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Rocket Robin

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Rocket Robin last won the day on October 29 2014

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About Rocket Robin

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  1. Metro Vancouver CPL Club

    What about league marketing of visiting teams? I'll ask you BC guys, what game would you come out to watch in your stadium? How about your granny? Home schedule: (dates are not real but team names are right out of League 1 Ontario) June 20th Sigma FC June 27th North Toronto Nitros One of them is inside the city limits and one is from Mississauga. Wouldn't someone who doesn't know anything about the visitors go to the June 27th game because it has a familiar name? Oooh Toronto that EVIL city. I want to go Daddy! At USL games it's not difficult to kid the casual fans that Bethlehem Steel FC is from the Holy Land. In Toronto any team that has the word 'Montreal' in it will attract more fans than a name of a Montreal suburb until such time as you know something about the team. The new tiddlywinks league. Ooh Montreal I've got to go. That team named the Jets beat us in the playoffs last year. They wore electric boots, and mohair suits, you know I read it in a magazine!
  2. All the sound bytes from the press conference in Toronto on December 9th, 2017 and my summary on my site: http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17cana06.htm So the argument can begin...if there are only three teams in each group that's only three games for the entire group and two for each team. Do you want Canada to travel across the country for their two games (and overcome exhaustion) or stay in one city and the Round of 32 game is in another city? Will they get that far? Are you feeling lucky punk...oh that's another movie. Only ten games for Canada. Toronto with BMO Field which will have to be upgraded to at least 40000 minimum (see bid) Roger Center not an option. Montreal, Edmonton, or Vancouver? Anthony Totero complains that he wanted (Canada) to have more than ten games. Would he attend a Russia vs Saudi Arabia game that leads off next year's tourney? The caliber of 48 teams will make the must see games even less. Ooh Honduras vs Syria. Totero do you really expect Italy to play in Toronto? moderator feel free to move this thread.
  3. 2017 Toronto FC season (aka the 2017 MLS Cup clinching thread)

    I expected everyone who was there would post links to their pictures of today's championship parade.. Well I'll be the first. http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17tfc045.htm
  4. 2017 Toronto FC season (aka the 2017 MLS Cup clinching thread)

    I don't usually post my MLS recaps on this site but here's a link to it: http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17tfc044.htm It made an even 100 games I've attended this season. (ie. MLS, USL, League 1 Ontario, and Canadian National team games held in Toronto.
  5. 2017 Toronto FC season (aka the 2017 MLS Cup clinching thread)

