TFC Lars Eckenrode pulls down Florian Valot in box and referee Pierre-Luc Lauziere calls for a Penalty kick. 42 min...NYRB Stefano Bonomo GOAL...Bonomo rolls Penalty kick into right corner of net beyond diving goalie Angelo Cavalluzzo. 44 min...TFC Lars Eckenrode pulls down NYRB Vincent Bezecourt who had deked through two players on edge of TFC box to get to 15 yards. The referee gives Eckenrode a Yellow card and awards NYRB a Penalty kick. 47 min...NYRB Stefano Bonomo GOAL...Bonomo rolls Penalty kick into right corner of net beyond diving goalie. Final Score:...Toronto FC II...1...New York Red Bulls...2... Attendance was listed as 3582 on the USL web site which seems very generous—certainly not hanging on to a great per cent of the sellout 29050 who had just finished watching the MLS Toronto FC beat San Jose Earthquake 4-0 an hour before. Hey people! Stay! Free game! I thought the USL game had less than that even with fans being moved to sit on the East side stands to be better supervised with less staff. About a third of that crowd left before the game was over. Let's say the fans who came dressed in t-shirts and short didn't stay around for this game with it now dark and the temperature falling. Still the numbers are an improvement on the Ontario Soccer Centre crowds which are usually well under 1000. This the first TFC II game played at BMO Field since the team announced that next season TFC will include free USL season tickets for their MLS season ticket holders. They will also move their games to BMO Field and Lamport Stadium in downtown Toronto. This is so to help build the attendance as the USL in 2019 will split into two divisions and teams that don't meet certain standards (attendance and stadium facilities are some of the details) will be placed in the lower division. The lower division will not have the more competitive teams and that would not be as much benefit to MLS teams that want to keep their players sharp for transfer back up to their main team. The team sponsors are the same as up at the OSC so prizes were provided by such companies as Anthony's Espresso Coffee Supplies. The scoreboard stadium here is a big improvement over the one at OSC. Man of the Match was Jay Chapman who was an easy choice as he scored their only goal. He won the coffee tonight! Just one week ago he came in as a substitute for the Canadian National team against Jamaica at this same stadium. Tonight he couldn't make the main MLS team bench. That's become not that unusual as the team once again had no Canadian starters. Jonathan Osorio did sub in at halftime for the MLS team and scored a goal. Tosaint Ricketts got in at 64 minutes. NYRB looked the better team tonight but it was two Penalty kick goals within five minutes that won it for them. Stefano Bonomo placed both in the bottom right corner just out of the reach of the diving goalie Angelo Cavalluzo. Julian Dunn-Johnson (17 year old Canadian) and Brandon Aubrey both played defence at the same time for TFC. It's usually been an either/or situation. It looked like it was sometimes-captain Mitchell Taintor who was the odd man out tonight. Next game I could see Lars Eckenrode being benched. He gave up the two Penalty kicks. He picked up a Yellow card on the second incident and was subbed off at halftime for Brandon Onkony. (midfielder Brian James was captain tonight). Jordan McCrary was the other defender although he has the freedom to run up the wing so was often well upfield. I wondered why Shaan Hundal didn't get into the game tonight? He warmed up but didn't replace Ben Spencer who stayed the whole 90 minutes. Hundal has been known for past late game heroics and is a good pairing with Jordan Hamilton. TFC didn't even make a third substitution! Referee Pierre-Luc Lauziere gave out two Yellow cards to each team. I only found out from the USL website that he gave TFC's Jordan Hamilton a Red card after the game must have ended for 'foul and abusive language'. Hamilton may still have been steamed because he couldn't win a Penalty kick at 68 minutes. Well there goes my idea about a Hamilton-Hundal pairing at least for the next game! NYRB never looked completely comfortable as they couldn't score a second half insurance goal. Their best chance was at 83 minutes when they had Stefano Bonomo cross from 20 yards on the right and Douglas Martinez leapt at 10 yards in the middle and headed the ball over the flying goalie and off the underside of the bar on the right side. The ball bounced and Florian Valot headed from 7 yards on the right that the goalie caught just under the bar. Now TFC had some last gasp efforts with Ryan Telfer centering a cross from the right at 86 minutes and the sliding Sergio Camargo rolled a weak 12 yarder that the goalie smothered. A minute later Telfer had a low 18 yard shot from the left through the defenders and the goalie