I predicted a TFC II win over Louisville, and I was clearly wrong about that one. For most of the game, Louisville City was all over the TFC II defence. Right off the bat, a team that is also an expansion squad, showed that they can be a test for any team. They proved that on Tuesday when the defeated former TFC affiliate Wilmington Hammerheads 3-0.
After beating one former TFC affiliate, they went after a current Toronto affiliate, and made sure they kept up their hot streak. Going into the game, Louisville had a astonishing 10 goals for and only four against. They added to their goal tally with a fifth minute counter attack that caused newly signed Emeka Ononye to lose his man and lead to strike that went bottom right.
To TFC II's defence, the field in Louisville was awful. The team plays at the Louisville Slugger Field, the home field for the triple A baseball team, the Louisville Bats. The grounds crew had to deal with rainy weather and used a carpet like material to cover the dirt of the baseball diamond, which was a disaster for the TFC II forwards. Many times did the likes of Stefan Vukovic, Massimo Mirabelli and Marcos Nunes slipped in the box and allowed the Louisville defence to get out of harms way.
TFC II keeper Alex Bono, who started two days prior to the game on Saturday, again was tested a lot from the opposing attack. Many times did Bono have to deal with crosses from the right side and players like Matt Fondy and Kadeem Dacres have goes on net.
Almost 10 minutes after they opened the scoring, Matt Fondy tapped in a nice cross from Louisville full back Bryan Burke.
Even when they were up, Louisville did not stop their attack. They kept looking for goals, and caused the TFC II back line to get out of danger quick.
What really worked well for them was their ability to wait and reset their attack when pressured by the young Reds. Whenever they saw they couldn't make a pass, they knew to move it around and open up more space.
Throughout the game, it was the Kadeem Darcres and Bryan Burke show, as the two kept passing it to each other and pushed the ball forward.
After scoring two goals in under 15 minutes, the next goal didn't come for another 20 minutes. A nice placed header from the middle of the box saw Conor Shanosky slot it top left and over Bono. The play started from a nicely placed lob pass from who else, but Dacres.
The first half was all Louisville, where TFC could put up four shots compared to their opponents 13. Head coach Jason Bent looked unpleased with his teams performance, and many could understand why he was not happy. He must've told his team to change something, because starting the half, they looked different. Manuel Aparicio interception lead to a Chris Mannella howler from outside the box that smashed the crossbar. That was TFC II's only good chance at goal in the half.
It was then all Louisville again in the half, and in the 55th minute, a nice assist from Magnus Rasmussen lead to Matt Fondy's second of the game and the final punch Louisville could give to TFC II.
The good thing about the game yesterday seemed to be that, now the eight game road trip is finished and the team looks to head to BMO Field and restart their early season struggles. They will take on the same team that out powered them two weeks ago in Rochester and hope they can be the ones to spoil the Rhinos success.