Results and details of the Saturday May 23, 2015 USL Pro game between Toronto FC II and Rochester Rhinos
played at BMO Field in Toronto at 8:00pm.
Final Score:……Toronto FC II……..0……Rochester Rhinos…….0…….
Attendance started out at about 1200 people that had stayed behind after the Toronto FC vs Portland Timbers
MLS match that had finished one hour before. Fans were herded into the East side stands except the
Supporters groups who could stay in the South end and light off flares and smoke bombs. The temperature
was falling fast after the sun set at the 20 minute mark and more than 2/3s left at halftime. Many people
hadn’t brought coats. By the end of the game there were about 300 left.
The game held a slightly different ending than the one in Rochester exactly two weeks ago. The Rhinos did
not score an injury time goal to win by a 1-0 score after a long storm delay.
The Rhinos remain the only undefeated team in the USL PRO league. Their record improves to 6 wins,
4 ties, 0 losses. TFC II’s record improves to 2 wins, 2 ties, 5 losses although this was their first
home game this season.
Overall a tie was a fair result. Rhinos looked good in the first 20 minutes then TFC II looked better
the rest of the first half and the first 20 minutes of the second half. Rhinos looked like the team that
would score in the last 15 minutes to squeeze out a win.
Referee Alexis Vaughan gave out only one yellow card the whole game and that wasn’t until 68 minutes
to a Rhino player. The game was rather rough with lots of grabbing and bumping and injuries to both
teams. Yes there were a lot of freekicks given out and a lot of flags for offside and trainers being
summoned off the bench but it was the same for both teams.
Quillan Roberts earned the shutout for TFC II. Brandon Miller did likewise for the Rhinos. Both goalies
had to make some key saves and had some rebounds cleared by alert defenders. Best non-scoring chances
were at 43 minutes when RR Marcos Ugarte rushed up the left and crossed from 25 yards and had RR Colin Rolfe
get away a header from 8 yards up the middle that was deflected over the net. 72 minutes had RR Jonny Mendoza
send in a cornerkick from the left that was eventually partially cleared and Mike Garzi blasted a shot
from 12 yards that was just wide right of the net. 82 minutes had RR Mendoza cross to RR Christian Volesky
who turned and fired a 10 yarder that the goalie pushed just wide left of the post. TFC II best chances
often were well worked up but finished with shots being blocked or being off target.
The only overlap of TFC from the first game was Jordan Hamilton was part of the 18 for the MLS game but
didn’t play. He came on in the TFC II game at 55 minutes but didn’t have a major impact. Also Quillan Roberts
was the unused back up goalie for TFC but played the entire match for TFCII. Manny Aparicio wasn’t on the
18 for TFC but came on at 75 minutes for the nightcap.
Outstanding player was Mo Babouli who played in an attacking midfield role tonight and took a lot
of cornerkicks like Michael Bradley did in the today’s earlier game. Last year with TFC Academy
as League 1 Ontario’s leading scorer he was an outright striker.
Action started while the warm ups were still going on with a replay of TFC II head coach being inducted
into the Brampton Hall of Fame shown on the video board. It was strange to watch comments from his
father on the screen when his relatives including his father was only two rows behind me. While
assistant coach with TFC he used to lie out the pylons just as the warmup. Today as head coach
of TFC II he still does the same thing rather than have an underling space them out.
We were handed a two page game sheet before action started by an usherette. This came in handy
because I have not been able to put together a full roster from the Internet. The game was run more
professionally too with the scoreboard working and announcements being made for starters and subs and
the national anthems played before the game—all of these I can’t remember happening when the team played
in the MLS Reserve League over the years.
TFC head coach Greg Vanney and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko were watching the game from the West stands.
Rochester Rhinos have on their crest that this is their 20th anniversary. I remember their days playing
Toronto Lynx starting in 1997 in the A-League at Varsity Stadium then at Centennial. I hadn’t seen
this team since 2006 which was the last year the Lynx played before dropping to the PDL level. They used
to bring a lot of travelling supporters that would outshout the Lynx fans. The Raging Rhinos were one
of the main teams in the A-League starting out when that league was considered an ‘equal’ to the just
starting out MLS back in 1996. They used to draw 11-15000 per game. I see recent years their attendance
is about 1/3 of that. Their website says they’re the most successful non-MLS team in the US and Canada
(I suppose now that Seattle and Montreal have moved up to MLS that would be true).
It’s a long wait for the next home game which will also be held at BMO Field while a new stadium at the
Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan is being built. It’s Saturday June 27th at 8:00pm against
Wilmington Hammerheads FC.