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Rocket Robin

League 1 Ontario 2017--Week 12

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Result and details of the League 1 Ontario game of July 15, 2017 between
Pro Stars FC and Vaughan Azzurri played at Avondale Stadium in Brampton
at 11:30am.

15 min...VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL...VA player's cornerkick from left is short
and another VA player runs it along end line towards goal and taps out for
Whiteman in middle to shoot 10 yarder through crowd of players into top
left side of net.

20 min...VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL...Whiteman dribbles down middle fending off
checks and he shoots low 15 yarder into left side of net.

26 min...VA Dante Pavan GOAL...VA Joseph Amato on left chips pass forward
from 40 yards for VA Mario Kovacevic on left and he crosses from 25 yards
to middle where open Pavan rolls 12 yard shot into net.

41 min...Joseph De Chiara GOAL...VA Christopher Mannella makes a good hold
up play against two defenders at 22 yards before passing off.
VA Jarek Whiteman tangled with another defender on edge of box makes
a backheel pass over to De Chiara in open at 15 yards and he shoots
forward into net.

51 min...PS replace goalies with Zlad Noilaty replacing starter
Justin Barrett.

59 min...VA replace goalie with Liam McQueenie replacing starter
Andrew D'Souza.

64 min...VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL...VA Chris Mannella taps pass over
to Whiteman in middle and he shoots 15 yarder into low left corner of net.

67 min...VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL...VA player taps pass forward up middle
for charging Whiteman to shoot 15 yarder over sliding goalie into
left side of net.

72 min...VA Aidan O'Hara GOAL...O'Hara 20 yard shot from left is over
sprawling goalie at 8 yards and into right corner of net.

73 min...PS RED card...Jack Crawford earns it. Defender Crawford pulls
over VA player from behind racing up middle at 22 yards.
Referee Vladimir Makarov was going to award a freekick since it was
just outside the box and pull out a Yellow card but he put it away.
He must have been called to the sideline because after he talked
with assistant Joshua Smith he ran back across the field and pulled
out a Red card. From Smith's angle he could tell Crawford was the
last man back.

80 min...VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL...VA player dekes goalie at 15 yards
but is forced left. PS defender Mohamed Alhilo slides and saves that
player's shot low 12 yard shot. Whiteman gets rebound at 18 yards
on left and shoots over goalie at 6 yards and into right corner of net.

85 min...Pro Stars Adel Rahman GOAL...PS Kibwe Dyer rush down left
on 2 on 1 and rolls pass across field at 30 yards and Rahman shoots
low 22 yarder from right to left corner of net beyond diving goalie.

89 min...VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL...VA Jospeh Di Chiara chips pass
from 45 yards on right that finds VA Aidan O'Hara open at 20 yards
in middle. He dekes goalie at 8 yards and hits left post on shot
and Whiteman coming in behind him gets shot between defenders into net.

90 min...VA Ryan Raposo GOAL...Raposo gets pass at 25 yards on right
and bends low shot around diving goalie into left corner of net.

92 min...VA Jarek Whiteman GOAL...VA Ryan Raposo beats charging goalie
to rescue ball on right end line. He crosses from 20 yards along line
and Whiteman nods 5 yarder into open net as he and VA Aidan O'Hara
were both waiting on left post.

Final Score:.....Pro Stars........1......Vaughan Azzurri........11.....

Attendance was about 40 on this hot and humid day. The game was
played at 'Avondale Stadium'--a location I'd known for years
as Victoria Park in Brampton. The James F McCurry Victoria Park Arena—
the hockey arena was heavily damaged in a fire over a year ago and
is still not in use. The story I heard is it frazzled a lot of the
electrical elements/controls in the stadium. I looked before the game
started and the regular field has no grass on it, it looks like it's
been recently graded to re-sod. Thankfully the newly installed
washrooms and dressing rooms are untouched. The game was played
on what I knew was a practice field in past years but with a crowd
of this size the few rows of seats were more than enough.  The grass
looked great, It gave me a flashback to when I used to play golf.
I saw City of Brampton trucks in the parking lot with their logo
'Garden City'.  Very appropriate. 

Well the game was somewhat like what I saw a week ago when Oakville
dominated Toronto Skillz but that turned ugly with a bunch
of ejections at only 5-0 and Oakville playing keep away. This game
played out cooly. Vaughan cycled through their bench by 65 minutes
including their goalie sub. I suppose the one player they could have
subbed off was Jarek Whiteman but he played on. It's hard to get
upset when young Ryan Raposo gets into the game and scores and has
his parents cheering. For guys like him and fellow '1999er'
Aidan O'Hara, it is a chance to play for the main squad and show
what they can do.