stopped that. Injury time had Camargo take a 45 yard freekick from the left that was partially cleared and Brian James blasted a 40 yard rebound through players up the middle but the ball flew wide left. NYRB II won the USL Championship last season and were one of the only MLS based teams to make the playoffs. This year they're only sixth in the East and will have to play all of their playoff games (one-game-knockout format) on the road. Podcasts I've heard mention the big club has sold and traded away some of their USL players. The USL site said they haven't lost since the beginning of August but they hadn't won on the road since June 3 and this was only their second road win of the season. At least with these late games the crowd had thinned and I got a seat on the streetcar. TFC II were officially knocked out of the playoffs the middle of this week without playing as a team ahead of them won in a midweek game. They had something like a six zeroes point one percent chance of making the post season after losing to Rochester last week. At least most of their losses have been by only one goal. Their defence has improved from last year but they don't score enough. TFC II's record now stands at 5 wins, 16 losses, 7 ties for 22 points and are fifteenth (last) in the Eastern Conference. NYRB II improves to 11 wins, 11 losses, 5 ties for 38 points and are sixth in the East. Rocket Robin robing@eol.ca twitter @RocketRobin01
  3. Friday September 8th Durham United FA 0 Woodbridge Strikers 2 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o230.htm Sunday September 10th Toronto FC III 11 Windsor TFC Stars 0 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o231.htm Sunday September 10th North Toronto Nitros 8 Aurora FC 0 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o232.htm
  4. I've got audio only of Octavio Zambrano plus Jamaican coach Theodore Whitmore and hallway interviews with players Atiba Hutchinson, Jonathan Osorio, Samuel Piette, Anthony Jackson-Hamel (too soft spoken and some in French) , and Alphonso Davies http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17cana04.htm
  5. Result and details of the Wednesday August 30, 2017 USL game between Toronto FC II and Saint Louis FC played at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 7:30pm. 38 min...StL Christian Volesky GOAL...StL Austin Ledbetter at 22 yards in middle rolls ball forward and Volesky steps between two defenders to get pass at 12 yards and at 8 yards even with right post shoots ball over sliding goalie Angelo Cavalluzzo into top right corner of net. 92 min...TFC II Shaan Hundal GOAL...TFC Tsubasa Endoh at 22 yards on right just outside of box sends cross into box and ball is over leaping TFC Jordan McCrary at 8 yards in middle but TFC Jordan Hamilton chests ball down at 10 yards while even with left post to center and Hundal steps over from right and blasts 8 yard shot over waving goalie Devala Gorrick at 3 yards and into top of net. 94 min...game ends 9:28pm. Final Score:...Toronto FC II...1...Saint Louis FC...1... Attendance was announced as 647 on this overcast and mild evening (dark by the second half). This is the first home game for TFC II since it was announced that next year the team would be playing downtown at both BMO Field and Lamport Stadium (the other side of the railway tracks 1000 yards away). Also next year the tickets would be 'free' in that they are part of the TFC MLS season ticket package. Free tickets (by staying after TFC MLS games and a special open practice) have already taken place this season with a best draw of 3200 but that is something like 15% of what USL Cincinnati drew for some of their key games. Man of the Match (who is always a TFC II player) was awarded to defender Brandon Aubrey. I wonder if that decision was made before Shaan Hundal came into the game at 87 minutes and scored at 92 minutes? He took the place of Ben Spencer whom I'm sure I wrote his number down at most twice for being involved in a play and he was anchoring the forward line with Jordan Hamilton. Referee David Barrie gave out five Yellow cards tonight (three to Saint Louis) with one at 6 minutes curbing the rough play until an injury time dust-up when he gave one each to StL Ivan Mirkovic and TFC Ryan Telfer for a multi-player pushing match. Both goalies Angelo Cavalluzzo and Devala Gorrick played well tonight with Gorrick especially helped by his defence clearing countless crosses sent into the box by Ryan Telfer, Jordan McCrary, and Tsubasa Endoh—until that 92 minute hiccup. TFC (MLS) vets defender/winger Ashtone Morgan (100+ MLS games), second year winger Tsubasa Endoh, and forward Jordan Hamilton are settling in fine with the USL team. I don't what will happen to them next season with the MLS club finding a player from Liechtenstein to jump right into the starting eleven. A tie result