Rocket Robin Report: Toronto FC II vs Pittsburgh Riverhounds

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Riverhound's Romeo Parkes scores on free kick past Angelo Cavalluzzo at 86 minutes. Photo by Robin Glover.
Riverhound’s Romeo Parkes scores on free kick past Angelo Cavalluzzo at 86 minutes. Photo by Robin Glover.

Result and details of the Saturday June 10, 2017 USL game between Toronto FC II and Pittsburgh Riverhounds played at Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 7:30pm.

58 min…TFC Tsubasa Endoh GOAL…TFC Oyvind Alseth rushes down right and sends low cross and has Endoh on right while even with right post shoots 10 yarder to top right corner of net beyond reach of goalie Trey Mitchell.

86 min…PR Romeo Parkes GOAL…PR Kenroy Howell approaching freekick at 22 yards in middle from right steps over ball. PR Corey Hertzog approaching from left steps over ball. Parkes down middle bends low freekick around the left side of TFC player wall and goalie Angelo Cavalluzzo dives to left post and gets hand to but only pushes it higher into net.

Final Score:…..Toronto FC II……..1…….Pittsburgh Riverhounds…..1

Attendance was announced as 761 on this hot evening with the sun still out in the west and a wind from the west.  MLSE worked hard to sell this game. The theme was ‘Young Reds Day’.  For an hour before game time MLS goalie Alex Bono was signing autographs (he started last year for TFC II).  Kids got a TFC wristband which the boys in my row started hitting each other with. After the game kids age 14 and under (had to sign a waiver first) got a chance to take Penalty kicks on a TFC II goalie.  I could see it wasn’t Angelo Cavalluzzo nor Mark Pais and third stringer Brogan Engbers was away with TFC III as the backup goalie in a League 1 Ontario game against Windsor TFC.

Man of the Match (who is always a TFC II player) was announced as goalie Angelo Cavalluzzo who was the obvious choice for all the spectacular saves he made through the game. With TFC outfield players only scoring four goals all season so far, he should be stockpiling the espresso machines they give to the MOTM winner and can re-gift them at Christmas time.

Referee Alexis Vaughan gave out five cards that I counted (three to TFC) in a game that was more wide open than rough. She didn’t award PR Corey Hertzog a Penalty kick at 90 minutes when he was rolled a ball up the middle by Romeo Parkes but had a sliding TFC defender poke the ball away in the box. Two minutes later when she was calling in the trainer to help a seriously injured PR Stephen Okai injured way back in the PR end, when Hertzog kept yapping about it she gave him a Yellow card so he’d back off. Mike Green had to sub in for Okai.

With their MLS team with the week off, this was a game that TFC II would have the best chance of winning for only the second time all season. Their roster was stocked with their fringe players from the big club. Ashtone Morgan, Tsubasa Endoh, Jay Chapman, Ben Spencer, with Jordan Hamilton coming off the bench at 59 minutes. Their timing just seemed to be off along with a good Riverhounds defense mostly clearing the dangers into the box.  This team was strength-wise not that much weaker than the Canadian Championship first leg game in Ottawa which the Fury won 2-1. Hmm Fury will be here in less than a month to play TFC II in USL action!

TFC II season can be summarized with the last play of injury time chance where Tsubasa Endoh took a 35 yard freekick down the middle over to Brandon Aubrey at 15 yards on the right and he headed the ball across the box and Jay Chapman headed an 8 yarder down the middle that went off the bar and the defenders cleared. Well a tie was a fair result.

Biggest surprise of the night was seeing Romeo Parkes in the Riverhounds lineup. Last year he scored a goal in their match against TFC II but within a matter of weeks he had his contract terminated by the league and the team owner when he kicked (at the time) New York Red Bulls II Canadian international Karl Ouimette in the back after receiving a Red card and it made headlines around the world.  I thought Parkes would return to Jamaica and we’d never hear from him again or eventually play but never in Pittsburgh but he was tonight back at being their star. Both TFC II assistant coach Chris Pozniak and play by play commentator Terry Dunfield said they had heard of the situation before I mentioned it. “Sometimes soccer can be very forgiving” is what Pozniak said to me.

Riverhounds before tonight were in a five way tie for fifth place so although now they are 4 wins, 5 losses, 4 ties for 16 points, not knowing how the other results went earlier in the day, they may have lost ground.

TFC II improve their record to 1 win, 7 losses, 5 ties for 8 points and are fifteenth (last) in the Eastern Conference. The site sportsclubstats.com has the MLS Toronto FC with a 98.5% chance of making the playoffs. Their USL calculations have TFC II with a less than 1% chance of finishing in the top eight in the East for playoff qualification. TFC II’s next game is this Wednesday at 12:00pm (Noon) in another school day game. The opponents will be Orlando City ‘B’.

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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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