April 17, 2016 Toronto FC II home opener against Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Result and details of the USL game between Toronto FC II and Pittsburgh Riverhounds held at Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 4:00pm.

11 min…TFC II Nick Hagglund GOAL…TFC Raheem Edwards cornerkick from left has Hagglund in middle of box leap in between a crowd of players and head 8 yarder into top left corner of net.

40 min…PRH Romeo Parkes GOAL…Parkes rushes up the right from 60 yards and cuts towards middle and taps ball over to PRH Marshall Hollingsworth at 25 yards and he rolls ball forward for Parkes to shoot 15 yarder up middle into left corner of net beyond diving goalie Alex Bono.

54 min…TFC Raheem Edwards rushes into PRH box on left near end line getting past PRH defender Mike Green who turns and pulls him down. Referee Yusri Rudolf signals for a Penalty kick.

55 min…TFC Raheem Edwards GOAL…Edwards blasts Penalty kick low to right corner of net beyond diving goalie Hunter Gilstrap.

91 min…PRH Conor Branson GOAL…PRH Romeo Parkes on left and PRH Jordan Murrell on right line up for freekick up middle on edge of box. Parkes steps over the ball and Branson charges up behind Parkes and blasts low 20 yarder into left corner of net beyond diving goalie.

94 min…game ends 6:06pm.

Final Score: Toronto FC II……….2……….Pittsburgh Riverhounds……..2……

Attendance was announced as a sellout of 1200 fans for today’s home opener. This looked and sounds good but last year’s temporary stands of what looked like Molson Indy scaffolding has been replaced by permanent aluminum benches. The seats stretch the entire length of the west side (sun at our back) this year but there are only nine rows of seats. Other new facilities are a beer tent being installed past the south cornerflag and food trucks being now parked right behind the stands inside the grounds. There are less portapotties than last year. The sound
system was dreadful with announcements being too quiet to hear but when I talked to a TFC official after the game she said they were aware of the problem (speaker shorting blowout) and will have things better next week.   All fans were given a TFC II rally towel with the team logo and the message “TFC II- Where Reds Are Made”.

A two page program like last year was given out. TFC II is really young with unlisted ‘old men’ of starting defender Nick Hagglund, and midfield sub Eric Zavaleta both slumming it from the MLS side to get some playing time being all of 23. (OK TFC II midfielders Sal Bernal and Brian James are also 23).  Forward Jordan Hamilton was seen walking through the stands. None of these players were on the bench in TFC’s win against DC United last night. Youngest player
was 16 year old Shaan Hundal—a starting forward who played 71 minutes and was subbed off for midfielder Bernal to protect their lead. Hundal certainly didn’t look out of place today and I’d expect him back in future games.

Best players were TFC II forward Raheem Edwards who I could see soon moving up to the MLS team playing on the wing sending in crosses, freekicks, and corners or, like today, also deking around defenders to run balls into the box himself. PRH’s best player was Romeo Parkes who showed great dribbling skills for a big man and took some great shots.

TFC II goalie Alex Bono was playing almost a sweeper keeper role with him charging either out of or to the edge of the box to make clearances.  He was almost caught at 73 minutes when he ran out to 20 yards to beat Romeo Parkes to the ball then had to elude another PRH player at 30 yards ending with him sending a long pass upfield to find Raheem Edwards at the PRH 30 yards line who eventually won a cornerkick.

Best non scoring chance was at 81 minutes with PRH Isaiah Schafer from 40 yards crossed forward and into the middle that had Romeo Parkes shoot an 18 yarder off the bar. PRH Marshall Hollingsworth found the ball at 25 yards and sent the ball forward that deflected for Stephen Okai to send a low 15 yarder wide right of the post.

Best continuous action of the afternoon came in second half of injury time after the tying goal with PRH Jordan Murrell taking a cornerkick from the right the goalie caught and bowled the ball forward and a TFC II player quick pass upfield found Sal Bernal who rushed up the left and passed to Bubacarr Jobe who ran forward and his sharp angled shot from 10 yards near the right end line had the goalie bat wide for a cornerkick. Raheem Edwards too a high
cornerkick from the right that the defenders cleared forward. PRH Romeo Parkes rushed up the left and his 10 yard shot had the goalie slide to block on the left post at 4 yards.

Referee Yusri Rudolf gave out two Yellow cards to each team and most including the Penalty kick looked like they were professional fouls for being beaten by your man and lunging for the ball in a game that was never rough.

TFC II remain unbeaten this season with a record of 1 win, 2 ties so far. Riverhounds had lost their only other game this season.

Riverhounds had beaten TFC II in all three meetings last season. They are an independent team rather than one of the ‘II’ or ‘2’ or ‘B’ farm team of an MLS squad. They have two Columbus Crew players loaned to them—midfielders Marshall Hollingsworth who started and Ben Swanson who subbed in at 42 minutes. Their best player against TFC II last year (three goals) Rob Vincent joined MLS DC United for this season and Kevin Kerr (two goals) missed this game as he was getting his Green card/work permit this weekend. Last year TFCA alum Tyler Pasher scored one for PRH but he’s signed for Swope Park Rangers (Sporting Kansas City’s USL team). This year they have TFCA alum Jordan Murrell on defence and he was sending in dangerous crosses, cornerkicks, and freekicks all afternoon. The teams’ only other
meeting this season is May 21st at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh.

Team ambassador Dwayne De Rosario was at the autograph table for today’s game and also provided halftime entertainment supervising groups of his soccer camp kids to race to assemble two plastic nets for sponsor EZnetPlay.

Next Toronto FC II game is next Sunday April 24th at 4:00pm at OSC against new franchise FC Cincinnati who drew 20,497 (USL regular season record) to their home game last night.

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Robin Glover

Robin Glover

Robin has been writing about soccer in the Toronto area for message boards and his own website since the early 1990s in the days of 2400 baud modems to USENET sites. In the 2014 season he attended 76 games in various leagues that played in the GTA area. Follow Robin on Twitter and on his website

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