Rocket Robin Report: League1 Ontario July 7-9

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Result and details of the Friday July 7, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Durham United FA and Sanjaxx Lions played at the Pickering Soccer Centre in Pickering at 7:30pm.

Le Rohne Young gets ready to take Penalty shot at 87 minutes. Photo by Robin Glover.
Le Rohne Young gets ready to take Penalty shot at 87 minutes. Photo by Robin Glover.

86 min…DUFA Stefan Lamanna runs into left side of box and is body checked by SJ Nick Charles and goes down. Referee Braedon Krampert calls for a Penalty kick.

87 min…DUFA La Rohne Young GOAL…Young rolls his Penalty kick to left corner of net just out of reach of diving goalie Tayjon Campbell.

Final Score:…..Durham United FA…..1…..Sanjaxx Lions…..0…

Attendance was about 60. This game had been rescheduled for this facility a few weeks ago because the city of Pickering had decided that Kinsmen Park was still not ready (no games have been played there this season). Tonight it was a good thing as we could hear thunder at the 7 minute mark which would have stopped the game if it had been outdoors. The rain could be heard for the rest of the half pelting off the bubble we were in. With the ‘game can’t restart until 30 minutes after the last bolt of lightning’ rule it would have meant a long delay and with the conditions of Kinsmen Park beside a swamp the field would have been flooded anyway.

This was the third game this week for Sanjaxx. They had lost 2-0 to Woodbridge last Sunday night, tied Master’s FA 3-3 on a rescheduled game on Wednesday night, and then played again tonight. What made it worse is they had only brought eleven players so they had absolutely no subs to bring in. This obvious advantage of having a full bench was brought home when DUFA Vince Sasso was injured near the SJ cornerflag at 49 minutes. He was treated off the field for a leg injury and stepped back on at 52 minutes and immediately collapsed. He said he couldn’t continue and was replaced by Kashiff DeJonge. DUFA would eventually max out their five subs although the one they made at 90 minutes was just to grind away some of the four minutes of injury time. Contrast that with Sanjaxx who at 73 minutes had Samyr Oshin injured when he lost a race for a through ball with DUFA goalie Ben Cowman who dove on the ball and Oshin fell over him as he tried to twist away. Play continued upfield with Cowman’s quick pass and then SJ Kemar Rowe was injured at the other end of the field. When play was called the trainer treated Rowe and the assistant coach treated Oshin. Rowe had an eye injury the trainer told the bench when she came off the field. (I came home and replayed the Canadian national team subbing their goalie’s for a head injury). The point of course is Sanjaxx had to keep them in the game or play short.

Ben Cowman earned the shutout for DUFA. He had a few key saves to make but Sanjaxx has only scored 12 goals in 11 games so there were more shots high or wide than on target. Durham have one of the best defensive records only allowing 9 goals in 11 games so the defense which tonight included Vince Sasso, Joe Zupo, Cameron Brooks, and Jonathon Parolini deserve some of the credit. Taylor Lord is defensive midfielder to add even more stability. He is back as captain after missing a few games early in the season because of injury.

Tayjon Campbell was more tested with about three diving saves. I thought at least DUFA would dominate when Sanjaxx tired with the three games in six days and no bench but that was not the case and they had a few chances in the second half for an upset.

Referee Braedon Krampert gave out only two Yellow cards (one to each team) at 83 and 84 minutes. DUFA Joe Zupo earned it for a body check preventing Stefi Nikolic from run up the middle from center (the same play three minutes later would give DUFA their Penalty kick—location, location, location). SJ Mahamat Abdellatif earned his a minute later for mouthing off.

I was happy that Sanjaxx wore navy numbers on white shirts and I could see them easier than the usual white numbers on yellow.

It was a comparable crowd size wise to other’s I’ve seen here this season. The Gold Cup just started tonight and Canada played in the first game of the tournament. I was surprised that the one television in the lobby was tuned into the baseball game with Blue Jays already losing 9-0. I looked at my watch and decided that it must have been halftime in New York too but someone said the complex may not have more than basic cable. Yeah Canada’s game was only on TSN 5.

DUFA’s win improves their record to 6 wins, 3 losses, 2 ties, for 20 points and a tie for second in the East with North Toronto Nitros who have a game in hand which they will play on Sunday in a home game to Windsor.

Sanjaxx record falls to 1 win, 7 losses, 3 ties for 6 points and are seventh in the eight team Western Conference.

Result and details of the Saturday July 8, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Master’s FA Saints and Pro Stars FC played at L’Amoreaux Park in Scarborough at 1:00pm.

Master's Malek DeFreitas (20) crosses ball into box. Photo by Robin Glover.
Master’s Malek DeFreitas (20) crosses ball into box. Photo by Robin Glover.

