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L1O Game of the Week: Late equalizer seals Alliance United draw

Plus more from around L1O this week.

Robin Glover / Waking the Red

In last weekend’s League1 Ontario action, Alliance United took on Master’s FA at L’Amoreaux Park in Scarborough. Here’s how it went down:

22’ Alliance United 0-1 Master’s FA [Jose De Sousa] — MFA’s Bradley Fenton chips pass from 35 yards up middle and De Sousa charging forward pops header at 20 yards over goalie Mark Rogal at five yards and ball hits underside of bar and deflects in.

33’ Alliance United 1-1 Master’s FA [Nirunthan Sivananthan] — AU’s Steven Furlano’s 35 yard freekick from the left causes the ball to be knocked down at 12 yards in a crowd of players and Sivananthan shoots a 15 yarder into the left side of the net between goalie Sebastian Zeballos and the post.

76’ Alliance United 1-2 Master’s FA [Shawn Brown] — MFA’s Reshon Phillip’s low cross pass from 25 yards on the left lets MFA’s Ignacio Velazquez take a 10 yard shot that squirms forward past the defender and a goalie on the left post and Brown taps a three-yarder into the empty net.

95’ Alliance United 2-2 Master’s FA [Connor McFall] — Steven Furlano’s corner kick from the left is high and over players and an AU player on the right heads the ball back across the box and McFall shoots in a six-yarder in a crowd of players on into the left corner of net. Even the AU goalie had come upfield to clog up the box.

Final score: Alliance United 2-2 Master’s FA

Attendance reached about 100 by the second half. This game was considered a ‘home’ game for Alliance who usually play at the Centennial College campus but scheduled from the original L1O fixture listings as being played at L’Amoreaux Park (home of the Saints). Alliance brought their own equipment — like canopies — much appreciated by the players on the bench as it hadn’t dropped much from the 30C-plus humidity from earlier in the day. Referee Scott Bowman scheduled a water break in each half.

Alliance had ‘scored’ at 86 minutes from a 50 yard free kick from Steven Furlano that an AU player headed into the net but the goal was called back for pushing a defender. Masters had almost scored a goal at 83 minutes with Jose De Sousa sending in a free kick from 22 yards on the right and the ball was partially cleared but Josue Jaramilio blasted a shot from 25 yards that the goalie got a hand to and tipped away from the right corner, and MFA’s Shawn Brown couldn’t put in an eight-yard blast.

This game was quite rough. MFA defender Adam Czerkawski was injured at 55 minutes and needed an ambulance to be called and he was wheeled away on a gurney at 90 minutes at the same time their goalie was being treated for an injury downfield. 81 minutes had MFA’s Jose De Sousa injured but because they had used their five subs, he returned to play on after treatment.

Alliance United is a new team with a venture between the Markham SC, Wexford SC and Centennial College but have picked up three former Toronto FC Academy players. Goalie Mark Rogal, midfielder Nicholas Osorio (youngest brother of Jonathan — middle brother Anthony is on Vaughan Azzurri), and defender Steven Furlano. Furlano was the star of Alliance tonight taking the corners and free kicks and chasing back to catch MFA forwards after making offensive forays. How could TFC III have let this 1998 player go?

Last year’s L1O Young Player of the Year Cyrus Rollocks was once again not on the MFA roster. My luck to see the young striker is 0 for 3. Rollocks is still only 20 and won the award while playing for TFC III.

This is the second week in a row that Master’s have lost points on practically the last kick of the game. Last week they surrendered a late penalty kick to TFC III and Afram Gorgees scored the lone goal of the game.

The draw (this was the last game of the weekend) moves Alliance up to a tie for ninth in the standings with North Mississauga (the only team that didn’t play this week) with a record of 2-1-2 for 8 points. Masters FA stays a point ahead of them in eighth with a record of 2-1-3 for 9 points. The race continues to finish in the ‘Top 9’ to make the playoffs because it’s understood that TFC III, which is running away with the Shield (if there is one), is going to step aside at the end of August (in fact they’re going to play some midweek games so they can finish a month early) so they can join the USSDA League to play a September to June schedule.

