Rocket Robin Report: League1 Ontario Week 14 Match Reports

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Result and details of the Saturday July 29, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Sigma FC and Durham United FA played at the Hershey Centre at 4:00pm.

Sigma's Kyle Walton takes throw-in. Photo by Robin Glover.
Sigma’s Kyle Walton takes throw-in. Photo by Robin Glover.

2 min…Sigma Kadell Thomas GOAL…Sigma Tajon Bucanan beats defender who had slipped on right side of box and sends low cross from 15 yards on right end line that has Thomas pound in 2 yarder on right side forward into roof of net between goalie and defender.

37 min…DUFA Tyrell Rayne GOAL…DUFA Joe Zupo from 65 yards threads high pass between two defenders at 30 yards and Rayne at 25 yards turns and fires 22 yard blast into top right corner of net.

45 min…(first half)…Sigma Kadell Thomas GOAL…Sigma Tajon Buchanan cross from 25 yards on right has goalie Peter Katarsaris fumble overhead catch through his hands and Thomas at 5 yards on left side of net blasts shot into roof of open net.

56 min…DUFA La Rohne Young GOAL…A DUFA player is tackled like a football game at 33 yards in middle but referee signals to play on and DUFA Stefan Lamanna rolls pass forward and Young gets it at 28 yards and runs up middle on breakaway and takes low 18 yard shot to right side of net past sprawling goalie Triston Henry.

60 min…Sigma RED card…Kadell Thomas earns a direct ejection from referee John Vlahos for kicking someone at DUFA 30 yard line.

84 min…Sigma RED card…Manvir Brar earns his second Yellow card in 8 minutes for a shoulder grab on a DUFA player at Sigma 30 yard line cutting towards middle. (Sigma goalie Triston Henry received a Yellow card for complaining about that call. It also looked the referee ejected Sigma head coach Bobby Smyrniotis for complaining as well as he and Brar both made their way to the dressing room).

Final Score:…Sigma FC……..2…….Durham United FA…….2……

Attendance was about 150 on this hot and humid afternoon with some low clouds which caused the airplanes which approach Pearson Airport from the west fly really close overhead. There’s one about every three minutes.

Sigma had to adapt to playing with two men down near the end. It wasn’t as bad as it could have been. Sigma used their fifth sub (league max) to sub out forward Alex Halis who had only come in at halftime with defender Arlick Ntabana at 87 minutes. DUFA meanwhile had only brought four subs (including a goalie) and had brought in their three field players by the 75 minute mark. When DUFA Tajmir Ashraq was injured when pushed over trying to send in an off balance cross from near the left cornerflag at 88 minutes he could not continue and the team just played short (or in this case only ‘up’ one man). The Sigma goalie punched DUFA Michael Maonano’s 30 yard freekick from the left away but won a freekick with DUFA players piling into the box at 89 minutes. 90 minutes had DUFA Joseph Roccasalva cross from 25 yards on the left and DUFA Duwayne Ewart charging down the mddle headed an 8 yarder wide left of the post. The referee gave out a Yellow card at 91 minutes and I’m not even sure to what team as he was more than 15 yards away from their group—probably didn’t want to get near them with tempers flaring. Sigma’s Tajon Buchanan had the last chance holding off a defender to get away a 15 yard shot on the right wide right of the post. Sigma had survived the four minutes of added time to stay undefeated in league play.

Sigma’s record improves to 11 wins, 0 losses, 3 ties for 36 points and are in first place in the Western Conference with a six point lead on Oakville Blue Devils who they happen to have next on their schedule for a home game on Thursday game. This could be the most important game of the season as the race will be almost over at the two-thirds mark of the season if Sigma wins.

Durham’s record improves to 6 wins, 5 losses, 3 ties for 21 points. They are in fourth place in the eight team Eastern Conference. They are 8 points behind Woodbridge and have played three games more than the conference leaders.

I didn’t hang around to ask questions except to have La Rohne Young fill in the assist on his goal. Where were Sigma stars Mo Babouli (although two assists 18 year old Tajon Buchanan played well) and Johnny Grant? I was off to see Pro Stars host Toronto Skillz that started in less than an hour—wow would I get a surprise.

Result and details of the Saturday July 29, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Pro Stars FC and Toronto Skillz scheduled to be played at Avondale Stadium in Brampton at 7:00pm.

The game was NOT played and will have to be rescheduled.   I thought I was in luck when I saw players in the parking lot after I raced here from the Hershey Centre after the Sigma vs Durham game.

I didn’t expect they’d be in what we called Victoria Stadium which was somehow damaged after the fire at the adjoining Victoria Park Arena last June. The team was using a practice field which suited the needs of the small crowds they attract.  I learned that the City of Brampton called off the game because of the wet field.  Some kids had been playing on it and stomped it up. It didn’t rain at all yesterday in my city next door.  I didn’t go over to check it myself.  Well this after praising Brampton two weeks ago with their truck logos of ‘Garden City’.

These were the only two teams who had not won a game this year and here we are in week 14.  Nathanael Martin, another writer for Northern Starting XI, was here too—wow coverage like this was the L1O finals.

I talked with league commissioner Dino Rossi at the Sigma game this afternoon about this game—no he would not be tweeting his congratulations to the winner like he did for the first four weeks of the season. Yeah I thought so—too embarrassing.

I recognized Josef Komlodi, the head coach of ProStars.  I went over to say it was too bad about the cancelled game and he said he had some news about the trip to the Czech Republic.  Hmm I’m interested.