29 min…MFA Devonte Brown GOAL…MFA Joey Melo passes ball up middle from 35 yards to Brown at 25 yards and he lobs 20 yard shot down middle into top left over flying goalie Jonathan Albanese.

53 min…MFA Joey Melo GOAL…Melo blasts 22 yard freekick from left into top right corner of net.

68 min…PS RED card…George Owusu earns his second Yellow card within 16 minutes for a body check tackle at PS 40 yard line as players played a loose ball.

Final Score:….Master’s FA Saints…..2…Pro Stars FC……0….

Attendance was about 40 on this mild and sunny early afternoon with a strong crossfield wind from the west.  A young Master’s boys team had just beaten the DeRo Academy before the L1O teams took the field for warm ups. Dwayne De Rosario was coaching his own academy team.  I’m sure there’s some ‘insert big star name here’ Academy where the namesake only shows up at the year end dinner.  Of course when kids’ teams play because of parents and families there’s always triple the attendance but few stayed for the adults’ game.

Daniel Gosciniak earned the shutout for Master’s.  He had a few stops to make but mostly the defenders covered the box for him and ProStars forwards shot off target.

Jonathan Albanese had much more to do in net for Pro Stars including a second half injury time save where MFA Jose De Sousa blasted a low 20 yarder that the sliding goalie saved at 12 yards off his face.  He needed treatment for a bloody nose and the referee decided that was a good time to blow the whistle to end the game.

Referee Alexis Vaughan gave out only three Yellow cards (two to Pro Stars and they were both to the same player).   Master’s had far more scoring chances but kept Pro Stars in the game as they didn’t put them away. 72 minutes was Pro Stars best chance of the game when Adel Rahman received a cross from the right end line at 10 yards in the middle and he blasted a shot off the underside of the bar and a defender cleared.

Master’s team from a brief scan of year of birth from the game sheets averaged five years older than Pro Stars.  Master’s is another team with mature twenty-something players that in my opinion are just waiting to move to the CanPrem league when it starts as soon as next year.

Master’s win improves their record to 4 wins, 5 losses, 2 ties for 14 points and are fifth of eight teams in the Eastern Conference.

Pro Stars loss moves their record to 0 wins, 9 losses, 1 tie for 1 point and are eighth in the West.  This was actually a better defensive effort than their average.  Including today’s totals, they’ve allowed 40 goals against in their ten games.

I don’t go out to L1O games if they are the same day as TFC and TFC II games but I wanted to see Pro Stars today.  This is the second time this season I’ve seen this Brampton area team.  This means that in the league’s eleventh week of the season I’ve seen all sixteen men’s teams at least twice in the twenty-four games I’ve attended.  What next?  Well I’m not that far off being able to say ‘seen every team three times’.

Result and details of the Sunday July 9, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Toronto Skillz and Oakville Blue Devils played at L’Amoreaux Park #1
in Scarborough at 12:00pm.

OBD Judah Hernandez sends freekick into short side outside webbing of net. Photo by Robin Glover.
OBD Judah Hernandez sends freekick into short side outside webbing of net. Photo by Robin Glover.

21 min…OBD Anthony Novak GOAL…OBD Connor McNamara sends pass in from 45 yards on left that finds Novak at 20 yards on left and he cuts to goal and rolls 10 yarder into net past goalie Lucas Birnstingl.

43 min…OBD Matt Santos GOAL…OBD Anthony Novak pass from left at 28 yards finds Santos in middle and his one-touch low shot from 10 yards is under goalie into center of net.

47 min…OBD Anthony Novak GOAL…OBD Al James cross from 25 yards on far left has Novak leap at 5 yards on right post and kick in shot from 5 yards.

49 min…OBD Anthony Novak GOAL…OBD Khody Ellis run on right and he rolls centering pass and Novak is pulled over by TS Nicholas Goddard at 15 yards but gets up and blasts 10 yarder down middle into roof of net.

63 min…OBD Logan Podrebarac GOAL…OBD Anthony Novak rolls pass over from middle to Podrebarac and he shoots low 10 yarder from left into right corner of net.

85 min…TS RED card…Andre Simmond earns it for a body check/head butt in center circle.

Finals Score:…..Toronto Skillz……0…..Oakville Blue Devils…..5…

Attendance eventually climbed to about 60 on this mild early afternoon with a hazy sun until it clouded up in the second half.

This is not the regular home of Toronto Skillz but since it is the second weekend of the Robbie Tournament at Birchmount Stadium they moved the game to this field. I was here yesterday afternoon to watch Master’s FA Saints beat Pro Stars FC 2-0 as it is Master’s home field.

Skillz therapist Brian Mak treats injured OBD player Al James. Photo by Robin Glover.
Skillz therapist Brian Mak treats injured OBD player Al James. Photo by Robin Glover.

