6:00 PM EST, Vancouver, BC
TFC II are back in action today when they face fellow Canadian expansion club Vancouver Whitecaps II on the road. The young reds will look to come back after getting outplayed by New York Red Bulls II two weeks ago and hopefully a week off will give them much needed rest and a boost of energy.
In a previous post, I mentioned that TFC II didn’t just take the bye week off to rest; the players and coaching staff used it to regroup, look back and what they did wrong and work on mistakes. Having a bye week early on in a season can benefit a club, especially one that’s on the road for eight games.
"We got some good work in last week, working quite hard, but it’s also important to have the guys relax for the weekend, get away from travel and have them fresh and energized." said head coach Jason Bent.
This week TFC II faces a Whitecaps team that played a game on Wednesday and lost 2-0 to Sacramento and their second loss in three days. So far Vancouver has played three games in the span if a week, so a tired Vancouver squad could be expected today. It is also the Whitecaps II home opener, so the atmosphere will be extra special when two top Canadian Academies face off.
Vancouver Whitecaps II
Whitecaps II join FC Montreal and TFC II as the three USL Pro clubs from north of the border. For a while now, the Whitecaps have brought in a number of top Canadian players and have been a top Academy in Canada. The two Academies’ have been battling it out to see who is the best at growing top Canadian talent, and today will continue that rivalry.
Players like Brett Levis, Ben Mckendry, Caleb Clarke and Ian Christianson all have the power to give the TFC II defense a hard day’s work. Clarke seems to be the most promising after being loaned to Bundesliga side Augsburg FC and played for their second team. He managed to score eight goals in 26 games for the second team and is now part of a Whitecaps II team set to become a powerful Canadian youth side.
Levis is also another player to look out for as the University of Saskatchewan midfielder led the Canadian West Conference with nine goals and was a first team all star player.
The Whitecaps could be a more difficult opponent than FC Montreal was, but they are in the same boat as TFC II, one win so far and trying to find a way to win.
Toronto FC II
Jason Bent has said that he is treating this game as a rivalry game and that his side will go into the game like they did against FC Montreal, to be the best Canadian team. The young reds will try to look at this game as a way to avenge themselves after getting embarrassed in New York two weeks ago.
Mo Babouli and Jordan Hamilton are hoping to find their scoring touch after scoring goals in TFC II’s first two games, but got nothing in their game versus the Red Bulls II. TFC II will have to be wary of a Whitecaps team that likes to play the ball on the ground and force the opposing team to make mistakes.
I predict TFC II comes out on top in this game since they had a week off while the Whitecaps II seem to be facing fatigue issues with having two play three games in the span of a week.
Follow along below for live updates and reaction to the first ever meeting between these two Canadian rivals.