Toronto FC II closed out their home schedule with a match against Louisville City FC on Friday. Here’s what happened:
10’ TFC II 0-1 Lou City [Ilija Ilic] — LC Paco Craig’s free kick from 65 yards is chipped downfield and LC Luke Spencer pops up header at 28 yards. LC Brian Ownby on slight left out-jumps TFC Tim Kubel to head ball at 25 yards flicking it over to centre. TFC Dante Campbell heads ball downwards from 25 yards back towards goalie and Ilic charges forward up middle and extends leg to control ball to tip around TFC Kyle Bjornethun and from 12 yards shoots low. Shot deflects off foot of retreating TFC Robert Boskovic and over sprawling goalie Caleb Patterson-Sewell into centre of net.
39’ TFC II 0-2 Lou City [Alexis Souahy] — LC Oscar Jimenez sends in corner kick from left and Souahy charges between players and heads just under bar on left side of net between upraised arms of goalie.
80’ TFC II 0-3 Lou City [Cameron Lancaster] — LC goalie Tim Dobrowolski clears back pass by blasting ball from edge of box up middle and ball deflects off Lancaster back to LC Ilija Ilic at 45 yard line. He chips ball forward to Lancaster charging forward on left side. Lancaster shoots low 15 yarder to right corner of net beyond sprawling goalie at 6 yards.
87’ TFC II 1-3 Lou City [Jordan Perruzza] — Perruzza recovers clearance by LC player from end line that deflects off TFC Dante Campbell at 6 yards and falls just behind him just outside box. He goes back to recover and turns towards goal stepping between two defenders and shoots 16 yarder low to left side of box under flying goalie.
Final Score: Toronto FC II 1-3 Louisville City FC
Attendance was not announced but uslsoccer.com lists it as 128. Weather: parka recommended!
Man of the Match for TFC II was announced as Dante Campbell for his work. He did send in some good crosses and played well offensively and coming back to defend. I believe they decide these awards ten minutes before the game ends so they can have the presentation and award ready.
Best of the other scoring chances were:
- 15 minutes when LC Devon Williams took a 33 yard shot down the middle that was just over the bar.
- 21 minutes had LC Oscar Jiminez take a 35 yard freekick from the left that a defender headed down in the middle. LC Luke Spencer got away a 22 yard shot that deflected up at 10 yards and the goalie leapt on the left post to catch. Three minutes later LC Brian Ownby deked two guys on the left to the end line and was unlucky not to win a penalty kick call on a handball as he crossed inside the box and it hit the arm of Kyle Bjornethun.
- 56 minutes had TFC’s Matt Srbely take a low 18 yard shot up the middle that the goalie dove forward to smother.
- 73 minutes had Akinola have a goal called back offside after rolling in a 12 yarder after a pass from Jordan Perruzza.
Louisville came out hot and swarmed TFC for the first 30 minutes in possession and chances. TFC got their first good chance at 31 minutes. TFC had beaten Louisville 4-1 on August 28 in Louisville in front of 6248 fans.
Louisville gambled tonight resting their offensive star Cameron Lancaster until bringing him on at 67 minutes. He scored his 22nd goal of the year 13 minutes later to put the game on ice. Lancaster leads the USL with goals scored this season and tonight’s goal ties the all-time USL record for most goals in a single season. TFC and Louisville were trading opportunities equally in the second half and one TFC goal could have swung the momentum. That 67-minute mark also brought on another record setter when George Davis IV entered the game. This was his 200th USL appearance and sets the record for USL games played in the modern era.
“Louisville City is just a better team overall,” said TFC II coach Michael Rabasca. “(We) made a lot of individual mistakes both in attack and defending.”
He said he was happy when they went with a totally different system of play in the second half and the guys picked it up and did a decent job.
“I was worried about playing a shape we’d never played before, but I though they handled it well,” he said.”