is an identical script to TFC's last home game against Charleston Independence exactly three Wednesday's ago when Jordan Hamilton scored an injury time tieing goal down at BMO Field. Then on Saturday night they came back from 2-0 down in Charleston to win 3-2 scoring three goals against a ten man team but between that they lost two more road games. I was wondering who TFC II would start in net. Cavalluzzo was a good choice but Mark Pais who has played about half their games was goalie for Saint Louis last season so I thought he'd be an insider for the spot tonight. I received a TFC tweet earlier today that Clint Irwin has been 'loaned' to TFC II for the time (TFC have a week off from their MLS schedule and hasn't played a game for quite awhile). Actually Gianluca Catalano was the backup goalie tonight. TFC (MLS) player Justin Morrow was under a canopy near the entrance signing autographs on picture postcards before the game. I was one of the first there and said "You're still left handed!" as I'd seen him at a TFC BBQ a few years ago. I said I saw him at the Gold Cup (for the USA) and said it's too bad he wasn't named for this week's World Cup Qualifiers. He had a three year gap (2014 and 2017) between call ups. Other celebs were first team goalie Alex Bono who was on the field holding a dog in his arm talking to Saint Louis defender Wesley Charpie at halftime. Charpie played for TFC II last season. He was an unused sub at that time but came in at 58 minutes. Some fans behind me were talking about League 1 Ontario and wanting to get out to a game but "...I wish there was a team in Scarborough". I cut in and gave him two choices and named the stadium. Conveniently Oscar Cordon (L1O Woodbridge Strikers/ex TFC) walked by and I pointed him out also showing them where Strikers played--400 yards southwest of here. After the game the TFC II players came over to the fence to chat with the crowd (one of my favourite things about their games here). I asked teenage defender Julian Dunn-Johnson who didn't get in the game tonight what name he wanted me to use when I write about him. "Dunn-Johnson" is his choice although the game program has him as "Dunn" maybe not to confuse him with Malik Johnson a teenage midfielder. Both started out on L1O Toronto FC III at the beginning of this season. I said I hoped he got his place back which he lost after a Red card hand ball call two games ago. Maybe Brandon Aubrey will overdue it on the espresso coffee products that he won tonight as man of the match...Ben Spencer won them last their last road game and sleep walked through tonight's match. Alex Adamo, my TFC II ticket rep, came around the crowd at halftime giving out red/yellow novelty cards which double as reminders for the web site for a draw for a KIA car. I said that I find it such a surprise that the winner will own the car while the MLS team the lucky one will win a one year lease on the car. Alex admitted that the TFC II winner will also just win a one year lease (option to buy after that). I've never heard that fact in the promos. I've been using that prize story all year while pumping up the team. In other news TFC owners MLSE just signed a new contract to rename the Air Canada Centre 'The Scotiabank Arena' for the next forty years for 800 million dollars! Meanwhile my Scotiabank branch was only two blocks away closed last year and now I can go twelve blocks away plus they raised their service charges. Now I see how they're be spending the money they're saving. The result improves TFC II's record to 5 wins, 14 losses, 7 ties for 22 points which still leaves them fifteenth (last) in the Eastern Conference. Saint Louis improves to 8 wins, 11 losses, 6 ties for 30 points and are eleventh in the East. Their playoff chances dropped by 5.1% to 22.9%. They move on to play Ottawa Fury this weekend. TFC II chances are rated less than 0.0% and fell last night. Next home game for TFC II is this Saturday--September 2 at 7:30pm here against Rochester Rhinos. I expect to miss my first home game of the season as I have just been press accredited earlier today for the Canada vs Jamaica national teams friendly at BMO at exactly the same time. Rocket Robin robing@eol.ca twitter @RocketRobin01
  6. August 26th Masters FA 0 Vaughan Azzurri 6 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o217.htm August 26th Aurora FC 0 Durham United FA 2 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o218.htm August 27th Toronto Skillz FC 2 Ottawa South United Force 1 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o219.htm August 27th Woodbridge Strikers 2 North Toronto Nitros 2 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o220.htm
