It may not be the start they wanted at their new home, but TFC II now is pushing to find some answers when they take on Saint Louis FC tonight at the Ontario Soccer Centre. This will be the second time the two clubs faced off, after the young Reds were able to secure a 2-1 win over Saint Louis on May 14th.
The last time they faced off may have been a while ago, but the young Reds have had plenty of time rest and become stronger. TFC II looked like the stronger team the last time, and proved to find a new scoring tough with goals from Massimo Mirabelli and Edwin Rivas.
Since the last meeting on May 14th, both Saint Louis and TFC II haven't done so well in the standings. Saint Louis has played four more games than the young Reds and have only won once, lost four times and have drawn five times. They have allowed 19 goals over 10 games since they last played TFC II.
TFC II also hasn't had the best of times since the last meeting. However, with a string of a few shutouts before playing in Vaughan, TFC II has looked impressive in defence.
Head coach Jason Bent mentioned how his team will be looking to rekindle their scoring ways during practice. "We've been doing a lot of set attacks, winning the ball in our defensive third and then trying to break in transition."
Bent then mentioned that, "Making better decisions on the ball" will help the team learn from their mistakes.
Facing Saint Louis Again
Saint Louis FC is one of three teams that have felt the wrath of a strong TFC II team. This time though, they will be more prepared in facing a new club like themselves.
Saint Louis may not be having the best season, but do sit eighth in the East with 18 points, four points off the last playoff spot.
Their best players and leading scores are Jemine Lynch and Bryan Gaul, who both have four goals this season. Coach Bent mentioned how he thinks Saint Louis FC will fair this evening. "We have to be wary of the boy [Sam] Fink in the back, he's good on set pieces. [Jamiel] Hardware is very explosive in the transition game. They look to break very quickly with him and [Jermine] Lynch.
"Bryan Gaul is another player that played striker the last time we played them and has been playing in the midfield, so we have to be wary of him linking the play. As well as Brandon Barklage, a former DC United midfielder who is pretty experienced."
For the young Reds this game is one they hope to capitalize on since they are familiar with how Saint Louis plays and will even have Canadian keeper Quillan Roberts back from Gold Cup action. It is unclear if Roberts will get the start however.
When asked about any injuries to report on, Bent mentioned that starting right back Wesley Charpie has picked up an ankle injury a few weeks ago and will miss the game tonight.
TFC II will still be without Chris Mannella, Raheem Edwards, Mo Babouli, Adam Bouchard and Manny Aparicio, who are with the Canadian U-23 squad participating in the Pan Am games.
The club has called up midfielder Nicholas Osorio and defender Robert Boskovic from the Academy squad, and will look to aid the team while some players are on international duty or are injured.
TFC II hasn't had the best time at their new home this season, losing both games. However, while at BMO, the team did win once and tied the league leading Rochester Rhinos. A 1-2-1 home record so far this season isn't a bad one and the team is very committed to wanting to change that.
As mentioned before, TFC II did defeat Saint Louis 2-1 last time and know where their opposition is strong in. If they can be wary of their two top goal scorers, and watch Barklage, then I believe TFC II can come out with a win tonight in Vaughan.
The game will start at 8:00 PM EST at the Ontario Soccer Centre and tickets are available at the ticket booth for just $12. If you cannot make the game, make sure to tune in to torontofc.ca/live for the live stream.