Rocket Robin Report: Toronto FC II vs Saint Louis FC

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Result and details of the Wednesday August 30, 2017 USL game between Toronto FC II and Saint Louis FC played at The Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 7:30pm.

38 min…StL Christian Volesky GOAL…StL Austin Ledbetter at 22 yards in middle rolls ball forward and Volesky steps between two defenders to get pass at 12 yards and at 8 yards even with right post shoots ball over sliding goalie Angelo Cavalluzzo into top right corner of net.

92 min…TFC II Shaan Hundal GOAL…TFC Tsubasa Endoh at 22 yards on right just outside of box sends cross into box and ball is over leaping TFC Jordan McCrary at 8 yards in middle but TFC Jordan Hamilton chests ball down at 10 yards while even with left post to center and Hundal steps over from right and blasts 8 yard shot over waving goalie Devala Gorrick at 3 yards and into top of net.

94 min…game ends 9:28pm.

Final Score:…Toronto FC II…1…Saint Louis FC…1…

Attendance was announced as 647 on this overcast and mild evening (dark by the second half). This is the first home game for TFC II since it was announced that next year the team would be playing downtown at both BMO Field and Lamport Stadium (the other side of the railway tracks 1000 yards away). Also next year the tickets would be ‘free’ in that they are part of the TFC MLS season ticket package. Free tickets (by staying after TFC MLS games and a special open practice) have already taken place this season with a best draw of 3200 but that is something like 15% of what USL Cincinnati drew for some of their key games.

Man of the Match (who is always a TFC II player) was awarded to defender Brandon Aubrey. I wonder if that decision was made before Shaan Hundal came into the game at 87 minutes and scored at 92 minutes? He took the place of Ben Spencer whom I’m sure I wrote his number down at most twice for being involved in a play and he was anchoring the forward line with Jordan Hamilton.

Referee David Barrie gave out five Yellow cards tonight (three to Saint Louis) with one at 6 minutes curbing the rough play until an injury time dust-up when he gave one each to StL Ivan Mirkovic and TFC Ryan Telfer for a multi-player pushing match.

Both goalies Angelo Cavalluzzo and Devala Gorrick played well tonight with Gorrick especially helped by his defence clearing countless crosses sent into the box by Ryan Telfer, Jordan McCrary, and Tsubasa Endoh—until that 92 minute hiccup.

TFC (MLS) vets defender/winger Ashtone Morgan (100+ MLS games), second year winger Tsubasa Endoh, and forward Jordan Hamilton are settling in fine with the USL team. I don’t what will happen to them next season with the MLS club finding a player from Liechtenstein to jump right into the starting eleven.

A tie result is an identical script to TFC’s last home game against Charleston Independence exactly three Wednesday’s ago when Jordan Hamilton scored an injury time tieing goal down at BMO Field. Then on Saturday night they came back from 2-0 down in Charleston to win 3-2 scoring three goals against a ten man team but between that they lost two more road games.

I was wondering who TFC II would start in net. Cavalluzzo was a good choice but Mark Pais who has played about half their games was goalie for Saint Louis last season so I thought he’d be an insider for the spot tonight.  I received a TFC tweet earlier today that Clint Irwin has been ‘loaned’ to TFC II for the time (TFC have a week off from their MLS schedule and hasn’t played a game for quite awhile). Actually Gianluca Catalano was the backup goalie tonight.

TFC (MLS) player Justin Morrow was under a canopy near the entrance signing autographs on picture postcards before the game. I was one of the first there and said “You’re still left handed!” as I’d seen him at a TFC BBQ a few years ago. I said I saw him at the Gold Cup (for the USA) and said it’s
too bad he wasn’t named for this week’s World Cup Qualifiers. He had a three year gap (2014 and 2017) between call ups.

Other celebs were first team goalie Alex Bono who was on the field holding a dog in his arm talking to Saint Louis defender Wesley Charpie at halftime. Charpie played for TFC II last season. He was an unused sub at that time but came in at 58 minutes. Some fans behind me were talking about League 1 Ontario and wanting to get out to a game but “…I wish there was a team in Scarborough”. I cut in and gave him two choices and named the stadium. Conveniently Oscar Cordon (L1O Woodbridge Strikers/ex TFC) walked by and I pointed him out also showing them where Strikers played–400 yards southwest of here.

After the game the TFC II players came over to the fence to chat with the crowd (one of my favourite things about their games here). I asked teenage defender Julian Dunn-Johnson who didn’t get in the game tonight what name he wanted me to use when I write about him. “Dunn-Johnson” is his choice although the game program has him as “Dunn” maybe not to confuse him with Malik Johnson a teenage midfielder. Both started out on L1O Toronto FC III at the beginning of this season. I said I hoped he got his place back which he lost after a Red card hand ball call two games ago. Maybe Brandon Aubrey will overdo it on the espresso coffee products that he won tonight as man of the match…Ben Spencer won them last their last road game and sleep walked through tonight’s match.

Alex Adamo, my TFC II ticket rep, came around the crowd at halftime giving out red/yellow novelty cards which double as reminders for the web site for a draw for a KIA car. I said that I find it such a surprise that the winner will own the car while the MLS team the lucky one will win a one year lease on the car. Alex admitted that the TFC II winner will also just win a one year lease (option to buy after that). I’ve never heard that fact in the promos. I’ve been using that prize story all year while pumping up the team.

In other news TFC owners MLSE just signed a new contract to rename the Air Canada Centre ‘The Scotiabank Arena’ for the next forty years for 800 million dollars! Meanwhile my Scotiabank branch was only two blocks away closed last year and now I can go twelve blocks away plus they raised their service charges. Now I see how they’re be spending the money they’re saving.

The result improves TFC II’s record to 5 wins, 14 losses, 7 ties for 22 points which still leaves them fifteenth (last) in the Eastern Conference.

Saint Louis improves to 8 wins, 11 losses, 6 ties for 30 points and are eleventh in the East. Their playoff chances dropped by 5.1% to 22.9%. They move on to play Ottawa Fury this weekend. TFC II chances are rated less than 0.0% and fell last night.

Next home game for TFC II is this Saturday–September 2 at 7:30pm here against Rochester Rhinos. I expect to miss my first home game of the season as I have just been press accredited earlier today for the Canada vs Jamaica national teams friendly at BMO at exactly the same time.

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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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