  7. Friday August 18 Durham United FA 2 Vaughan Azzurri 4 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o207.htm Saturday August 19 North Mississauga Panthers 2 ProStars FC 0 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o208.htm Sunday August 20 North Toronto Nitros 3 Toronto Skillz 1 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o209.htm
  8. Sunday August 13th Toronto FC III 2 North Toronto Nitros 3 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o194.htm Sunday August 13th Toronto Skillz 3 Windsor TFC Stars 0 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o198.htm
  9. August 14th, 2017 e-mail to me as I'm a TFC II season ticket holder: Dear TFC II Season Ticket Members, I’m writing today to let you know that next season TFC II will be relocating from the Ontario Soccer Centre to downtown Toronto. The City of Vaughan and Ontario Soccer Centre have been valuable partners and supporters of the club the last three seasons and TFC would like to thank everyone for their support. I would also like to thank you, our Season Ticket Members, for your support of our Young Reds. The venue for the 2018 season has not been finalized but we do know TFC II will be playing home games at BMO Field and Lamport Stadium and we look forward to seeing you there. For any questions regarding this move please contact Alex Adamo at Alex.Adamo@mlse.com or 416-815-5313. Thanks again for your continued support and we hope to see you at TFC II’s next home match on Wednesday, August 30th vs. Saint Louis FC. All For One, Bill Manning President Inconvenient for me as more 90+ minute TTC commutes each way rather than a 30 minute drive.
  10. Result and details of the Wednesday August 9, 2017 USL game between Toronto FC II and Charlotte Independence played at BMO Field in Toronto at 8:00pm. 48 min...TFC Jordan Hamilton GOAL...TFC Aidan Daniels intercepts pass at 35 yards and runs up right even with post to 18 yards and has shot blocked. He then rolls ball to middle for TFC Tsubasa Endoh who dribbles forward a few steps to defender and taps to left for Hamilton who runs to top left of 6 yard box and rolls ball past another defender and sliding goalie into right corner of net. 61 min...Charlotte (TFC own goal) GOAL...CI Joel Johnson rushes up right to end line and low 22 yard cross just before TFC Ashton Morgan slide can deflect it behind line has CI David Estrada and TFC Mitchell Taintor with legs up lunge for it at 8 yards along line and ball bounces at 2 yards and TFC goalie Mark Pais on right post gets hand to but steers it into own net. [the goal was announced as scored by Joel Johnson over the PA but USL records changed it to an own goal.] 64 min...Charlotte RED card...Donald Smith earns it as he and TFC Jordan McCrary slide from opposite directions for a loose ball at TFC 35 yard line and Smith studs catch chin of McCrary injuring him. McCrary had got foot to ball first to clear. 78 min...Charlotte Jaime Siaj GOAL...TFC Jordan Hamilton is stripped of ball from behind by CI Yann Elva in middle on edge of CI box. CI Henry Kalungi is given short pass and he dribbles upfield on left and sends pass forward from CI 50 yard line to Siaj running up sideline to get ball at TFC 30 yard line. He dribbles forward and ahead of TFC Julian Dunn-Johnson and cuts towards goal and shoots low 10 yarder from left into right corner of net past sliding goalie on left edge of 6 yard box. 91 min...TFC Jordan Hamilton GOAL...Hamilton at 35 yards in middle rolls pass to TFC Ashtone Morgan on left sideline past slide of CI David Estrada. Morgan at 25 yard line runs forward to 15 yard line then rolls ball back to TFC Liam Fraser and his cross from 35 yards on left finds Hamilton who chests ball down at 12 yards on right and steps to center to get shot around CI Austin Yearwood and curl it into left corner of net. Final Score:...Toronto FC II.....2......Charlotte Independence....2... Attendance started at 1000 which was about half the crowd that had watched the TFC first team Open Practice that ended at 7:10pm. (more on that at the bottom of this report). By halftime that had dropped to 750 and down to less than 500 after Charlotte took the lead. Fans were squeezed into the 100 sections of the East stands except for a small supporters group who were allowed to move to the south endzone. About 200 Army cadets seated together in the main stands started their own cheers at different times of the game. Referee David Barrie who switched places after the warm up from fourth official to replace Marie-Soleil Beaudoin. He gave out three Yellow cards late in the game (two to Charlotte for time-wasting) and the one straight Red. Two changes to the TFC lineup that surprised me because of their huge upset win over the then Eastern Conference leaders Charleston Battery were that Mark Pais was given the start in goal after Angelo Cavalluzo had registered a shutout in that game. Also the only goal scorer in that game, Shaan Hundal started on the bench in favour of Ben Spencer but was subbed in