Orlando opened their season with 3-1 home last Saturday at the hands of FC Tucson, but given how new this competition is, it will take some time to figure out the level of the opposition.
“We’re going to watch the tape, they’ve played one game,” said TFC II coach Michael Rabasca of the difficulties scouting. “There is an advantage to this league: you can watch every game in one weekend. No surprises.”
“It will take a good three-to-four weeks to know what we have,” he added. “Will Orlando be young like us? Or, some of the other teams seem to have hire more mature players. It’s hard to tell in the first week.”
Toronto themselves are a relatively new side, melding a core of returning players with a mix of TFC Academy graduates and more veteran international additions.
“A lot of new players, but the level has not dropped, we’re at a high level,” said Matt Srbely, one of the returnees. “The players that have come in have filled in spots well. Everything is looking sharp and clean for the first match.”
And with their first six matches to start the season on the road, TFC II will be challenged out of the gates.
“The players have not just accepted it, but are looking forward to it as a chance to prove what they are as a group, what their personality is,” noted Rabasca. “That has been a nice challenge right out the gate.”
After spending the last few months preparing for this moment, they can’t wait to get started.
“It’s been a long offseason/preseason,” said Dante Campbell. “We’ve been working a lot, double sessions, doing everything we need to do. We’re ready to put that into action.”
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. and the match will be streamed on YouTube.
Elsewhere in USL this weekend:
The trio of TFC/TFC II players on loan at Ottawa Fury FC – Aidan Daniels, Robert Boskovic, and Shaan Hundal – look forward to Ottawa’s home opener against Nashville SC on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Also on Saturday, Luca Uccello’s Memphis 901 FC head to North Carolina FC for a 7 p.m. kickoff and Malik Johnson’s Tampa Bay Rowdies host Hartford Athletic at 7:30 p.m.
All matches can be found on the USL Championship YouTube channel.