Rocket Robin Report: League1 Ontario Week 15 Match Reports

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Result and details of the Sunday August 13, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Toronto FC III and North Toronto Nitros played at KIA Training Centre in Downsview at 1:00pm.

7 min…TFC Daniel Da Silva GOAL…TFC Riley Ferrazzo runs down right side and sends low cross from 22 yards near end line.  A defender tries to head it and stops ball at 5 yards. Da Silva doesn’t wait and boots 6 yarder into net between that fallen defender and goalie Mark Rogal who hesitated from picking up the ball.

Niklas Bauer scores his third of the game on this Penalty kick. Photo by Robin Glover.
Niklas Bauer scores his third of the game on this Penalty kick. Photo by Robin Glover.

48 min…TFC Daniel Da Silva GOAL…TFC Cyrus Rollocks gets pass at center line on left and charges down wing. He sends low cross along 15 yard line and Da Silva shoots 12 yarder forward into right side of net past flying goalie.

53 min…NTN Niklas Bauer GOAL…NTN Jason Akoa chips pass from 60 yards on right downfield forward to Bauer and he runs down wing and 18 yard shot is deflected by sliding goalie Gianluca Catalano at 6 yards and ball pops over him and into left corner of net.

56 min…NTN Niklas Bauer GOAL…NTN Callum Fleming at 60 yards sends pass forward on right to Bauer who ran to 25 yards and crossed to left where NTN Russell Rodrigues got it at 15 yards on far left. He crosses back to middle of box and Bauer heads 8 yarder down middle just under bar.

61 min…NTN Niklas Bauer was tripped on sliding tackle in TFC left side of box by TFC Afram Gorgees. Referee Filip Dujic calls for a Penalty kick.

62 min…NTN Niklas Bauer GOAL…Bauer blasts Penalty kick low to right corner of net as goalie dives left.

Final Score:…Toronto FC III….2…North Toronto Nitros….3..

Attendance was about 50 on this hot and humid, sunny afternoon. I hadn’t been to KIA Training Centre for just over two months but today had the least wind of any game here over the years I can remember.

Referee Filip Dujic gave out three Yellow cards (two to Nitros). He also called for a water break in each half.

Niklas Bauer scored all three goals for Nitros. He had a chance at 37 minutes when he deked the goalie in the box and had his shot blocked by sliding defender Rocco Romeo at 6 yards. He wouldn’t be denied in a ten minute flurry when he scored his goals even drawing the foul to set up his Penalty kick. A L1O official mentioned that he played for ANB Futbol and Aurora FC in previous seasons. I looked through some of my old reports. Yeah 2014 he was on ANB, the same team as the Mills brothers (now with Vaughan) and Adonijah Reid (drafted by MLS FC Dallas and now loaned to USL Ottawa Fury). Reid scored his first goal on the weekend against first place Charlotte Independence but with all those tweets, you’d think his old team would mention Bauer today too.

Nitros have an association with the University of Toronto. Today they had seven players on today’s roster that were on the 2016 varsity team. (I haven’t seen a list posted on the U of T website yet for who’s on the 2017 team). One consequence is like last year, now that the school year is starting,
Nitros will have to move out of the Varsity Stadium in downtown Toronto. Next week’s home game was originally scheduled for Downsview Park (the field is only about 300 yards from here) but will now be at Esther Shiner Stadium in North York.

This is the time of year in past seasons when TFC moves up in the standings as other teams lose players going away to NCAA and Canadian universities. This season TFC has been effected by roster shifts. Midfielder Dante Campbell has signed a contract to move up to TFC II for their USL roster. Defender Julian Dunn- Johnson had moved up a few months earlier and hasn’t given up his TFC II starters spot. Midfielder Kota Sakurai has left the team to attend Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. Also many of L1O top tier teams have stacked their rosters with non-school age vets to showcase their skills for the new Canadian Premier League. Canadian National team coach Octavio Zambrano was at the League Cup final last week and tweeted his compliments of that game for scouting by the new league. It looks like TFC won’t be playing against Sigma FC high-schoolers late in the season.

Both teams started this game ten points out of first place although TFC had a record six points better than the Nitros but are in the tougher Western conference.

TFC’s record falls to 9 wins, 3 losses, 2 ties for 29 points and stay in third place, 10 points behind co-leaders Sigma FC and Oakville Blue Devils in the West.

Nitros record improves to 8 wins, 5 losses, 2 ties for 26 points and hop over Durham United into third place and are now 7 points behind Woodbridge Strikers.

While it would have been nice to talk to the players today I had just enough time I thought to drive cross town to get to Scarborough and watch Toronto Skillz and Windsor TFC Stars.

Result and details of the Sunday August 13, 2017 League1 Ontario game between Toronto Skillz and Windsor TFC Stars played at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough at 4:00pm.

Windsor player heads away freekick into Stars box. Photo by Robin Glover.
Windsor player heads away freekick into Stars box. Photo by Robin Glover.