at 32 minutes after Spencer and CI Bilal Duckett crashed heads jumping for a ball in the CI box six minutes earlier. The Independence had an unusual lineup in that their two leading scorers (with 12 goals each) did not start. Enzo Martinez was suspended for two Yellow cards on the weekend—the second of which was from what I've heard was pulling off his shirt celebrating his hat trick. (He was named USL Player of the Week for that performance). George Herrara was the other but he did sub in at 56 minutes. [Today, Thursday he was just awarded USL Player of the Month for July]. Jordan Hamilton scored both goals for TFC II. I don't know if this is enough to get him back onto the MLS roster but if the coaches hung around after the practice they could see for themselves. Tsubasa Endoh and Ashtone Morgan are also players who shuffle back and forth between the two teams. They also played well tonight. Seventeen year old Julian Dunn-Johnson continues to hang on to his starting position in defence over TFC draft pick NCAA grad Brandon Aubrey. 86 minutes had Dunn-Johnson make a sliding tackle just outside the box on Yann Ekra who had gotten the ball at 45 yards and bashed up the middle and was winding up for a shot and possible insurance goal. None of the players in this game was part of the TFC Open Practice held a few hours earlier. TFC II had beaten the first place team on Saturday night in their victory over Charleston Battery (Jordan Hamilton was not in their lineup that night) and now have a result over the new leaders Charlotte who took over that same night. The tie improves TFC II's record to 4 wins, 12 losses, 6 ties for 18 points and fourteenth place in the fifteen team Eastern Conference. It is only the second game they have scored at least two goals this season. A tie is not really good enough at this stage of the season to climb into eighth place for the last playoff spot. Sportsclubstats.com has their weighted average chances of making the playoffs down to 0.2%. The tie improves Charlotte's record to 11 wins, 3 losses, 7 ties for 40 points and keeps them in first place in the East. They extend their unbeaten streak to twelve games but would really have loved to stretch their lead further in first place after taking over last weekend for the first time this season. Charlotte Independence is a rather newly formed team (2014) and took the place of Charlotte Eagles who dropped to the PDL because of them. Eagles just won the PDL Championship a few weeks ago in the playoff final over Thunder Bay. They are not related. Two great teams! Woooh! I believe the wrestlers Ric Flair and his daughter are also from that city. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx The Toronto FC Open practice: This was an event scheduled on a few weeks notice with invitations sent out for TFC Season Ticket Holders to come and watch. I expect this has replaced the annual BBQ held on a summer weekend at the KIA Training Ground. That event has proven so popular that it was available by lottery last year and I was not chosen to go. BBQs were fun but it wasn't a time to meet the players as the MLS team was usually out of town on that weekend. Sometimes injured players were signing autographs. Yesterday's event also has probably replaced the Open practice that was held for schoolkids as I haven't hear of this year. Everything today was General Admission but only the 100 levels on the East side were opened up. I sat in my usual SSH seat. There was really nothing very interesting for me to watch. I always try to get to the games before the gates open so I get to see the players warm up for half hour before the match. There were a few Q&A sessions—with microphones being passed around and a text address to ask questions. They were all softballs about the main team so there was no news discovered. The only question that interested me was about the heart monitors/GPS system bibs that the players wear. It turns out ALL their players wear them—some like to wear it over their t-shirts and some under—I had believed only the over the t-shirt wearers were participants. Fans from the supporter groups chanted between breaks in the Q&A periods. Recovering midfielder Steven Beitashour was practicing some running drills away from the main practice and drew cheers when he ran by our sideline later on. They held a 20 minute 9 on 9 scrimmage game with goals at the 25 yard lines and narrowed the field with pylons 7 yards inward between first team players. After practice Tosaint Ricketts and Jay Chapman were part of another Q&A with just more softballs and nothing about the national team. The schedule for me was going to be Open practice, dinner, and TFC II game. It turned out since I wandered in through my usual gate which was unguarded when I got there, I didn't get a voucher for food. When I saw the vouchers that others had I didn't want to lose my spot so didn't leave to come in through the proper gate. I didn't want to buy anything...