After Saturday's result against a very tough Louisville squad, TFC II had to deal with both offensive pressure and the poor pitch conditions that had TFC II players slipping all over.
This week will be very different than the past eight games however. TFC II looks to embark on a new journey on Saturday when they play their first home game of their inaugural season, and will face the same team that they lost to in the last minute of their game two weeks ago. Yes, the Rochester Rhinos.
Since playing TFC II two weeks ago, the Rhinos have only played one game, and that ended in a draw with former Toronto FC affiliate Wilmington Hammerheads.
TFC II now look to capitalize on a pumped up crowd at BMO Field and hope to change their road woes, into home victories.
Dealing With a Busy Week
Last week, TFC II had to deal with some players being called up to the first team, on top of having a busy week at hand. "I think I'm doing okay. I'm adjusting each time I play." said keeper Alex Bono about playing three games in the span of a week.
"Every 90 minutes I get to the professional lifestyle and professional game. It's a lot different than anything i've played in before."
Bono then continued by saying that after such a busy week, the team did have time off for the Victoria Day long weekend. "It's been nice, we had the day off on Sunday and Monday, so it's nice to get the legs back."
Bono added that there have been players on the squad who also played a lot throughout the week, and having those two days off was key. "Some guys played over 180 minutes in three days. It's a good time to get their rest. For me, it was nice to get my mind a rest and take my mind away from the game for a couple days."
"The legs are feeling kind of sore, but you have to maintain and do all the proper requirements and preparations in order to take care of those." said USL Team of The Week member Massimo Mirabelli.
Losing Big in Louisville
The game on Saturday marked the third time this season that TFC II lost by such a large margin, how does a team full of youngsters handle that? "Obviously those are games we don't want to be apart of. Soccer is a game that every player has to have a short memory." said Bono.
He added that, "We take everything with a grain of salt. We take everything as a lesson. We have a lot of young players on this team that don't have that much experience professionally. It's a learning point for all of us, we take those as we go and we kind of learn from them."
TFC II head coach Jason Bent expressed that the team looked tired after having to play two games in three days. "We just didn't have a very good start to the game. Mentally we were off of it, maybe a little fatigue. Sometimes you just have to hold your hand up and say the opposition was the better team."
The young Reds looked very confident after beating Saint Louis on Thursday and looked to Saturday as a way to continue their hot streak, however they were beaten hard and now the coaching staff needs to keep the players motivated to win. "We wanted to try and build a bit of momentum. Trying to instill confidence within the players, and keep encouraging them, even if they make mistakes." said Bent.
Bent then added that, "Our test for ourselves now is can we put back to back results together? And after that, trying to improve and get three games in a row"
What is important for a coach on a team full of players under the age of 24, is that positives need to be found in any game. Jason Bent, even though his side got outplayed a lot in Louisville, he wants to only focus on the good. "Definitely there's positives to take from the game. You can see the character from the game on Thursday night against Saint Louis." said Bent.
Bent then added that he enjoyed the composure the team had on Saturday, especially from keeper Alex Bono"To go down one nil within thirty seconds, was a bit discouraging for the players, but the strength of character that Alex Bono showed, as well as the rest of the players to turn that result over and that performance was fantastic."
Massimo Mirabelli scored the game winner in St. Louis on Thursday, and for that, he was named to the USL Team of The Week bench. Bent was pleased with the young Canadian's effort. "I thought he did well, he knows his work rate was fantastic on both sides of the ball. His performance was quite good, and of the standard I expect of him."
"Definitely to be a professional you have to go through those types of situations and Louisville wasn't the best result." said Mirabelli, who didn't have the best game on Saturday since the Louisville defence was able to shut him down.
Mirabelli scored his first goal of the USL season, and it was the decisive goal in St. Louis to give his side their second win of the season. "To get a goal and a game winner is a great feeling and Its nice to have all the hard work during the week pay off." said Mirabelli about how he felt scoring that goal.
When asked what its like to make the Team of The Week, Mirabelli said that, "It's a great honour." He then added that, "Continue to be postive and just doing the right things in training, keep working hard and everything else will come along."