TFCII vs Harrisburg: Match Report

Result and details of the Wednesday August 19, 2015 USL game between Toronto FC II and
Harrisburg City Islanders played at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 8:00pm.

25 min…Islanders Craig Foster GOAL…HI Jason Plumhoff crosses from 25 yards on right and
charging Foster’s 12 yard shot up middle is saved by diving goalie Chris Konopka and rebound
ball deflects back off Foster and into net from 8 yards.

49 min…Islanders Brett Jankouskas GOAL…HI Jose Barril at 30 yards in middle gives short
pass to Jankouskas on left and he blasts 28 yarder into top right corner post flying goalie
Alex Bono.

Final Score:……Toronto FC II………0…….Harrisburg City Islanders……..2…..

Attendance was only about 225 on this mild night.  If it wasn’t for the 25 girls from a soccer
team who brought their parents and families to watch, there would have been even less.
The Inebriatti (a TFC supporters group) only had about 10 to 15 members tonight and didn’t keep
their chants going the whole game…they were sometimes followers of the little girls who started
up with “TFC, TFC” on their own.

Referee David Barrie gave out six Yellow cards that I counted (four to the Islanders).  TFC II
were counted offside quite often on trying to spring a through ball pass and I only recall once
where that play worked.   A trainer had to be called onto the field more often for Islanders
injuries than TFC II players.

Nick Noble earned the shutout for the Islanders with a few key saves.

Best non scoring chances were at 27 minutes when TFC Jay Chapman took a cornerkick from the left
that had a defender head the ball away.  TFC Wesley Charpie then crossed in from 25 yards on the right
and a TFC player headed the ball just over the bar from 10 yards.  36 minutes had TFC Mark Anthony
Kaye get to a pass and take a 15 yard roller that was stopped by the sprawling goalie.  80 minutes
had TFC Jordan Hamilton get to a through ball and his 12 yard low shot was stopped by the sliding
goalie.  TFC Sal Bernal had his rebound shot blocked.

Before the game MLS TFC player Jonathan Osorio and now retired Dwayne DeRosario were up at a table
near the entrance signing autographs and posing for pictures.  After the crowd of the little girls
made their way through even I joined the line.  Osorio is no stranger to watching his younger
brothers (and both midfielders just like Jonathan) play—Nicholas wasn’t on tonight’s roster and
Anthony was listed as a sub but didn’t get into the game.

Osorio wasn’t the only MLS roster player in the lineup.  Captain Chris Mannella, Manuel Aparicio,
and Jay Chapman were starting midfielders.  Forward Jordan Hamilton played the entire 90 minutes
for a change.  Alex Bono was the second half goalie.  Big bombshells were Chris Konopka was the
starting goalie (he was the TFC starting goalie for months with Joe Bendik injured).  Defender
Nick Hagglund was a sub and was called in to start the second half.  I sometimes forget that
these USL teams are not just for up and coming players but for players recovering from injuries
or those MLSers not getting enough playing time.  I only had Konopka making one tough save (besides
the goal) in his one half.

Toronto FC II had issued a tweet a day or so ago that forward Stefan Vukovic and midfielder
Mark Serjeant had left the team.  This must be the third time that Vukovic has parted ways with
TFC over the years.

‘Islanders’ seem like a strange name for a team from a city in the middle of Pennsylvania but
the city has the Susquehanna River run through it and an island named City Island has the Skyline
Sportsnet Complex along with a baseball stadium on that land mass.  Somewhat comparable to the
Toronto Islands if they had stadiums on it.   The team has an agreement with the MLS Philadelphia
Union and has six players listed as from that team on the USL website.  Only midfielder and starter
Yann Ekra was on tonight’s roster.  News on the USL website just listed a new franchise being granted
to Leheigh Valley (Bethlehem Pennsylvania) earlier today that will be owned and operated by the Union.
I’m not sure where this leaves Harrisburg and I don’t know if it played on their minds tonight.

The loss leaves TFC II with a record of 5 wins, 13 losses, and 3 ties for eleventh out of twelve
teams in the Eastern Conference.  Harrisburg improves to 9 wins, 8 losses, and 4 ties for
seventh place and only one point behind and one game in hand on Pittsburgh Riverhounds who
are holding on to the sixth and final playoff spot.

Blah!  I was almost glad TFC II didn’t score in the end.  There won’t be any annoying tweets
getting me to watch a means-nothing goal.  I don’t mind receiving that message once—but I get
the same message another four or five times over the next two days.  I wonder if the
Washington Generals have a twitter account replaying their highlites?  “Hey fans, we only
lost to the Harlem Globetrotters by 40 points last night”.

I had only expected to see one more TFC II game because of scheduling conflicts with the MLS
team but I hadn’t noticed that on the last month of programs the team must have flipped their
game with Charlotte Independence from Saturday to Sunday August 30th so it looks like I may
see two more games.

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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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