$6.00 for a slice of pizza...that makes a good story about TFC's president Bill Manning comparing the Toronto market with a pizza restaurant and only having enough room for one in the city when he was initially questioned about the upstart Canadian Premier League earlier this year. Fans were encouraged to stay in their seats for the TFC II game for free which would start within an hour later. I brought my TFC II ticket with me anyway so it was no freebie for me. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx It was nice to get to get out of there and onto a half empty streetcar. Also the Blue Jays baseball game was still going on so I was able to get out of Union Station on the subway without having to fight their fans for a seat. TFC II's next game is Sunday against Bethlehem Steel to start a three game road trip. Their next home game is Wednesday August 30 against Saint Louis at their more familiar home Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan. Rocket Robin robing@eol.ca twitter RocketRobin01
  11. August 6th Women's Final FC London 6 Woodbridge Strikers 1 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o191.htm August 6th Men's Final Woodbridge Strikers 3 Vaughan Azzurri 1 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o192.htm
  12. Result and details of the Saturday August 5, 2017 USL game between Toronto FC II and Charleston Battery played at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 4:30pm. 51 min...TFC Shaan Hundal GOAL...CB Skylar Thomas in TFC end blasts a 35 yard shot from right that's blocked and now he's out of position. TFC Tsubasa Endoh sends pass forward on left to charging Hundal at 35 yards between two other defenders CB Forrest Lasso and CB Taylor Mueller and he runs to just inside left side of box and rolls 18 yard shot into right corner of net with goalie Odisnel Cooper sliding at 8 yards. Final Score:...Toronto FC II.......1......Charleston Battery.....0.... Attendance was announced as 1145 on this mild and partly cloudy day. The sun must have been out more than I thought as most of my game notes were converted from wristwatch time as the sun was shining on the scoreboard. It was also windy the whole game with crossfield gusts from the west making high passes and clearance either die or blow out of bounds. Only way to beat that was to keep the ball on the ground although both teams did not follow that rule. The attendance was excellent (relative to TFC II's other home games) as they haven't played a home game since their win against Ottawa on July 8. Since then their three game road trip they lost all three without scoring. It had rained twice earlier in the day and the MLS team's game away in Washington DC was starting half hour after this game ended. Man of the Match (who is always a TFC II player) was named as Tsubasa Endoh. Just at that time I was over at the player's gate asking Shaan Hundal to fill me in on the assist on his goal...Ok it was Endoh. I had been marking Endoh as someone who was among the worst at judging the wind with a cornerkick flying from one side over the box and out for a throw-in and a weak 33 yard freekick into the wind that didn't even make the edge of the box. Only place windier than here is their KIA Training Centre so they all should be quicker at adapting than any visiting team. I said to Hundai that he should have won the coffee product prize today. Angelo Cavalluzzo earned the shutout for TFC. It was his tenth start of the season. He hadn't been starting for about a month with Mark Pais getting all the games. He had a few key saves to make. Best was at 80 minutes when a Battery cornerkick from the right had CB Taylor Mueller head the ball from 7 yards on the right over to the left and CB Ricky Garbanzo took a 12 yard shot that Cavalluzzo flew over to just under the bar and palmed it over the top right corner. There was a big scare in the last minute of injury time when CB Jarad van Schaik took a 60 yard freekick down the middle and Cavalluzzo at 8 yards even with the right post in a crowd of players in the box looked like he palmed the ball into his own net but the referee whistled play down as a CB player ran into him. The 80 minute save is the kind that should be nominated for Save-of-the-Week because of its importance. I was still getting tweets and e-mails yesterday to vote for Mark Pais for last week. Sure it looked better but if he hadn't stopped it they would have lost 3-0 instead of 2-0. Referee Chris Grabus (who I can't remember ever seeing before) gave out two Yellow cards—one to each team. CB Ricky Garbanza either on a delayed call or talking away from the play at 17 minutes and TFC Julian Dunn-Johnson in second half injury time for stalling around taking a