As the countdown of TFC players begins, players who are at the beginning of our list are ones who are in the youth system or players who didn’t even play for the first team this season (i.e. Jeremy Hall and Ryan Richter) The next player on our list is 20 year old Brampton, Ontario native Quillan Roberts who spent most of last season, just like the other prospects on this team, in Wilmington.
Last season, Roberts played 17 games for the TFC affiliate and was the starter. He led the team in GAA (Goals Against Average) with 1.18 and with five clean sheets. Roberts finished fifth in the league in goals against with 20 goals conceded and seventh in the USLPRO in GAA.
Roberts was recalled to the first team at the end of the US Transfer Window in August. Since his loan to the Hammerheads was on the verge of ending, if the Reds wanted to keep Roberts in Wilmington they would have to leave him there and wouldn’t be allowed to recall him in the case of an emergency. The team decided that they should keep him on the bench while the final stretch of the season was underway. However, Roberts wasn’t used at all during the playoff push and was the third goalie on the depth chart.
Was this a good idea done by the executives? In the short run, yes since they were being cautious in case Joe Bendik or Chris Konopka picked up injuries. Now, for the long run, this may hurt Roberts development since he didn’t get any playing time for three months and only got to train with the first team.
Roberts road to one day start for TFC is long and full of obstacles. Starter Joe Bendik had a fantastic season, playing every game since high profile signing Julio Cesar left to go participate for Brazil in the 2014 World Cup, and was recalled by QPR shortly thereafter. Bendik is only 25 years of age and has played more than 25 games in the last two seasons since joining the team in 2012 from the Portland Timbers. Now, Roberts could be used as a backup for Bendik next season since backup Chris Konopka hasn’t played a game since 2012. If the Reds release Konopka and see Roberts as a true goalie of the future, they would realize that the idea of putting Roberts on the bench would really hurt is development. With Bendik playing the majority of games for TFC, Roberts time in Wilmington will further grow his skills and allow him to gain the minutes he deserves.
Roberts played in net for the Reds when they took on EPL side Tottenham Hotspurs this summer. He started the second half and only let one goal in, which was a blast from England international Andros Townsend.
Roberts has plenty of potential to play in the MLS and start for a club. He has represented Canada at the U17 level where he actually scored a goal against England in the group stage of the tournament. He has also been called into U20, and senior National Team camps. His future looks bright and if he gets the right amount of minutes and exposure to more teams and players, he can not only be a TFC starter, but could actually help lead Canada in the future.