The bigger L1O clubs are stockpiling guys who are waiting to make
the jump to the new Canadian Premier league. That's the reason
I see 27 year old Whiteman still with Vaughan and ex TFC first
teamer Chris Mannella finding a place on the team this year.
I talked with John Zervos a team official with Sigma FC where I was
later in the afternoon and he said the club will be just as happy
when these players move on as it will make space for their younger
players to move up the chain. (more details in a separate report
on their game). Teams like Pro Stars will be better when these
better teams peel off their older players to this new Canadian
league and it can go back to teenagers against teenagers.

A lot of people don't like uneven games like this yet every two
weeks over 7000 are in downtown Toronto watching the new pro rugby
team 'Wolfpack' beat some third division English club teams by never
less than 60 points and it has extensive media coverage. Do you
go to watch the Harlem Globetrotters more than once a year?

Vaughan had just played Wednesday night in a League 1 Cup match
semi-final on the road to Durham United that went to Penalty kicks
which Vaughan eventually won and today didn't look any worse
for wear. Officially today the spot on their roster for head coach
was left blank but suspended Carmine Isacco was in the stands
watching with the crowd like that player from French Guiana—nothing
for him to worry about. Wednesday's clinching Penalty kick taker
Thomas Sklublak wasn't on the roster (Sklublak scored six goals
in an early round Cup game this season) and Isacco answered
my question that all of the three Mills brothers were at an event.
I'm going to assume having watched the guys on this roster for
a few years now, the number that are still at school
at York University is less than in other year and they will
be hurt less when that school schedule starts.

Pro Stars split there goaltending between Justin Barrett and
Zlad Noilaty. Neither was their first choice as I was at their
game last week when goalie Jonathan Albanese deep in injury time
slid to make a save in a reasonable 2-0 loss to Master's FA
and took the shot in his face. I received a bunch of retweets
during the week where he asked if there was some kind of mask
he could wear as he'd broken his nose!  A later tweet had him
outfitted with something but I didn't notice him at the game today.

Referee Vladimir Makarov gave out just one Yellow and one Red
(both to Pro Stars) that I counted in a game that never got rough.

The sound system wasn't working for much of the game and goals
and subs were not being announced. I usually do a better job
of filling in assists by asking the goal scorers but they were
so many I'll try to play back the game when it's posted on the
league site in a few days for my own site report. I had so many
markings in my notes I wouldn't even be sure what to ask Whiteman.
He must now hold the record for most goals in a game in this fourth
season league.  He was one of the first to leave and they gave
him the cooler to lug back to the change-room about 300 yards away.
Some reward!

Pro Stars record falls to 0 wins, 10 losses, 1 tie for 1 point and
eighth (ie last) place in the Western Conference.

Vaughan has their record improve to 7 wins, 3 losses, 1 tie
for 22 points and they jump from fourth to second in the East
although those other teams will play later this weekend.

Rocket Robin
twitter RocketRobin01

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Result and details of the Saturday July 15, 2017 League 1 Ontario game between
Sigma FC and Ottawa South United Force played at Hershey Centre Field at 4:00pm.

10 min...Sigma Faisal Ghaffur GOAL...Sigma player takes 30 yard freekick from
right forward to Sigma Molham Babouli and he rolls ball into 6 yard box past
goalie Thomas Hatch who dove forward. Ghaffur is about the third guy to have
a chance to pound ball from 2 yards between bunch of defenders on goal line.

16 min...OSUF Abdulraham Akinwande GOAL...OSUF Myles Cornwall long run on right
and cross through 6 yard box that goalie Triston Henry dives forward on right
side of net to get hand to but Akinwande pounds in 6 yard rebound down middle
into open net.

27 min...Sigma Molham Babouli GOAL...Sigma Kadell Thomas holds off defender
at 25 yards on left to get cross to Babouli who steps to right from middle
and blasts 18 yarder into right side of net just inside post about 5 feet high.

77 min...Sigma Justin Stoddart GOAL...Sigma Jerome Smith pass from 60 yards
through players to charging Stoddart who redirects ball from 20 yards behind
sprawling goalie at 15 yards and ball bounces into open net.

91 min...Sigma Giuliano Frano GOAL...Sigma Molham Babouli fakes freekick
and steps around ball and Frano blasts 30 yard freekick up the middle into
top right corner of net. Wow!

Final Score:....Sigma FC......4........Ottawa South United Force...1..

Attendance was about 150 on this hot and humid late afternoon.

Kadell Thomas look great for Sigma leading rushes up the wing.  Johnny Grant
was as effective on the other wing. Defenders Jelani Smith, Faisal Ghaffur,
Dominic Samuel, and Kyle Walton were a curtain around the box keeping OSUF
chances mostly from distance. Frano's freekick goal at the end was what
Sebastian Giovinco would do for Toronto FC. The goalie was frozen to his spot.

Sigma was never comfortable until 77 minutes when they finally had a two goal
cushion. Although they were limiting OSUF chances, if one of the few shots
went in it was suddenly a tie game.