throw-in. The game didn't look rough at all. An official monitoring the game answered me that Grabus was from Montreal. Starting Canadians (seven!) on TFC included goalie Cavalluzzo, defender Julian Dunn-Johnson (age 17, I think I've had that wrong in my last few reports), midfielders Ryan Telfer, Liam Fraser and Aidan Daniels, and forwards Hundal and Malik Johnson. Johnson was subbed out at 74 minutes with a leg injury and replaced by Canadian Sergio Camargo. Daniels lasted 62 minutes. New 'pro signing' from their academy 18 year old midfielder Dante Campbell came in at 82 minutes. Luca Uccello is injured and didn't play today. Battery defender Skylar Thomas played the first 76 minutes. The Canadian played for TFC II last year. He mostly stayed in the back but could be criticized for coming too far forward on the TFC goal. Last year he was often in the opposition box on corner kicks because he's 6'3". The Battery got by without their top scorer Romario Williams who has scored 14 goals this season which is higher than the 11 that TFC have scored all season even after today. He is back from the Gold Cup where Jamaica made the final but missed today's game from what I read because of Yellow card accumulation. Williams scored what turned out to be the winner in the quarterfinal game against Canada. It was a good result for TFC who avenge their worst loss of the year when they traveled to Charleston and lost 6-1 on June 24. The result improves TFC's record to 4 wins, 12 losses, 5 ties for 17 points. They move from fifteenth (last in the Eastern Conference) to fourteenth (if Richmond Kickers don't get a result this weekend). Charleston was in first place in the East but now have a record of 10 wins, 5 losses, 7 ties for 37 points and may be passed by one or two teams this weekend. Their last six results have been tie, loss, loss, tie, tie, and now loss to show they've really cooled down. Next game for TFC II is on Wednesday and it has been moved to BMO Field so they can bookend it after the Toronto FC (MLS) first team practice and have a season ticket holder's meal between the two events. I suspect this has replaced the picnic at the KIA Training Centre which had limited space and last year my invitation was declined. The opponent on Wednesday is Charlotte Independence who were second at the start of the day on a ten game unbeaten streak. There is a good chance they could be the first place team by the time of that game. Rocket Robin robing@eol.ca twitter@RocketRobin01
  13. July 29th Sigma FC 2 vs Durham United FA 2 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o180.htm July 29th Pro Stars vs Toronto Skillz ppd http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o181.htm July 30th Woodbridge Strikers 0 Toronto FC III 0 http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o182.htm
  14. Sunday July 23rd Vaughan Azzurri 0 Oakville Blue Devils 2 my take on game at: http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o171.htm Sunday July 23rd Woodbridge Strikers 4 Pro Stars FC 0 my take on game at: http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17l1o172.htm
  15. Result and details of the Wednesday July 19, 2017 All Stars game between League 1 Ontario and the PLSQ (Quebec) all star teams played at the Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 7:30pm. 42 min...L1O Giuliano Frano GOAL...L1O Dylan Carreiro takes cornerkick from left that has PLSQ goalie Gabard Fenelon swat forward to keep a L1O player from connecting on header. L1O Cristian Cavallini at 8 yards puts leg out and skies ball towards goal and defender heads off line while bumping with own goalie when ball drops down and his header is along left end line to 12 yards. L1O Jarek Whiteman is waiting and leaps and heads ball back to edge of 6 yard box and Frano kicks 6 yarder down middle over defender to top right corner of net with goalie who'd just got back up from left post trapped in middle. Final Score:......League 1 Ontario......1.....PLSQ Quebec.....0... Attendance was not announced but I'd estimate was at least 1000 to maybe 1200. This is better than the USL Toronto FC II games for all but their school day games. This was a great showing for a weeknight game. There were a lot of young male fans dressed in their jerseys or windbreakers from their soccer academies. I figured each team was consigned a number of tickets and did well to fill the place. Referee Fabrizio Stasolla gave out no Yellow cards and called a water break in each half as the weather was at last cooling after a heat wave from earlier in the day. There was a quality PA system with Ari Soroka who regularly announces at Oakville Blue Devils games calling out the numerous subs made during an All Star game. Four subs for each team at halftime alone! The PLSQ players had a coach (bus) which would take them back (the driver estimated