This is the third time I’ve seen each team this season but Skillz first ‘home’ game and Blue Devils first road game. Skillz had a record of ten games, ten losses but both of their games I’ve seen they only lost by one goal. Last week though they lost 8-0 on a trip to play FC London. Oakville is at the opposite end of results with them dueling for first place in the other conference but we are in the cross over part of the schedule.

The game was played mostly in the Skillz end but it wasn’t until the second goal just before halftime that the game was broken open. Oakville doubling their lead in the first five minutes of the second half and the game was really over. Oakville cycled through their bench and by 64 minutes had made their maximum of five subs.

Matt George earned the shutout for Oakville without haviug much to do except catch a cross and a few bouncers from long range.

Nicholas Goddard was a last minute switch to start for Skillz in defence and a good choice as he broke up a great many OBD plays or it could have been double digits in the first half. I’ve been watching him since at least 2009 when he played for Toronto Croatia—a team mate of now referee Braedan Krampert.

Things got ugly at 83 minutes when OBD Al James was head butted on a check on the sideline in front of the fourth official’s table right in front of me. The OBD bench jumped up to appeal for a card. James was on his knees with his head in the ground with him turned away from me. A team official looked at him and asked for the Skillz trainer. The diagnosis got worse the longer time went on. A possible concussion, a deep cut facial laceration, a requirement that he’d need stitches, and then the trainer asked the league’s game official to use his walkie-talkie to call the announcer’s tent for them to call for an ambulance. Skillz players infuriated the OBD players and bench with questions like “Is he alright?” and making excuses that their player was only age 16. The Skillz head coach Leslie Fitzpatrick had subbed himself into the game at 74 minutes and that made it awkward for him to give orders during the dust up. The trainer asked that all the players from both teams back off to give him more room. There was no card given out on the play. Just seconds after play resumed at 85 minutes, a Skillz player checked an OBD player in the center circle on what looked like another head butt. Referee Michael Stenbring brought out a straight Red card and the player left the field. Stenbring came over to the fourth official and said to radio over that there would be no added time and the game ended promptly at 90 minutes. Oakville was mostly playing keep-away for the last part of the game anyway.

*Now I had marked down that it was Adam Waithe who had given Al James the body check. I then wrote that is was Andre Simmond who was given the Red card. The OBD bench had called out that “it’s the same guy” who made the check when play resumed and that made it easy for the referee to give the make up call and prevent a riot. This got me confused as I know what I wrote. The league website doesn’t help because it lists both Skillz players getting Red cards but also lists Anthony Novak as scoring the first four goals. Their twitter account says the same thing. I straightened up the confusion for myself by asking the OBD coaching staff for who scored. Easy enough! A google search reveals that Adam Waithe is age 19 (I couldn’t find an answer for Andre Simmond) so maybe it was Simmond all along or maybe Skillz just (by deliberately underestimating his age) using age as an excuse. If there were two Red cards given out it wouldn’t explain why OBD was so upset claiming the first incident the player got away with it. I will see if the league site makes a correction as I don’t want to hang the Skillz players out to dry by listing the wrong one (their video of the entire game will be posted in a few days so I may be able to squint and see if I can see who is was). Stenbring gave out two Yellow cards (both to Skillz—L1O software can’t record a card to a goalie!) and the one Red that I saw.

If I can clear this up I can easily clear up my own web page, edit message boards and for those web sites I don’t control, I can add a message to one of my L1O reports next week–all going well.

Al James is a skilled defender who I’ve watched since at least the 2011 PDL Toronto Lynx season. Another vet is Skillz goalie Lucas Birnstingl who I have at least listed as on the bench of some games I watched of the first Toronto FC Academy CSL team that started back in 2008!

I waited a few minutes after the game near the exit wondering where the ambulance was. It had driven through an open soccer field via the parking lot and they opened a gate in the fence on the west side—good thing they got some city staff to unlock it before the game started—their idea earlier so it was easier to fetch balls sent over the sideline fence and it made it easy to get James out quickly.

Toronto Skillz record falls to 0 wins, 11 losses, 0 ties for 0 points and are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. After two blowouts in a row, this may cause increased trouble for the league on the discipline front.

Oakville’s record improves to 9 wins, 2 losses, 0 ties for 27 points and are in second place two points behind undefeated Sigma FC in the West.

Hey today was my twenty-fifth L10 game this season and the season is just past half over. Silver game, can I make gold this year? Lots of TFC and TFC II games in the way.

Follow up:….Playing back the end of the game from YouTube and I can see referee Michael Stenbring gave out a Red card to Skillz Adam Waithe at 83 minutes and then Andre Simmond at 85 minutes. I can see myself turned to look at OBD Al James being treated for his injury and didn’t catch the first Red card and just relied on the comments from the OBD bench.

The L1O website did correct the goalscorers by late Monday.

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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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