The only semi-regular MLS player for TFC tonight was midfielder Ryan Telfer. That may be good news for Jordan Hamilton and Liam Fraser, who were here for the Ottawa Fury game on September 26, as they may start getting more MLS minutes.
New additions to TFC II include midfielder Luke Singh (born in 2000), who has taken over the #63 kit although Liam Fraser gave that up when he signed an MLS contract and chose #27. I’ve watched Singh play quite a few times this year for TFC III of League 1 Ontario.
Forward Jordan Perruzza (age 17) has been given #77 which Swiss-born Brandon Onkony had at the beginning of the year but has disappeared. Perruzza was born in Toronto but was in Italy with FC Empoli’s youth team and came on a free transfer in August so that’s why I can say I’ve never seen him in L1O games. If he played for TFC as a very young teenager before going to Italy I’m unaware, but it could be truth-bending like saying Jonathan Osorio was a TFC Academy product.
Rabasca said that the TFC coaching staff is high on Jordan Perruzza.
“He’s a forward who will run at the back line,” he said. “He’s thinking about scoring goals anytime it’s on his foot”
“I was just looking at how I could make a good impact and how I could help the team,” said Perruzza about his goal. “I understood where I was in the box and took a shot.”
He said about his transition from the Academy to USL that the players here understand more of what they’re doing on the field and it’s easier to play up here. He credits fellow forward Shaan Hundal for showing him the little things of what to do and what not to do.
After Perruzza’s goal he had two more opportunities but he was called offside on one by a good 10 yards. Even a soccer mom called it a wasted chance as it ruined her son’s setup.
About 40 of those were fans cheering for the visitors, either travelling to see the team or relatives and friends of Pickering goalie Greg Ranjitsingh (a graduate of Sigma FC’s academy). He is currently injured, said his parents when I met them at halftime. What bothered me is that the entire Louisville team came over to the fan side of the field after the game to say thank you to their supporters while for TFC they had maybe six or seven make their way over. Now that is understandable after a loss but this was the final home game of the season for TFC and I think they owed it to their fans (the other 80 of them there) to do better.
I remember in the bad years of the MLS team the players would walk around the field after the home finale with a ‘Thank you fans’ banner which I started to recognize after its annual appearance. Goalscorer Perruzza was an exception as he was over running over to greet one group of us and then another maybe 20 yards downfield. It’s tough and dangerous to do a ‘Lambeau Leap’ over the concrete to get to us so just reaching up to glad-hand a few people was enough.
I mentioned this after the meet and greet with TFC president Bill Manning and he said the players were clearly frustrated. He then told a story of how Will Johnson, who played for his Real Salt Lake team at the time had brushed off a fan who then complained to him. Manning said, paraphrased, “Would you rather he said hello or be upset and determined to win so he can be better next time?” Manning said the fan chose he’d rather win.
Manning also told me that TFC II are moving next year to the BMO Training Ground (in Downsview Park) to play next year at a soon-to-be constructed 1200-seat stadium. That could be a reason for what I call ‘self-relegating’ themselves as the USL League One standards aren’t so strict about 5000-seat minimums and their mostly teenage players won’t be beaten so often next year.
TFC II’s record falls to 4-24-4 for 16 points. They have two road games remaining and if they win both they could tie Richmond to not finish in last place of the 16 Eastern Conference teams. Richmond will also be dropping to USL League One so their battle can continue.
TFC II are back in action on Tuesday night when head south for a match against Nashville SC. They close the season on Saturday away to Penn FC.
Louisville’s record improves to 17-6-9 for 60 points. With MLS-bound FC Cincinnati clinching first place about a month ago they are battling for second place with Pittsburgh and tonight’s win helps hold the Riverhounds off.
Louisville is one of those independent teams not affiliated with any MLS team since 2016. Years ago they took over the USL Orlando City team’s roster when that team joined MLS. This is why the team has a purple, gold, and white colour scheme.