Results and details of the September 26, 2018 USL game between Toronto FC II and Ottawa Fury FC played at Lamport Stadium in Toronto.
30’—TFC Kyle Bjornethun heads down long chipped pass from Fury player at 23 yard line on left but the ball deflects off foot of Tim Kubel two yards away and rolls back towards goal and Fury Adonijah Reid who had been sandwiched between the two defenders suddenly finds himself in alone at top left side of box and gets to near edge of 6 yard box while lining up shot and Kubel puts his knee out and pushes him over. Referee Yusri Rudolf whistles for a Penalty kick. Goalie Caleb Patterson-Sewell stands over Reid gesturing at him and Reid gets up and pushes the goalie twice drawing a Yellow card.
31’—Toronto FC II 0-1 Ottawa Fury FC [Steevan Dos Santos] – Dos Santos blasts his penalty kick to the left side over flying goalie Caleb Patterson-Sewell.
Final Score: Toronto FC II 0-1 Ottawa Fury FC
Attendance was not announced but the USL website listed it as 107. That was exactly 100 less than TFC II’s last home game which was also against Ottawa almost three weeks ago. The game was played at 6:00pm which is an unusual starting time for a weeknight but the game was rescheduled from March 31st when BMO Field was in rough shape weather wise and overused hosting the senior team’s MLS games and CCL run. The head of security at Lamport answered me that the grounds were rented out later for other permit holders and when I looked back waiting for the streetcar I could see some beer-leaguers practicing.
Maxime Crepeau earned the shutout for the Fury tonight. It was his 14th of the season and breaks all kinds of records including the USL most-in-a-season one and the Fury’s team record back to their NASL days. TFC II made it easy for him with no shots on net. Last time these teams played it was a 4-3 shootout but Crepeau was away with the Canadian National team and David Monsalve played and Borja Angoitia was the TFC goalie and allowed a goal directly from a cornerkick. Tonight’s defensive work on both teams was much improved.
Liam Fraser and Dante Campbell both played as defensive midfielders and sometimes ended up on the backline to help out the four defenders with outside cornerbacks Tim Kubel and Terique Mohammed often venturing up the wings. Interesting that in the last few MLS games Michael Bradley has been playing center back. Fraser has been deemed by some as the successor* to the aging Bradley and he was mirroring his positioning tonight. *Unless Mr TAM or Mr GAM are brought in to replace him. Steady and reliable center back Robert Boskovic was named by the TFC sponsor as Man of the Match.
Tsubasa Endoh was kept silent again for the second game in a row after his hat trick against FC Cincinnati. TFC was shut out 4-0 away against Bethlehem on the weekend. Today he shared freekick and cornerkicks with fellow midfielder Ryan Telfer. Former TFC MLS team Endoh has not made any MLS appearances since being re-signed midway through this year. Telfer, Liam Fraser and Jon Bakero, who could do little tonight, were the only other MLS experienced players on the roster.
TFC II manager Michael Rabasca did try to shake things up at 72 minutes to get some more offence going with a double swap of offensive players Shaan Hundal and Noble Okello replacing defenders Terique Mohammed and Tim Kubel. His final move was a 84 minutes with midfielder Matt Srbely replacing the mostly ineffective lone forward Ayo Akinola. Srbely was on the field four minutes and had a fair claim for a Penalty kick but David Edgar’s sliding tackle got the ball at the top of the box even with Srbely flipping over him. The USL soccer website listed Edgar as its Man of the Match for ‘two interceptions and five clearances’.
Team stats have Fury out-shooting TFC 10 to 4 with Fury leading 4-0 with shots on target. The home team led 72% in possession and 617 passes (vs 240) with lots of them between the six defensive field players while Fury were waiting to counterattack and send long balls upfield looking for a big play.
Best scoring chances were at 18 yards when Fury Carl Haworth chipped a ball at 15 yards forward and the TFC goalie crashed with OF Tony Taylor on the end line and both were injured. Taylor earned a Yellow for his high boot. 50 minutes had Reid rescuing a ball on the edge of the box then elude two defenders and get away a 15 yard shot from the left that the goalie flew right to catch. 80 minutes had OF Cristian Portilla take a 40 yard freekick from the right that the charging OF Eddie Edward headed a 10 yarder down the middle that the goalie caught.
Head coach Rabasca said after the game “We were confident on the ball, good in moments and better in the first half before they adjusted. It was a good performance by our young group”. He said they face a lot of counterattacking teams and credit to them they did what they had to do to sneak out of here with the points. He felt like they had enough chances and TFC were the better team. On this game compared to the Bethlehem game; “What we expect them to do and the criticism they received after that game, I’m pleased with this performance. We have a lot of positives to take away, the focus, work-rate, and willingness to learn we’ll be happy”. On keeping the goals against down: “We didn’t have those mistakes tonight, our defender on an individual level was far better than those previous games. On defender Robert Boskovic “He did well tonight, Steevan Dos Santos is a strong player with some unique things about his games in terms of how he can manage and not manage the referee, Boskovic handled that well”.
Boskovic answered after the game “We were good behind the ball. We were tough to break down. It was definitely a tough night. It was a learning point in keeping the goals against down. From last week to this week it was way better and definitely a positive performance. We can build off and take it into Charleston on Saturday”.
This will be the end of the Ontario Derby but not for the initially expected reason. Ottawa is staying in the USL instead of joining the new Canadian Premier League — which I think they would have dominated if they’d kept their roster. They meet those requirements with two-thirds Canadians on the roster. The CPL rules have recently been announced as 50% Canadian. TFC II have a two-thirds-Canadian roster too.
It’s TFC II who are self-relegating themselves to the new USL D3 which has already changed it’s name to USL League One this week. Lots of flash in the league’s re-brand with “Ball in motion, 13 stripes the same as our flag”. I freeze-framed on a tile map of a stylized North America and counted only 8 tiles including Toronto for the new division. I hope TFC likes multiple road trips to Arizona.
TFC II’s record falls to 3 wins, 4 ties and 23 losses for 13 points and bottom of the sixteen team Eastern Conference.
Ottawa improves to 13 wins, 5 ties, and 14 losses for 44 points and good for seventh place.
Their problem is they have only two games left and New York Red Bulls have 42 with four games to go and North Carolina have 41 with five games remaining. That’s three teams dueling for the last two playoff spots. The higher-seeded team has the home date in all rounds of the one game playoffs so conference quarterfinal, semifinal, final, then cross over to the western conference winner all on the road will be a tough ask. The eastern leaders FC Cincinnati on a nine game win streak and twenty game unbeaten streak are just waiting to rip through these teams as they are waiting to join MLS next season.
No time for TFC II to rest as they have a road game on Saturday night against Charleston before their final home game Friday October 5th against Louisville.