five hours). Of course now it's not rush hour as it took me almost one hour just to cross halfway across Toronto to get here. The PLSQ league is made up of seven teams mostly around Montreal with one near Quebec City and one in Gatineau (across the river from Ottawa Ontario). They had representatives from six of their teams but not the first place AS Blainville. Maybe a few of added players from that team may have swayed the result. They brought six subs which they had used by 55 minutes. One exception was at 85 minutes when they brought back on Sean Rosa who'd gone off at halftime but came back on to replace starter Mitchell Syla. Syla looked the most dangerous player for them with his crosses, cornerkicks, and shots. League 1 Ontario had announced 34 players as all-stars (a minimum of one from all 16 teams) but that was whittled down to a more manageable 23 the week before the game—also freezing out three of the also-ran teams. All players from their lineup got into the game (except for third goalie Gianluca Catalano from TFC III). 83 minutes Kembo Kibato replaced halftime sub Kadell Thomas for the only time a sub replaced a sub. Julian Dunn-Johnson from TFC III was the only first team all-star who didn't make the game day roster but it wouldn't surprise me that he will be with the USL TFC II on their trip to New York to play Red Bulls II on Friday night. He is only age 16 and has somewhat displaced TFC Brandon Aubrey who the team is trumpeting for 2017 Fans' Choice USL Midseason Awards as Best Defender and Rookie of the Year. After Aubrey's own goal against Harrisburg, Dunn-Johnson subbed in a few minutes later and hasn't given his spot back yet! I was expecting the Ontario side to win much more comfortably but with so many players taking the field and the fact that the players are scattered between so many teams, there were times where it looked like they'd never played together before, which was true except for a few practices. Passes were often mistimed and runs were not made after getting called offside a few times. Vaughan Azzurri and undefeated Sigma FC were the best represented L1O teams with four players each. The L1O team shutout was shared by starter Quillan Roberts from Woodbridge Strikers who made way for Triston Henry from Sigma at 62 minutes. I counted Roberts with having three 25 yard shots to save until the minute before he came off when he made a point blank save from 5 yards off PLSQ Mitchell Syla. Henry had four stops to make all from the 84th minute on. Both goalies were greatly aided by their defenders who blocked or poked away all but that one shot attempt from inside the box. It was somewhat appropriate that MVP of the game was announced as FC London defender Aaron Schneebeli. He was the only L1O player to play the full 90 minutes. Injury time found him doing the splits at 5 yards to clear a low cross sent into the box. PLSQ goalies Gabard Fenelon played the first half and Horace Patient Sobze Zemo played the second. I was watching from the stands by my choice so I'd have the sun at my back and could do my own photography. I did miss out on talking with any of the celebs or the new fan group. Jason Devos was there and Jim Brennan did the coin toss (although I realized later than may have been awkward as none of his Aurora FC players were in tonight's game). I did recognize PLSQ director Kambiz Ebadi from previous years. I asked him after the game if their league was noticing their rosters were being stocked with rather older players waiting for the start up of the new Canadian Premier League as soon as next year. His counterpart Dino Rossi in L1O and I have discussed that over the months. Yes he said that their mandate states each team has to have at least nine professionals on the team and he expects a lot of them will move along to the new league. That's what I've heard about L1O too from execs and a few players. Ron Smale, recently reelected president of the Ontario Soccer Association was handing out pins. I met other writers from the Northern Starting XI site before the game. Besides another one in the stands that will make four people rehashing the same story. How good was the attendance? Although there was only one mobile concession stand operating tonight—doing BBQ (TFC II usually also brings in an ice-cream vendor), fans were saying the stand ran out of hot dog buns and change as they were given so many $20 bills. There will be no November series to determine the best D3 caliber league in Canada between the best club teams in these two leagues. It was decided to wait until a possible matchup now that the Canadian Championships for the Voyageurs Cup will include the best L1O and PLSQ team qualifying for the competition next spring. Tonight made the twenty-ninth L1O game I've attended so far this season. Rocket Robin robing@eol.ca twitter @RocketRobin01