24 min…Skillz Frantz Bill GOAL…A Windsor defender’s clearance in the box is off Bill at 15 yards and the ball deflects into the left side of the net beyond the diving goalie Kyle Vizirakis.

76 min…Skillz Neil Brown GOAL…TS Leslie Fitzpatrick rolls pass from 45 yards to Brown breaking in alone from 30 yards and he rolls 15 yarder from left into right corner of net.

92 min…Skillz Kamara Joseph GOAL…TS Neil Brown passes through ball for Joseph in middle and from 20 yards he chips goalie standing at 10 yards and ball bounces into net.

93 min…Windsor RED card…Goalie Kyle Vizirakis earns his second Yellow of the game for complaining about the goal being allowed (and not being called offside).

95 min…game ends before play resumes.

Final Score:….Toronto Skillz……3…..Windsor TFC Stars…..0…..

Attendance was about 35 plus about 20 ball kids on this still hot and humid late afternoon.

I don’t know if the league will admit Windsor finished with nine men. Wait you say?   Robin, you only listed one RED card! Yes because they only started with ten men! How? They carpooled to Toronto again (I asked a group of players after the game) five hours to get here with no bench and not enough starters. The thing is they had enough chances to beat the last place team in the league until fatigue from this hot day, smart subbing, and the Skillz ability to finally time their runs effectively to win the ref’s assistant’s approval on offside calls leading to a few breakaways in the second half.

Stars stayed under the canopy of their player’s bench between halfs I suppose to conserve energy. I’ve seen Stars four times this year and there were a lot of unfamiliar faces. Going through the L1O roster for the team, it appears there were five of the ten playing in their first game for them today. One guy looked like he was more the team bouncer than a player.

Referee Lukasz Kolwalski gave out a total of eight cards, four to each team. Both teams were caught often on offside plays. There were no water breaks called which further wilted the Stars.

The first goal looked like it would stand. Strange is that it was the second time in the game a defender’s clearance attempt almost resulted in a goal. At 12 minutes TS Leslie Fitzpatrick gave a through ball chip to TS Neil Brown at 30 yards. A defender retreated and checked him from behind. Another defender cleared the ball off Brown at about 18 yards and the ball ricocheted backward and just missed the top right corner of the Windsor net.

Windsor players had a few chances in the second half but were sometimes faced with 1 v 3 or 1 v 4 plays. A minute after the second goal, WS Jordan Lidia rolled a centering pass from 20 yards on the left and WS Michael Pio shot a 10 yarder over the bar. Pio had shout for a Penalty kick on a 1 v 3 rush up the middle at 63 minutes when he bashed by one defender at 25 yards and then was squeezed between two more at 15 yards who jostled him over.

Lucas Birnstigl earned the shutout for Skillz with a few key saves.

When the game ended I went on the field and congratulated Skillz co-head coach Leslie ‘Tiger’ Fitzpatrick for his team’s first win of the season after twelve straight defeats. The former Trinidad & Tobago international is now 38 and played the whole game to ensure the victory. He was setting up teammates all afternoon and it finally paid off in their second goal. I said “…you play who they put in front of you (ten guys)”. He agreed
and said they’ve been struggling all season. Now I don’t have to worry about Thursday’s game when they have a rescheduled game against ProStars FC who are now the only team that have not won a game all season. Skillz could be on a win streak after that game!

I asked a Skillz official about suspended players Andre Simmond and Adam Waithe who were both Red carded within three minutes for head butting in a game last month that got out of hand against Oakville.  She said Simmond was still serving his suspension and Waithe has disappeared.  “Disappeared” as in went back to school?  Nope they’ve lost contact with him.

I waited for Stars captain Stephen Ademolu to leave the dressing room and asked talked to him about why the shortage of players today. There have been other times they’ve been short on subs this year but never not having enough starters. He said they’ve had three players leave the team now that NCAA and Canadian schools have started their preparation for the school season. Their youth academy (which every L1O team uses to fill rosters) is involved in the Ontario Cup so they weren’t available either. I said this reminded me of the bad old days in the CPSL when they came short and L1O at least schedules reasonably timed afternoon games for them. I reminded him of one late night CPSL game when a player after a game start delay “Can we just get on with this? I have to teach school tomorrow!”.

This is the first time this year I’ve been to Birchmount Stadium. I have seen a Skillz home game but was held at a different park. I asked a stadium official if the scoreboard didn’t work for just today. He said it hasn’t worked all season and blamed it partly on the construction they are doing out in the parking lot. It was quite an obstacle course to get here. The last block of Birchmount Ave is also undergoing construction with the road ripped up. Needless to say all times are converted from my wristwatch.  I expect they just started after the Robbie Tournament ended last month.

Toronto Skillz record improves to 1 win, 12 losses, and 0 ties for three points. That’s still well down in eighth place (last) in the Eastern Conference.

Windsor falls to 5 wins, 6 losses, and 4 ties for 19 points. That’s good for fifth place in the West.

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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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