Toronto FC II lost 5-1 on Sunday afternoon to the Charlotte Independence at the Ontario Soccer Centre. It was a fifth-straight loss for TFC II – the last four of which were at home.
Patrick Slogic, a towering left-back, opened the scoring in the 4th minute, knocking in a corner kick after Clint Irwin touched the curling effort, that looked bound for goal, off the bar.
Alex Martinez then added a second for Charlotte in the 39th minute, muscling through the Toronto back-line before beating Irwin with a low shot to the left-side of goal.
After half-time, David Estrada scored a third in the 53rd minute, exposing a hole in the TFC back-line to shape a left-footer over Irwin toward the top-left corner of goal.
In a rare moment of class in the 58th minute, Brian James drew one back for TFC II, unleashing a drive from outside the box that found the top-left corner of goal, putting the hosts on the scoreboard.
But Aly Hassan reinstated the three-goal advantage in the 88th minute, lifting a deft touch over Irwin after a through-ball shredded the TFC II defenses.
And Norberto Ochoa rounded out the scoring with a fifth in stoppage-time, beating Irwin with a quick shot to the bottom-left corner of goal.
For those in need of a more detailed play-by-play of the match, the game thread (aka one man talking to himself for two hours) can be found here, while a replay of the match is available on demand.
The TFC II side featured four first team players: Irwin, Jordan Hamilton, Mo Babouli, and Clement Simonin.
Irwin looked a touch rusty after his two-month spell on the sideline. He was caught by the whip on the corner kick that led to the first goal and will have wanted to do better on the second, though he was hung out to dry by the back-line. He had very little chance to deny any of the second half goals.
Hamilton was largely starved of service, but put in a shift, while Babouli looked sharp and was involved in most of the half-chances created by the Reds – it was his run and pass that found James for his strike.
Simonin was solid, if unspectacular. His passing, as advertized, was strong, but he looked a little rusty overall – which makes sense given it was only his sixth appearance of the season, gradually upping the work-load as he returns from injury. He came off around the hour-mark, having gotten a half-hour under his belt last weekend.
Ricardo John was lively and showed some exceptional jumping skills, though like Hamilton, he was starved of service.
And Raheem Edwards had moments, but did not provide the same kind of spark that was seen from him in the Voyageurs Cup for the first team.
In many ways the strike from James was the lone bright spot from a side that looked disjointed.
Jason Bent has a difficult ask on his hands, trying to craft a workable team out of a mishmash of first teamers in need of minutes and the revolving cast of regulars and loanees. TFC II, prior to this afternoon, had already seen some 40 different players suit up and at least six different keepers – hardly a recipe for consistency.
TFC II have two matches left this season: next Sunday, September 11 at home against Orlando City B before closing the season on the road at the Rochester Rhinos on September 24.
CLT – Patrick Slogic 4’
CLT – Alex Martinez 40’
CLT – David Estrada 53’ (Yann Ekra)
TFC – Brian James 58’ (Mo Babouli)
CLT – Aly Hassan 89’
CLT – Norberto Ochoa 90’
CLT – Jorge Herrera 13’ (caution)
CLT – Brian Brown 65’ (caution)
CLT – Paul Clowes 73’ (caution)
CLT – Patrick Slogic 90’ (caution)
Toronto FC II – Clint Irwin; Wesley Charpie ©, Marko Maletic (Tristan Hodge 45’), Clement Simonin (Rocco Romeo 62’), Anthony Osorio; Adam Bouchard (Kota Sakurai 45’), Brian James, Mo Babouli; Raheem Edwards (Malik Johnson 84’), Ricardo John (Shaan Hundal 76’), Jordan Hamilton
Substitutes Not Used: Aneglo Cavalluzzo, Martin Davis
Charlotte Independence – Cody Mizell; Jack Metcalf, Patrick Slogic, Alec Bartlett, Joe Greenspan; Paul Clowes (Austin Yearwood 85’), Yann Ekra (Lewis Hilton 69’), Jorge Herrera©; Brian Brown (Aly Hassan 69’), David Estrada (Norberto Ochoa 69’), Alex Martinez (Asa Kryst 89’)
Substitutes Not Used: Kyle Renfro, David Spies
JASON BENT – HEAD COACH, TORONTO FC II
Jason not the result you guys want today, overall thoughts on the game?
Overall I mean when you look over the course of the season, opposition teams that we’ve played against don’t really give us gifts and unfortunately we gave them about 4 or 5 gifts today. Our defending was poor and not of the standard we would expect. We controlled certain moments and parts of the match, we scored a good goal but when you start the match poorly and manage moments just before halftime then we started the second half slowly it makes it difficult and an uphill battle. They were the better team and took their chances and we got punished for some poor errors.
You had some academy kids come in, thoughts on their play today?
Yeah I thought some of the young boys stepped in, Kota was comfortable on the ball and is quite the smart footballer so I think he will be ok with time. Rocco showed some good moments and then some other young moments we just have to keep working with them, give them opportunities when we can and see if they can progress.
Two games left in the season, what is the focus for the last two games?
Well we have to come out and play for a bit of pride, protect our home pitch this is our house and unfortunately the last four games here have not been up to the standard we expect and certainly in terms of results we have to turn it around.
BRIAN JAMES – MIDFIELDER, TORONTO FC II
Bryan obviously not the result you guys wanted, you got a goal second of the year, what are your thoughts on the game?
As a team I don’t think we played our best game, easy chances, we’ll get back to work and work on it for next week so it won’t happen again.
You have two games left in the season, how important is it to put this behind you and move forward strong?
We want to finish strong and get these two wins, one on the road and one at home. They are going to be tough matches so we’ll get back to work on the training ground.
You scoring your second goal, do you think it has helped your confidence moving forward?
Yeah … getting a goal and assist always boosts your confidence, definitely helpful.