It wasn't pretty most of the time, but TFC II have played their first ever USL game.
Jordan Hamilton pounced on a back pass and fired home to open the scoring in the 8th minute, while Mo Babouli muscled his way into the box and slotted home in the 16th. The Baby Reds had a few good spells of possession, but the pace of Dane Kelly and two poorly defended balls into the box saw the Battery answer with 3 of their own.
The TFC II defense was disorganized on all three goals, with a fair share of blame falling on Alex Bono, whose decision making was poor throughout the second half. Several times he came to clear and flubbed or mistimed his punch, and a back pass from Wes Charpie was picked up, leading to a free kick in the box. Not the debut he was hoping for.
Across the back four, there were bright spots in an otherwise disastrous performance. Charpie looked lively in the attacking third, though his 1v1 defending needs to be improved. Clement Simonin was as-advertised by Tim Bezbatchenko - he's calm on the ball and plays out of the back well - a sort of 1 for 1 replacement for Damien Perquis though obviously at a different level. Daniel Fabrizi seemed up to the occasion with a number of good tackles, while Ashtone Morgan showed that USL may be a more permanent home for him than he'd like. He was good going forward, mediocre coming back.
In the middle of the park, Jay Chapman, Marc-Anthony Kaye, Chris Mannella, and Manny Aparicio - as well as substitutes Massimo Mirabelli, Adam Bouchard, and Luca Uccello - were caught in possession a number of times and routinely misplayed passes. Offensively, the ideas are there but the execution was not, with few chances being created. Defensively, they failed to control the tempo of the game, though its clear that certain players - Chapman and Mannella in particular - are calm on the ball and useful in central midfield.
The goalscorers - Jordan Hamilton and Molham Babouli - showed lots of promise. It was particularly exciting to see Babouli after he scored 26 goals in League One Ontario last year. The hype may be overblown at this stage but he looked lively, strong, and creative. Hamilton continues to impress and could score quite a few for TFC II this season. On a number of occasions he showed his strength in holding up the ball or outright muscling past other players.
On the whole, it was an exciting game to watch, and with every TFC II game available in HD on Youtube, it'll be easy to watch when the Baby Reds take on FC Montreal next weekend. There's definite promise in the USL squad, and it will be exciting to see who gets first team minutes by the end of the season.
8’ Jordan Hamilton (TFC2), 16’ Molham Babouli (TFC2), 38’ Dane Kelly(CHS), 56’ Shaun Ferguson (CHS), ’90 Mueller (CHS)
20' Clement Simonin (TFC2) (yellow)
77' Zach Prince (CHS) (yellow)
79’ Ashtone Morgan (yellow)
89’ Maikel Chang (yellow)
55' (CHS) IN- Heviel Cordoves OUT- Dane Kelly
62' (TFC2) IN- Massimo Mirabelli OUT- Manny Aparicio
76' (TFC2) IN- Luca Uccello OUT- Mark Anthony Kaye
79' (CHS) IN- Memo Rodriguez OUT- Zach Prince
83' (CHS) IN- Austin Savage OUT- Ricky Garbanzo
87' (TFC2) IN- Adam Bouchard OUT- Chris Mannella
93' (CHS) IN- Sebastian Thuriere OUT- Jarad van Schaik