Referee Jason Vaillancourt gave out only three Yellow cards that I counted.
(two to OSUF). He gave out one to Sigma Alex Halis and
OSUF George-Anthony El-Asmar at 50 minutes when a shot by OSUF Stevan Andjelic
that sailed over the net from 25 yards suddenly started a dust up. It ended
up with about six players from each team pushing against each other.
When Valencourt asked if those two wanted a second one it sure calmed down
fast and there was no further trouble.

I spoke with Sigma team official John Zervos about recruiting Mo Babouli.
It was similar to last year having Leaford Allen play with them and finish
as their leading scorer then move on to Swedish Second Division side
Tenhults IF on March 11, 2017. Allen at least had been seen by Sigma when
they took him on one of their overseas tours. Zervos agreed that Babouli
is here to showcase his talents for the new Canadian Premier League.

I notice that MLS Toronto FC signed a player from Liechtenstein to play
on defence as of course there's no CANADIAN player who can fill that role
on short notice. Wow am I ever waiting for that new league to start!

I told Zervos about the 11-1 game I'd seen earlier in the day. Vaughan has
a few older players similar in experience to Sigma.

He agreed that he will be glad when these older players move on to the new
league as it will give their younger players a chance to move up the chain.
That will make the smaller clubs more competative as it will be back
to teenagers playing teenagers.

I think this is the year that Sigma can go all in to try to win the league
(L1O) as it will mean a berth in the Canadian Championship for the
Voyageurs Cup. They have gone undefeated for a long stretch last year
(nine games) but then a lot of their best players went back to NCAA schools
and they finished the season with high-schoolers and their record faded.
This year their more mature players will be able to stick with the team
until the end of the season and should be starting in the Spring of 2018
when the first rounds of the Canadian Championships start. The new league
wouldn't be starting until the summer. Future years they will have to fight
the new league in the early rounds and probably their best five to eight
players may be divvied up between the new teams.

I hadn't been to Hershey Centre this season but it looks unchanged from
last year. North Mississauga Panthers also use this as a home ground and
are playing tonight but the game was pushed back to 8:30pm and by now I'd
seen two games so had reached my limit. The field is still on a flight path
to a Pearson Airport runway but after a few planes fly overhead every
third minute we learn to ignore it.

Sigma's record improves to 10 wins, 0 losses, 2 ties for 32 points and they
are first in the Western Conference. They are the only undefeated team
in league play left this season. 

OSUF's record falls to 4 wins, 6 losses, 1 tie, for 13 points and they are
in sixth place in the eight team East. In a planned quirk in the schedule,
they are staying in the GTA and will play Windsor TFC tomorrow afternoon
at Vaughan Grove (home of Woodbridge Strikers). Their head coach
Traian Mateas said their all star (the L1O All Star game against the Quebec
league is in town on Wednesday) has already left for school—that would
be defender Justin Earle.

Windsor is in the GTA right now and at the same time were playing Aurora FC
and won 6-1 that I read. Too bad this league doesn't have a hotel sponsor
but this is the only game this season that I see this happening. Windsor
is five hours south west of Toronto and Ottawa is five hours north east
of here so why not meet halfway in between?

Rocket Robin
twitter RocketRobin01

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Result and details of the Sunday July 16, 2017 League 1 Ontario between
Windsor TFC Stars and Ottawa South United Force played at Vaughan Grove
in Woodbridge at 1:00pm.

34 min...WS Noah Pio makes long run down left and eludes goalie but
OSUF defender Rowan Martino-Hoilett stops him in the box. The referee
gives Martino-Hoilett a Yellow card for elbowing and awards WS
a Penalty kick.

35 min...WS Noah Pio shoots Penalty kick low to right and diving
goalie Cameron Cappelli pushes ball wide right of post.

64 min...OSUF Abdulrahmjan Akinwande GOAL...OSUF Stefan Andjelic rolls
ball from 35 yards in middle over to charging Akinwande on the left
who runs in from 25 yards and rolls 18 yarder into right corner of net past goalie Kyle V.

78 min...OSUF RED card...Julian White earns his second Yellow card
of the game for sliding tackle a on WS Kyle Ruggaber at OSUF 35 yard
line injuring him.

Final Score:...Windsor TFC Stars...0..Ottawa South United Force...1...

Attendance was only about 15 which does set a new low point fan-wise
but both these teams play their home games in their cities more than
five hours away. There were a few GTA teams playing home games
at near the same time and the clouds were threatening rain besides
actually having a pre game rain and periods of rain during the game.

Both teams were in the Toronto area yesterday to play local teams
yesterday afternoon and it's the only time a L1O game will involve
a team playing two days in a row. This game was scheduled like this
at the start of the season. These two teams are the greatest distance
apart in the whole league--probably at least ten hours apart—from
the borders of Michigan and Quebec. It's one reason they have a Western
and Eastern conference even though most of the teams are in the GTA.
Toronto was the perfect location for this game in respect to travel.

