TFC II played a very good second half versus Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps II, but a performance from Canadian national goalie Quillan Roberts helped get the young reds a tough and physical derby match.
The match saw two red cards, making it 10 v 10 for the last 12 minutes. A goal by Canadian striker Caleb Clarke put his Whitecaps II side up before the half. It wasn't until Jay Chapman's 56th minute header and his first professional goal for TFC II that leveled the game.
"It was their home opener which is very big for them. Its also a huge Canadian rivalry, there's a thing going on between Toronto and Vancouver and you can definitely see that on the field." said first round pick centre back Skylar Thomas about facing a tough Whitecaps II side.
"At half time we needed to make a couple tactical adjustments," explained TFC2 Manager Jason Bent, "some personal changes and we came out with a much better spirit and energy as well we were a much better on the ball and I think the game was a tale of two halves were they had the first half and we had the second half. We couldn't finish off our chances to take a win. Overall it was a positive result from us to go away from home and get a point especially against Vancouver."
Facing the Pittsburgh Riverhounds
TFC II face a veteran opponent in the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, who've been a part of the USL for 17 years now and have quite a few veterans who can punish players.
"I'm excited about that experience, can't wait to see how the older guys do it, compared to our young team and I'm very excited for that challenge" said Skylar Thomas, who made his season debut last week in the draw with the Whitecaps II.
Jay Chapman has been to Pittsburgh before, and was impressed with what he saw the first time around.
"I think they're going to be good, I think their going to be well coached," explained Chapman. "Playing in the USL PDL before I signed pro, I went to their stadium. It's a really cool stadium and I think they get a lot of fans there, so its going to be a hostile environment and its going to be good. We're a new team to USL and they're a veteran team so I think they're going to know how to play, so I think were up to the task and show a little composure on the ball," said midfielder Jay Chapman about playing a team the Riverhounds who's veterans can make a game very difficult for a team that's not prepared."
"We're the type of team that likes to keep the ball on the ground as well and hopefully it makes for an entertaining football game," explained Jason Bent, "but we won't really adjust our style to them. Well make some tactical adjustments, but we'll look for another three points" said Bent when asked how he will handle a Pittsburgh team that likes to also play the ball on the ground."
Jason Bent explains that he also has some experience with the Riverhounds, as Toronto FC's reserve team played them two years ago.
Notes from Training Day
"Getting back to the first team training is always nice, I've kinda been focusing on that," explained Chapman. "It was awesome to get my first goal. It was a big goal obviously. You know anytime you can go on the road, to a place like Vancouver, it's a rivalry game and to get a point, you're doing something right. I was very excited to get my first goal, hopefully I can improve on that and the team can get a win this weekend."
He says that he likes the progression of the team, and where they have been moving from here on out.
"We've been doing very well. Each game is getting better and better. After our road loss to Red Bulls, it was very important to come out with a good mentality and a good performance and I think we did that. First half was a little rocky, second half we had a talk and we played very well. I think the team is coming very well, training is getting better every day."
"You can see the work rate in the players, especially from the front, straight through the middle. That sort of sets the tone for the game for us." said Jason Bent when asked if his players are getting use to his style of play.
Bent was impressed with the play of Quillan Roberts, saying that they expect to continue to balance the playing time between their two goaltending prospects all season. He was quick to say that taking Alex Bono out of the net had nothing to do with his performances.
"I think knowing the teams in the league and how they play and what climate you get yourself into, I think that helps me a little bit. But I'm just trying to get the team ready for it and get everyone to understand whats going to happen and to get accustomed to it very quickly." said keeper Quillan Roberts about facing a familiar foe he played against when he was with Wilmington last season.