The Junior Reds were taught a lesson in their very first match last week in Charleston. Although they were up 2-0 with two quick goals by Jordan Hamilton and Molham Babouli, the Charleston Battery fought back to win in injury time. The only way to get the stinging feeling to subside after a tough loss is to get right back up and make things right. That’s exactly what TFCII intend to do as they travel east to Montreal. This will be FC Montreal’s inaugural match in the USL kicking off shortly before the Montreal Impact host Orlando City SC, both at Olympic Stadium.
Like their big brothers, TFCII will be missing a couple of players going into the match due to the FIFA International Break that is rarely observed by the three professional leagues north of the Mexican border. Christopher Mannella and Quillan Roberts were both called up to the Canadian National Team who will be in Fort Lauderdale to play Guatemala and then in Puerto Rico on March 27 and 30 respectively.
On Friday morning Toronto FC also made quite a few thrilling roster moves impacting the USL squad. It was announced that Jay Chapman, Jordan Hamilton and Ashtone Morgan, who all played a full 90 minutes in Charleston, were recalled back to the first team. Clement Simonin who was training with the first team this past week is also reportedly travelling to Utah and presumably has signed an MLS contract as a result. It was also announced that TFCII has called up Filippo Di Bennado, Matteo Restrepo, Raheem Edwards, Martin Davis, Jordan Montoya and Raheem Thorpe from the Toronto FC Academy.
With Alex Bono’s unnerving debut last week, it may have been expected to see Quillan Roberts, who has previous USL experience with the Wilmington Hammerheads, to stand between the woodwork in the derby. The call up to the Canadian side will assure Bono the opportunity to shake off the unsteady performance. Control of the midfield was also an area of concern and with Christopher Mannella away this may continue to be an issue on Saturday without their captain. Skyler Thomas is also unavailable for tomorrow’s match nursing an injury. With all the roster changes, call-ups, and the requirement that the starting lineup for Canadian USL Teams must have at least six Canadian starters, this is the predicted starting eleven and formation in Montreal.
Expect Jason Bent to lead Toronto FC II to their first victory and redeem themselves on Saturday afternoon. Also expect the match to be extremely entertaining and one that both clubs will do anything to win. As always, you can watch the match live on YouTube at 12:30pm on Saturday, March 28. You won’t want to miss this one!