Both teams had played at the same time yesterday so it could be said
that they were just as tired. Windsor had beaten Aurora 6-1 and
Ottawa had lost to Sigma 4-1. This wasn't a comment on the strength
of Windsor vs Ottawa but of the caliber of the GTA opposition with
Sigma still undefeated in league play. The records of Ottawa and
Windsor are similar with both teams having won four times this season
up to today.

The game played out somewhat like I thought when I saw the rosters.
Windsor had only four possible subs including a back up goalie while
OSUF had six. I figured Windsor would have to score early as they
would tire as the game wore on and could be out-subbed (five in this
league). OSUF played this masterfully bringing three new guys
in at halftime to go along with one at 37 minutes because
of an injury. With the action end to end counterattacking, this wore
out the Windsor players late in the game.

Windsor's best chance was of course the Penalty shot in the first
half—score that and a more defensive approach may have worked.
Windsor didn't make their first sub until 74 minutes when they
brought in Erik Cirovski wearing a face mask protecting his nose. 
They made one more change at 88 minutes which gives me the idea that
their bench was really thin. They were given a boost when
OSUF Julian White drew his second Yellow.

OSUF played a masterful job of hanging on from the time they went
shorthanded. They survived what (my wristwatch time) looked like
nine minutes of injury time. A series involving a short cornerkick
in the WS corner followed by at least two short throw-ins just ate
into the time. The OSUF goalie was injured in a collision with his
own player during injury time and that allowed midfielder
George-Anthony El-Asmar to run back from sometimes 40 yards away
to take subsequent goalkicks because of the goalie's limp although
he did punt one downfield without a problem.

Cameron Cappelli earned the shutout for OSUF with a few key saves.
Best save besides the Penalty kick was at 26 minutes when WS Miguel Fontecha took
a cornerkick from the right that WS Jamar Kelly headed from 12 yards
on the left that the goalie palmed wide right of the net then
survived a quick short cornerkick that Celso Carapau crossed
in low and he was able to catch it on the post. 87 minutes had
WS Noah Pio send a low cross from 30 yards on the far left and
WS Christopher Al-Youssef rolled a weak 10 yarder that the diving
goalie saved on the right post. Last injury time play had
WS Erik Cirovski get to a long chip at 22 yards between two
defenders but he rolled it forward for the goalie to smother.

The game got rough at times with referee Armando Pereira giving
out seven Yellow cards (five to OSUF and two of those to the
same player) besides awarding the Penalty kick. Players had
to get used to a sliding tackle from eight yards away on the
wet grass would carry enough force to bowl a player over. Weeee! 
With so few fans it was easy to here him direct players to make
clean challenges and reasons why he wasn't giving out even
more cards.

I could see weather troubles coming so asked pregame to stand
under the fourth official's canopy. Then I could step in and out
for photos and writing on my notebook (that's not my computer but
real pen and paper folks!). There was some overlap when it was
raining yet the sun was out. The weather couldn't have been
as bad as Oakville where the game was delayed while being played
because of lightning then eventually cancelled with Woodbridge
holding a 1-0 lead.

OSUF has a medium size rental bus to get back home whereas
Windsor players arrived by car pool I confirmed with a player
after the game. I suppose both teams will feel it wasn't
a disaster as they both went one win, one loss over the weekend.

Windsor's record (this was a 'home' game for them) falls
to four wins, five losses, four ties for 16 points and are
fifth of eight in the Western Conference.

OSUF's record improves to five wins, five losses, one tie
for 16 points and are sixth in the East.

Both teams are not well represented at the midweek All-Star
game with L1O against the Quebec league. OSUF had defender
Justin Earle named to the second team but the coach confirmed
with yesterday that he'd already left the team for school.
Windsor defender Jamar Kelly (who did play today) was also named
to the second team. With 11 players on the first team
and 23 listed to the second team, it would not surprise me that
Jamar Kelly won't make the ten hour round trip.

The All-Star game is scheduled for Wednesday night at 7:30pm
at the Ontario Soccer Centre which is only about the length
of three soccer fields away from today's venue. Canadian Premier
League exec Paul Beirne has promised to attend so every player
will want to show well to impress to move up to this new league next year.

Rocket Robin
twitter RocketRobin01

Edited by Rocket Robin

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Wow, 7 goals for Whiteman! That's insane.

I like seeing the familiar, relatively big names playing for these teams. Good for the younger players to play with and against guys like Frano, Babouli, Manella, Whiteman.

Fingers still crossed that North Toronto can find a way to qualify for the Voyageurs Cup. Sounds like it's going to be tough if these other teams are adding big pieces mid-season. I wonder if North Toronto are signing any players as well.

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