Ever since Quillian Roberts graduated from the TFC academy up to the first team, it has felt like his moment was just around the corner. Four years later Roberts is still waiting to play a competitive match for Toronto FC.
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Even though TFC has not given Roberts the chance to shine, he deserves it no doubt. His soccer pedigree is pretty impressive. He used to play for the Brampton East Snipers. Around the age of he was allowed to play as a striker and eventually ended up leading the team in scoring. This experience playing as an outfield player gave Roberts the base for some intangibles that are sought out in a modern keeper.
The goalie is no longer just a shot stopper. The goalkeeping position is now used as an outlet for the team to keep possession. Roberts fits that model with his solid footwork. This past season the Toronto FC backroom staff made a huge call by drafting a goalkeeper with the 6th overall pick.
Alex Bono was supposed to be a very promising player but he has shown that the step up from NCAA soccer isn't an easy one. Bono was given the reigns to TFC II's goaltending department. But unfortunately he faltered and once again Roberts got the number one duties. He ran away with the position once he was given his chance. In a Toronto FC II campaign that didn't have many great highlights, Roberts was one of the few bright spots from the teams inaugural season.
According to the USL website he averaged over 4.8 saves a match, good for third in the league. Quillian also had a .766 save percentage on the season. Recently, the TFC brass chose not to re-sign Joe Bendik and Chris Konopka so hopefully next season Quillian Roberts gets his chance with the TFC first team.
He also has international experience which is something that other TFC keepers have lacked. This past year against Puerto Rico Roberts earned his first international cap after coming on as a substitute for Milan Borjan. His international pedigree really came to prominence when he became the first goalkeeper to score a goal in a World Cup finals. Against England he scored a goal from his own half in the 87th minute tying the match up for Canada.
Last week it was announced by TFC that Roberts was going to go to Germany on a training stint with Werder Bremen's U23 team. Jon Conway TFC goalkeeper coach stated in a TFC press release that "[Roberts] has done a great job of continually learning what it's like to be a professional goalkeeper."
Working in Germany will surely add to Robert's game. Something that was also seen from Justin Morrow's training stint in Germany last year. Conway also said that "Working with the Werder Bremen goalkeeper coach Manuel Klon, especially in a country like Germany who have been producing high level goalkeepers for decades, I hope [he] picks up some tips, skills, techniques that he can translate to his game and make him a better goalkeeper for us in 2016."
Quillian has always taken his opportunities well. Hopefully this season Toronto FC gives Roberts the chance to shine in-between the sticks. It would be a nice change from this past season's horror show that was Toronto FC's goalkeepers.