TFC Academy PDL vs Pittsburgh: Match Review

Results and details of the Thursday June 11, 2015 PDL game between Toronto FC Academy and
Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23s played at the KIA Training Centre in Downsview at 2:30pm.

9 min…TFCA Mark Gonsalez GOAL…Gonsalez receives short pass at 20 yards
on right and steps between two defenders and shoots low 15 yarder into left corner of net
under sliding goalie Mac Wheeler at 5 yards.

39 min…PRH Jeffrey Kyei GOAL…PRH Andrew Herr cross from 35 yards over to left and Kyei
takes low 20 yard shot that sliding goalie Phil DiBennardo gets piece of but the ball
spins into the middle of net.

64 min…TFCA Martin Davis GOAL…TFCA Dapo Afolayan gives short pass over to Davis who then
gets behind PRH defender Kevin Fielden on run down right and flicks 12 yard shot into right
side of net behind goalie standing at 6 yards.

74 min…TFCA Azaih Reid GOAL…TFCA Tariq Robertson at 30 yards on left passes forward and
Reid shoots one-touch 10 yarder on left into bottom of net under diving goalie.

Final Score:…..Toronto FC Academy…….3……..Pittsburgh Riverhounds U23….1….

Attendance was about 25 on this mild sunny afternoon. The wind wasn’t a factor for the first
time this season.

Referee Fabrizio Stasolla gave out only one Yellow card to each team with a few tough tackles
by both teams being called for just freekicks or ignored. Lots of swearing my the PRH players
and I was thinking with their accents they were an all-UK team but they are all Americans except
one player each from Scotland, England, Australia, Germany, France, and Jamaica.

Starting midfielders in the TFCA lineup included 21 year old Anthony Osorio and 17 year old
Nicholas Osorio. Their older brother Jonathan Osorio (who turns 22 tomorrow) has been on their
MLS team for a few years now and is also a midfielder. Anthony took most of the corners and
freekicks in the 60 minutes he played. Nicholas played just the first half. I’ve seen Nicholas
play for the Academy team in League 1 Ontario this season. Head coach Stuart Neely coaches both
these teams so would know all about him.

Both teams had a lot of runs from box to box but surprisingly few shots on target as there was
usually that one last man back to block a shot or break up a pass. Both goalies helped their own
cause by diving on possible through balls.

Best non-scoring chances were at 21 minutes when a defender made a bad backpass from 25 yards on the
left that was intercepted by TFCA Mark Gonsalez at 15 yards on the left and he rolled a pass to the
charging Stefan Vukovic and his 12 yard shot down the middle was saved by the diving goalie who
smothered the ball on the right post. 27 minutes had PRH Jeffrey Kyei receive a short pass
at 22 yards, then turned around a defender to shoot a low 20 yarder that the diving goalie pushed wide
left of the post. 76 minutes had TFCA Gaby Boakye roll a centering pass from 20 yards on the right
that was behind a TFCA player but TFCA Dapo Afolayan ran forward and blasted a low 12 yarder up the
middle that deflected off a sliding goalie and fly over the net. PRH had a final spell between 82
and 85 minutes that with so many chances I couldn’t write them all down.

Toronto FC (MLS) general manager Tim Bezbatchenko watched the first half of the game in the stands.
He said he was from Columbus but did play for Pittsburgh Riverhounds at the USL Pro Level in 2004
and 2005 but never played against the Toronto Lynx. When I suggested that splitting the roster
into Toronto FC II, the League 1 Academy going so young, and this PDL team for college students
has weakened them overall, (that’s two more than last year) he said that winning isn’t the important thing but
putting them out there to make mistakes is part of the learning process. The Ontario Soccer
Association has approved the PDL team for one year and they will have to get extensions year by year
to continue operating.

This must be at least the third stint at TFC for forward Stefan Vukovic. I watched him play for the
Academy in the CSL (he won the scoring title one year), then again in their MLS Reserves team (I also
saw him play on the Montreal Impact equivalent), now back with this new PDL team. Between that he was
on a first division team in Poland.

TFCA picks up their first victory of the year and improve to 1 win, 4 losses, 0 ties. Riverhounds had
won their first game of the season 2-1 on Tuesday in a home game against Dayton Dutch Lions. Their record
falls to 1 win, 3 losses, 1 tie. TFCA next game is Saturday afternoon at KIA Training Centre at 4:00pm
against Dayton who hold a record of 0 wins, 3 losses, 1 tie. Add Derby City (Louisville KY) who also
haven’t won and there’s a huge gap between the best teams, Michigan—Forest City London—K-W United and
these bottom four.

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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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