Vaughan Azzurri open L1O season with impressive victory over TFCA

Results and details of the Sunday May 3, 2015 League 1 Ontario game between Vaughan Azzurri and
Toronto FC Academy played at McNaughton Turf in Vaughan at 2:00pm

4 min…VA Mario Kovacevic GOAL…Kovacevic rushes on right and takes low 20 yard shot that’s
stopped by sprawling goalie Brogan Engbers.  The TFCA defenders for some unknown reason step
aside and Kovacevic charges forward and shoots 10 yard rebound over fallen goalie and into net.

24 min…VA Joey Cicchillo GOAL…VA defender Henry Moody charges forward to stop a TFCA rush
at the center line and dribbles up the middle through the defence and taps ball over to Cicchillo
who shoots low 8 yard shot into net.

50 min…TFCA Cyrus Rollocks GOAL…TFCA Tristan Borges crosses from 25 yards on the left
and Rollocks heads 8 yarder on right into center of net past goalie Dayne St Clair.

58 min…VA Joey Cicchillo GOAL…Cicchillo gets pass from VA Henry Moody at 40 yards on left
and takes low shot from 20 yards into the right corner of the net.

82 min…VA Matt Stinson RED card…Stinson earns a second Yellow card (his first was for
unsporting behaviour at 13 minutes) for his sliding tackle on TFCA Thomas Mickoski at the
center line.

Final Score:…Vaughan Azzurri………3……..Toronto FC Academy…….1…….

Attendance was about 90 on this warm afternoon with a mix of sun and clouds.  This was
the first game of the season for both teams on this opening weekend at the start of the
second year of operations for League 1 Ontario.

Best non-scoring chances were at 33 minutes when VA Joey Cicchillo, after a long rush,
took a 20 yard shot that the diving goalie pushed wide left of the post.  38 minutes
had TFCA Aidan Daniels took a 35 yard freekick from the left that bounced through players
to TFCA Robert Boskovic all alone who turned and shot a 12 yarder wide right of the post.
46 minutes had VA Tyrone Downes rolled a shot from the right near the end line through
the box and VA Mario Kovacevic slides on the left post and just misses connecting
on what would be a 1 yard tap-in.  CALGlLCUQAA3uqS

Turning point in the game was Cicchillo’s second goal to put Vaughan up 3-1.  TFCA were
outplayed in the first half but had clawed back into the game from the start of the
second half with some key substitutions.  That goal closed the door to a comeback.

Referee Armando Pereira gave out five Yellow cards that I counted (three to Vaughan
including two to Matt Stinson) in a game that wasn’t too rough.
Only casualty appeared to be TFCA midfielder Aidan Daniels who had to be helped off
the field at 75 minutes with a leg injury.

This is the first league game that TFCA has lost since the league began last year.
The league preview said they’d be going with a U-17 team this year and it showed with
the older Vaughan taking advantage of mistakes.  This is   probably more of a learning
experience than last year having 11-0 and 6-1 results mingled in with closer games.
Last year’s roster has ended up in their new USL Pro and PDL franchises.  Academy coach
Stuart Neely said he’s also the head coach of their PDL team.

Vaughan includes many in their lineup from York University who won the University
Championship last year as the best school in Canada.  I don’t have the time to follow
college soccer but always watched Vaughan’s players that were originally in the first
years of TFC Academy starting in 2008 in the Canadian Soccer League.  They now seem
to be down to midfielder Matt Stinson who actually made the MLS team for part of two
seasons and defender/winger Casey D’Mello.  Another Vaughan player from last year who
played on those early TFCA teams, Daniel Fabrizi, was signed to Toronto FC II.  TFC II
also signed Jay Chapman who played for TFCA in the early years and last year for
K-W United (Kitchener-Waterloo) whose coach was Stuart Neely!

The ‘McNaughton Turf ‘ is a field that borders St Joan of Arc Catholic High School.
St Joan has a working scoreboard with use of the school dressing rooms and washrooms.
McNaughton doesn’t even have their one port-a-potty from last year.  Players have
to cross the busy McNaughton Road to get to the Maple Community Centre.  The scoreboard
had the visitor’s score not light up during the game and then the timer not work for
the second half so second half times are converted from my wristwatch.  St Joan will
host the season openers of every team in the CSL next weekend—much the same
as League 1 Ontario did last year at the Ontario Soccer Centre.  I was shocked to find
on Friday when I drove to the OSC to pick up my press pass that their field isn’t
anywhere near ready for their expected 1st of July scheduled opening.  That stadium
is the new home of Toronto FC II and all I saw was broken up concrete but no structure
at all from the obstructed view I had outside the wire fencing.  League 1 teams
ANB Futbol and Vaughan Azzurri played many of their 2014 home games at the old bleacher
lined field.

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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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