It may not have been a good year statistically for Toronto FC II but that doesn’t mean they can’t finish the season on a good note. Their 1-0 victory over the Eastern Conference leading Louisville City FC is a great way to go about it. Shaan Hundal scored the only goal in the 73rd minute as Jordan McCrary lead Hundal into the box with a pass and he slipped the ball under City keeper Greg Ranjitsingh.
Louisville applied pressure a number of times, specifically to start the second half. The defence never broke as Mitchell Taintor and Julian Dunn made same last second, clean tackles to limit the visitors scoring chances. The few chances they did have were stopped by keeper Angelo Cavalluzzo who may once again have a candidate or two for save of the week.
As resilient as the defence was, the attack had opportunities to add a second goal but could not find that final touch. Throughout the game, specially in the first half, the young reds played (sorry for the cliche) like a team. Their one touch passing was spot on getting themselves out of Louisville pressure on more than one occasion and more impressively, still maintaining possession. That doesn’t last though against such a quality side.
“I thought we started the game fairly well but then they started to come into the game and take control of it,” said TFC II coach Jason Bent in his post game conference. “ We were a little bit sloppy on the ball and we challenged the players to be a little bit braver and for everybody to want to get on the ball and make plays.”
A continued effort over their last two games of the season (Oct 6th vs Bethlehem Steel and Oct 14th vs FC Cincinnati) won’t get them out of last place, but will certainly give the team some confidence leading into next year. This will also be the last two TFC II games to see at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan as the team is scheduled to move to Lamport Stadium in 2018.
The game was also a chance to see Canadian international Mark Anthony Kaye. It has been a crazy year for the youngster who played for the under 23 team in March, then with Louisville and then called up for the Gold Cup by Canada’s Coach Octavio Zambrano. The speed with which the challenges are coming can be daunting, but the Toronto born midfielder understands that he doesn’t have to reinvent the wheel.
— The Coopers (@LouCoopers) June 14, 2017
“You learn from other people’s experience and I’ve see it happen to other players where things happen so quick. Snap you’re here and then you’re there.” said Kaye regarding his own development. “It’s all about dealing with it mentally and understanding that you have to take your opportunities when they come forth. If I keep playing well, things are just going to get better.”
The Canadian team has been dismal over the past decade and that may be kind. But their performance in the most recent Gold Cup had provided many, including myself with hope. There are a number of players now that are playing in North America and overseas that are challenging for spots on the team. With a string of 22 year olds in Kaye, Kyle Larin of Orlando FC and TFC’s Raheem Edwards, not to mention 16 year old phenom Alphonso Davies, this is a good, young team with plenty of potential. It would certainly be exciting to see what happens to Kaye and team Canada over the next few years.
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