The tourney was held in Prague.  He said they had three players signed by the Slovakian second division team KFC Komarno.  The players are midfield brothers Adel Rahman (age 22), and Navid Rahman (age 21) and 20 year old Troy Ferreirinha-Boorman (who I looked up on L1O rosters and has not played in an L1O game so I expect he’s on their U21s).  He said Navid has already scored in an exhibition game for Komarno.  Their regular season kicked off today.

Komladi whom I’ve known since coaching CPSL Mississauga Eagles and North York Astros before his L1O days says he’s always pushing his players to sign contracts in Europe.  He boasts that he’s placed more players in Europe than all the other coaches in L1O put together.  He said he got Atiba Hutchinson at age 18 over to Europe.  Also David Simpson and Jose Melo.  He turns his players over once they turned 24.

He says players just use “but my parents aren’t from Europe/so I can’t get a European passport” as an excuse.  The Rahman brothers are actually of Pakistani heritage.

I think it’s great that he chooses this method balanced against other teams bragging about how many scholarships they’ve ensured for their players.

This game will have to be rescheduled.   There’s still enough time in the season that it shouldn’t have to go in the archives as a 0-0 tie to balance the season standings.

Result and details of the Sunday July 30, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Woodbridge Strikers and Toronto FC III played at Vaughan Grove in Woodbridge at 7:00pm.

 WS James Baker #15 takes opening kickoff. Photo by Robin Glover
WS James Baker #15 takes opening kickoff. Photo by Robin Glover

Final Score:…..Woodbridge Strikers…..0….Toronto FC III…..0…

Attendance was about 500 people for the team’s best turnout of the season on this hot and humid evening although the worst of the hot weather had past. There must have been more than 100 boys in their white kits here from their youth teams which meant a lot of parents here as well. Most of the stands were full and a lot of the youth players were sitting in the grass in front of the stands and had to be constantly moved back as they were too close to the sidelines. (Strikers wore blue kits again tonight so there was no confusion with the kids). Their Select U-7 boys provided a 5v5 mini game at halftime—wow kids playing their positions instead of the usual mob-the-ball carnage at BMO Field mini-games. There was an autograph session after the game which had a lot of the parents stay for that. Still most of the kids got bored and played their own soccer behind the stands or waited in line for hot dogs to kill the time. I wouldn’t expect by the logistics of the work to organize this that they’d hold this on a regular basis.

Referee John Vlahos gave out five Yellow cards (three to TFC III) all for tackles that I noticed rather than dissent. A lot of the game was end to end action.

Quillan Roberts earned the shutout for Woodbridge with a few key saves but mostly he anticipated where the ball would be so he could either run out to make his own clearances or cut down on the angles to ensure a save or a shot wide of the net. Roberts had worked his way through the TFC Academy from 2009 and was on TFC II last year. He must be more looking forward than looking back as he’ll likely find a spot with the Canadian Premier League when it gets started but a game like this will only help his profile. He has played all 14 league games and only allowed nine goals–Woodbridge has allowed the lowest goals against in the league!

Gianluca Catalano earned the shutout for TFC III. He was good with only two ‘safety first’ swats through the box in the early part of the game rather than try to catch in a crowd of players. One of them at 13 minutes had the ball land for a WS player at 10 yards and defender Nikola Static made a goal line sliding save to keep the ball out. Catalano was named to the L1O All-Stars roster for their game against the PLSQ All-Stars but never got into the game because Quillan Roberts played the first 62 minutes and then Triston Henry of Sigma FC finished the game. He was helped by Woodbridge being caught offside at least five times in the first 23 minutes.

More accurate shooting by both teams could have made this a 3-3 game.

Woodbridge captain Dylan Carreiro and Joshua Paredes-Proctor took almost all of the freekicks and cornerkicks.

I saw TFC III for the fifth time this season but I hadn’t seen them in almost two months so I wondered if anything had changed as they are still doing well in the standings. Captain Steve Furlano not on the roster! OK I see by the game day sheets he was listed as suspended. I recognized him in the stands and asked him after the game. He expects to be back as captain.

Dante Campbell has signed a pro contract and was in the TFC II roster in defence for their game in Ottawa on Saturday. He joins defender Julian Dunn-Johnson who moved up a few months earlier and has become a regular starter. Dunn-Johnson was named a starter on the L1O All Star roster but had already moved on from this team.

Captain for TFC tonight was Kota Sakurai. I had read from him that he was leaving to start school at Dartmouth. After the game I asked him about it. He answered tonight was his last game and it is the first time he’s been captain. He only played 53 minutes as he hurt his leg in a tackle. He was wearing a bag of ice on his knee and carrying the team’s drink cooler. (Seems strange that Vaughan’s Jarek Whiteman carried the cooler chest after the game he scored seven goals but he hadn’t been hurt). Well Sakurai wasn’t limping. Matthew Srbely finished the game as captain.

I also asked TFC midfielder Jordan Faria after the game if he was related to Shawn Faria (a player I used to watch play with Toronto Lynx of the A-League back in the early 2000s). “No but he is my teacher”. I looked that up the next day and found that he is a high school teacher with the Dufferin-Peel Catholic School Board!

Woodbridge’s record improves to 9 wins, 1 losses, 3 ties for 30 points. They are in first place in the Eastern Conference with a five point lead over Vaughan Azzurri. Toronto FC III’s record improves to 8 wins, 2 losses, 2 ties for 26 points. They are in third place in the West pulling ahead of FC London who had caught them in the standings on Friday night with a home win.

Next Sunday is the L1O Women’s and Men’s Cup Finals held at the Ontario Soccer Centre (about 400 yards diagonally north-east of Vaughan Grove) and Woodbridge Strikers are in both games so we’ll see if they can get a good crowd for that.

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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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