Rocket Robin Report: Toronto FC III vs Sigma FC

Result and details of the Sunday May 7, 2018 League 1 Ontario game between Toronto FC III and Sigma FC played at KIA Training Centre in Downsview at 1:00pm.

13 min…Sigma Duran Lee GOAL…Sigma Justin Stoddart corner kick from right is high and Lee leaps above defenders and heads 5 yarder forward into top left corner of net.

31 min…Sigma Johnny Grant GOAL…Sigma player racing in on left cutting in and passes to Sigma Mansoor Allazy who gives pass in clear and Grant shoots 15 yarder down middle over sliding goalie Brogan Engbers.

36 min…TFC Malik Johnson GOAL…TFC Steven Furlano cross from 22 yards on far right has Johnson in crowd of players shoot in low 10 yarder over diving goalie Triston Henry.

49 min…Sigma Jordan Kalonji GOAL…Kalonji is given short low pass upfield by Sigma Mansoor Allazy and his low 15 yard shot from right is into low left corner of net.

83 min…Sigma Johnny Grant sends low cross from 15 yards near right end line has Sigma Dominic Samuel upended by fallen goalie in box at 5 yards while rushing forward for ball. Referee Timothy Wong calls a Penalty kick and gives TFC goalie Brogen Engbers a Yellow card.

84 min…Sigma Johnny Grant blasts low Penalty kick has diving goalie save on right post by pushing ball wide. The referee’s assistant put his flag up as the goalie had taken a step forward before the shot was taken.

85 min…Sigma Johnny Grant GOAL…Grant blasts retaken Penalty kick low to right side of net with goalie diving left.

93 min…TFC Red card…Dante Campbell is given a straight Red on a delayed call for flattening a Sigma player in the center circle as play moved upfield. When the advantage ended after Sigma Arlick Nibana rolled a 20 yard shot through a crowd of players that the goalie picked up, a multi player dust-up broke out in the TFC box.

95 min…game ends.

Final Score:……Toronto FC III.……1………Sigma FC……4……

Attendance was about 30. It was parka weather again but the sun came out in the second half for the first time in about five days. We’re not used to this weather dragging on into May. The wind is exaggerated at this location, the remnants of the old military Downsview Airport now down to one runway which is still being used for commercial freight flights. I wonder if the Avro Arrow reached Mach 1.9 at the end of the 1950s because of the wind? Whichever team was playing in the south end found it very hard to cross the center line. That was TFC in the first and Sigma for the second half. There was no rain and the grounds crew did set up a canopy for the scorers table and sound system. I think this was partially for show as they were committed to Livestream the game for internet watchers.

Sigma’s goal at 49 minutes proved to be crucial as it was one of the few times they were able to get out of their own end in the second half.

The injury time brawl was partially to do with the ‘advantage’ playing on. I suspect that Sigma players thought that Aidan Daniels was going to get
away with the knockdown upfield. I saw a Sigma player down in the center circle but at the time I moved my eyes away to see the Sigma rush. I looked
at the Livestream recording of that moment after I got home and the commentator mentioned there was a man down at the time but the camera had already moved downfield to follow the action. Referee Timothy Wong gave out six Yellow cards (two to Sigma) plus the Red. Between 53 and 58 minutes he gave out four Yellow cards on four separate plays (two to each team) and that mostly curbed the rough stuff until the end of the game.

Ethan Beckford (three goals last game vs FC London) and Nicholas Osorio (two goals last game) were kept off the score-sheet this week.

Both Triston Henry for Sigma and Brogan Engbers for TFC played well in goal. I’ve been marking my notes for decades ‘dive for save’ or ‘flew for save’ when the goalie leaves his feet depending on where on net the shot is going. Today the word was ‘flew for save’ as there were a lot of top corner shots by each team.

This was the time of year over the last few seasons of this league when Sigma is at their best. Last season Sigma blasted off with a 9 win, 0 loss start by the end of June. They ended up fizzling out later in the season when many of their players returned to NCAA schools before the middle of summer. By the end of the season they are playing with their high-schoolers. This is what I worry about with the League 1 Ontario champions next year getting an entry into the Voyageurs Cup. Other L1O teams have the same problem but not so heavily as Sigma. What time of year would their qualifier be? Late Spring vs Fall will make a huge difference in the caliber of competition the L1O teams can put out.

I’d still say Toronto FC III has a better chance of finishing the season higher up the table based on past seasons when they grow in experience and have other teams lose players to schools. Also this year the squad is considered U19 or U20 rather than U17 and they won’t burn out players on the TFC PDL team which their organization folded the end of last year.

Johnny Grant is the veteran of Sigma. He played four years with them in his development then went to play in Europe and with MLS Montreal Impact. It’s not unusual for a player to return to Sigma for a brief stay. I saw Emery Welshman after his Toronto FC days come back to stay sharp then move on to USL Real Monarchs and this season NASL Puerto Rico. Leaford Allen had the Grant role last year although he told me he didn’t come through the Sigma system. I received a tweet that Sigma grad and MLS 2017 SuperDraft first round selection Kwame Awuah played his first game for MLS New York City FC today. Details reveal he was an injury time sub but it’s a ‘start’ to his MLS career. Awuah also went to U of Connecticut as did Sigma’s most famous player, Cyle Larin!

Anthony Totera was here as a game production director for the league to make sure things ran smoothly. I got to congratulate him on the CanPL league launch announcement as he’s been taking a lot of grief over the last two years as the story moved from rumours to reality. I did much the same last night when I saw Duane Rollins as game director at the Masters vs OSUF game.

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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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