I saw three other L1O games this weekend. Saturday afternoon Darby FC was the visitor to Sanjaxx Lions at Monarch Park. Le Rohne Young scored on a first half injury time penalty kick and that was the game’s only goal. Brutally hot day. Sanjaxx has a reasonably good defence allowing seven goals in six games but has only scored three. Sanjaxx is tied for 14th. Darby moves into 11th with a 2-2-1 record. This game was dull with poor shooting by each team.

Darby is new to the men’s league. They’ve had an L1O women’s team for a few years. Their lineup and coaching staff aren’t strange to me — I recognized about ten guys from last year’s Durham United team. I asked one of their coaches, Sanford Carabin, and he said Durham folded their men’s team. It was nice to see they landed on their feet at Darby — same municipality. Durham kept their women’s team. Sanjaxx folded their L1O women’s team. Well that’s minor league soccer! The memorable thing for me was that watching Darby meant that I’ve seen all 17 men’s teams at least once by Week 8!

Saturday evening and I was at Ontario Soccer Centre to see Unionville Milliken vs Woodbridge Strikers. Unionville won 3-1 in what was a close game until an injury time UM goal flattered the scoreline. Tre Crosby scored for UM on a PK at 14 minutes, Isaiah-Prentice Whyte increased the lead at 34 minutes, Emmanuel Isaac scored for Woodbridge at 38 minutes on a PK, and Richard West scored at 94 minutes for UM. UM vaults over Woodbridge into a tie for second place with Sigma FC and FC London.

Sunday afternoon I watched Toronto FC III beat Windsor TFC 10-0 on a day that was possibly even hotter than Saturday. Joshua Moreira opened the scoring at 4 minutes, Daniel Bilousov at 8, 40, and 49 (and assisted on the first goal), Afram Gorgees at 54, 80, and 90, Jayden Nelson at 73, and Zakaria Abdi at 78, and 88 minutes had the others. Ten players on today’s roster were born in 2000! Jayden Nelson is a 2002 and didn’t get into the game until 61 minutes and he scored 12 minutes later.

Remember when I just asked why TFC III would give up on a player at age 20? Well I guess my question was just answered!

Sebastian Sgarbossa earned the shutout. I’ve sometimes said a team could use a lawn chair in goal but Sgarbossa did have to make diving saves at 27 and 84 minutes. He was aided by two draft/trade acquisition defenders slumming it from TFC II — MLS draftee Tim Kubel and Lars Eckenrode. They average seven and five years older than the teens on the roster.

Goalscoring celebrations were subdued in the second half and Windsor players were shouting at each other by then about botched passing. Windsor is a TFC-associated club. I’d say TFC are really only interested in scooping some 13-year-old prospects and moving them into their own Academy. The association has only been signed exactly two years now so we can’t say that today’s team are ‘leftovers’ but they are the only team that still hasn’t won in L1O this season.

TFC has a similar agreement with London TFC but that club has the best women’s team in L1O with a 27-game unbeaten streak stretching back into last year so they maintain some independence. L1O media guy Pearce Lang told me he made a joke about FC London leading scorer Jade Kovacevic having scored more goals than the entire Sanjaxx women’s team. I wasn’t sure but last year she scored 40 league goals plus five in cup competition vs. 11 for Sanjaxx in 20 games. This year she has 13 so far in seven games.

The Windsor brethren weren’t treated well. They appear to have come by car pool (about a five hour drive) and weren’t allowed in the property gates of the BMO Training Ground so had to walk the last 500 yards (just like I do). While I was waiting to get in, a soccer dad dropped his boy off right in front of the stadium entrance (I suppose he was a ball kid) and said through his car window that after four years he still couldn’t park here. Hmm try being the visiting team! The visitors only had 15 players so that would also explain the second half wilting.