    My take on last night's game... http://www.rocketrobinsoccerintoronto.com/reports17/17tfc043.htm (I don't talk about TFC on this board but do about TFC II and League 1 Ontario but I don't know if this will get onto Northern Starting XI while it's still news.
  6. Results and details of the Sunday November 12, 2017 League 1 Ontario Awards Dinner held at the Fontana Primavera Event Centre in Vaughan Ontario at 12:30pm. I estimated there were fourteen tables with ten chairs per table. There were empty seats so I'd go with about one hundred in attendance. That would be the problem with the dinner in that there weren't many players there with other commitments. After the meal the awards started to be handed out at about 1:50pm. Ari Soroka (the stadium announcer at Oakville Blue Devils home games) was the MC of the event. He got procedures started by blowing a referee's whistle. It worked bringing the crowd to silence. He had a recurring joke about being scheduled to also do a bar mitzvah to keepprocedures moving along. There wasn't really any suspense because the 'winners' were announced two per day during the week to make maximise news headlines. Our programs even listed the winners. First awards were to the Women's and Men's All Stars--1st, 2nd, and 3rdteams. There were eleven members on the first and second teams and eighteen men and thirteen women on the third team. This ensured that every team had at least one member. I'll keep all photos posted at the bottom of this post. One telling point was that the all stars that came to the front to get a framed certificate there were only eleven women and twelve men. Next up was the award for Coach of the Year as presented by Gary Miller, the OSA Technical Director. Jhon Ardilla from North Mississauga Panthers won for the Women. He was the only recipient who gave a thank-you speech. Duncan Wilde of Oakville Blue Devils was named Coach of the Year for the Men. He wasn't in attendance as he wasleading three of the club's youth teams in a tournament in the USA. Accepting his award was OBD's goalkeeping coach Glen McNamara. Next up was the Fair Play Award. This was awarded for the first time this year and goes to the player who "consistently demonstrated exemplary behaviour on the pitch in a manner that is in keeping with the spirit of FIFA’s Fair Play standards, as well as boasting an excellent disciplinary record. Additionally, they were key contributors to their teams during the 2017 season". Winner for the women was Cathryn 'Cat' Rogers from North Mississauga Panthers (coach Jhon Ardilla accepted). For the men it was Stefan Nikolic from Sanjaxx Lions (also not there). There were also Fair Play Awards for the team as a whole. Ottawa South United Force won for the Men's Division and Aurora FC won for the women. Club official David Diplacido accepted for Aurora. Golden Boot Winners (presented by TFC exec/TSN broadcaster Steven Caldwell were awarded to Jade Kovacevic for FC London for the women. She scored 40 goals during the season plus 5 more in Cup play. Two North Mississauga players tied for second in the scoring race with 13 goals each. Jade was one of my favourites from Toronto Lady Lynx days. I asked her after the ceremonies whether she'd be back with the club. She answered she was looking at possibly playing in Europe but for now she's working full time at the FC London Academy. For the men, Golden Boot Winner was Jarek Whiteman of Vaughan Azzurri. He scored 29 goals in league play. Four players tied for second place at 17 goals each! Goalkeeper of the Year (presented by Chris Williams of Soccer Express) were Emily Gillet for FC London (for Women) and Quillan Roberts of Woodbridge Strikers (for the Men's Division). Woodbridge manager John Scarlato accepted for Roberts. Defender of the Year (presented by Ron Smale president of the Ontario Soccer Association) winner was Diamond Simpson of Toronto Azzurri Blizzard (for women) and Johnny Grant of Sigma FC (for men). Young Player of the Year (presented by Krista Cellucci of Soccer Express) was Samantha Chang from Unionville Milliken (for women) and Cyrus Rollocks from Toronto FC III (for men). Rollocks was one of the players who scored 17 goals. Last year's winner was also from TFC III--that is Kota Sakurai who moved up to Toronto FC II and is currently at Princeton University in New Jersey USA. MVP of the League winners were Jade Kovacevic of FC London (presented by members of the Peel Regional police) and Dylan Carreiro of Woodbridge Strikers (presented by Dino Rossi) and accepted by Woodbridge VP Adam Candido. Carreiro was away with York University playing at the U-Sports soccer championships. Most interesting moment was the method of awarding the Goal of the Year. These choices were posted on-line for fans to vote. There were something like 15 or 20 choices for men's and women's from a highlight reel of each category. I wondered how Jade Kovacevic would win as she had two or three of the nominees on the women's side--would she split the vote or was voting for her specific enough? Fans had to register with Sportsengine website than they were allowed to vote just once. Now being the internet with some determination and a lot of time on your hands you could create multiple accounts and vote again! I wasn'tpaying too much attention to the vote count until a few days before the final tally but noticed that some candidates had zero or one vote and someone had something like 450. I was at the table at the dinner with Dino Rossi and some league officials and heard the inside scoop. The 'winner' had climbed to over 2000 votes when the voting ended at midnight Saturday! Whether it was a company doing this (a service like this can be bought) or what I also heard was overseas votes from the leading candidate's parent's country of Eritea (in eastern Africa) and a local television station in the home country wanted to interview him.I've looked up a news story on his team's website and it appears he is of Afghan descent. What was arranged at the beginning of today was thetop three vote getters would be the 'finalists' and the winner would bechosen by a vote of all in attendance at today's dinner. Hmmm, a mix of players, team officials and league executives--sounds like the method a lot of leagues use. We were shown a compacted highlight reel with just the three finalists from the women's and men's divisions and had little chits of paper to vote for our favourite. League execs collected the ballots and counted them as we finished dessert. Team Championships were run through quickly. FC London won both the Women's League Championship and the Women's League Cup. Woodbridge Strikers won the Men's League Cup and Oakville Blue Devils won the Men's League Championship (team captain Taylor McNamara accepted the award). Ok now the winner of Goal of the Year: For the women it was Alessia Mattucci of Vaughan Azzurri. It was a freekick from the edge of the box but along the end line and she curled it around the goalie into the topcorner on the far side. My favourite of the three finalists. Men's Goal of the Year was Ameen Majtaba of North Mississauga Panthers.It was from a long throw-in that a defender headed away from the box and Majtaba with the ball behind him executed a bicycle kick from 15 yards into the far corner of the net. Now the strangest thing was I was at that game on September 16th North Mississauga vs FC London and in my report (and I'll quote myself) said "That bicycle kick goal by Ameen must be considered a candidate if not the winner for Goal of the Year!" I looked that up on my phone before the finalists and showed itto Dino Rossi and NMP head coach Sam Medeiros. Holy Amazing Kreskin! And for those too young to know who he is, I'm a fan of Penn & Teller so now would be a good time to ask for a card trick I will perform a few years from now..."Sir, is your card the eight of clubs?" Link to that original game report: To finish the afternoon L1O Commissioner Dino Rossi gave a short speech. He thanked the leadership in the Ontario Socccer Association, the grassroots organizers, and Canadian Soccer Association most importantly for expanding the Canadian Championship to include for the first time the winner of the L1O league championship (Oakville Blue Devils) a spot in the Canadian Championship. He thanked Toronto FC of MLS for showing (by bringing in the fans) that soccer is popular enough to support a Canadian Premier League. He noted that three former L1O players are playing in the USL championship game tomorrow. Mark Anthony Kaye (TFC Academy 2014), Greg Ranjitsingh (Sigma FC 2014) of Louisville City and Mark Anthony Gonzalez of Swope Park Rangers (Sigma FC 2014). He even got down to thanking me and put me on the spot for how many games I'd been to this year. "63" I said. Ron Smale from the Ontario Soccer Association discussed working with the Quebec counterparts discussing more interprovincial play. The OSA is proud of L1O accomplishments and community work. MC Ari Soroka blew his referee's whistle to end the meeting after getting in one more continueing joke about the non-existant category 'Announcer of the Year'. I've only posted pictures of the winners who were there to accept their awards. First, Second, and Third Women's Team L1O Allstars at the awards dinner First, Second, and Third Men's Team L1O Allstars at the awards dinner Jhon Ardilla from North Mississauga Panthers wins Coach of the Year-Women's Division award poses betweeen Dino Rossi and Gary Miller Jade Kovacevic from FC London is presented with Golden Boot-Women's Division award by TSN broadcaster Steven Caldwell. Steven Caldwell presents Golden Boot-Men's Division award to Jarek Whiteman of Vaughan Azzurri. Emily Gillet of FC London is presented with Goalkeeper of the Year-Women's Division award by Chris Williams of Soccer Express. Diamond Simpson of Toronto Azzurri Blizzard is presented Defender of the Year-Women's Division award by Ron Smale of Ontario Soccer Association. Johnny Grant of Sigma FC is presented Defender of the Year-Men's Division award by Ron Smale. Samantha Chang of Unionville Milliken is presented Young Player of the Year-Women's Division award by Krista Cellucci of Soccer Express. Cyrus Rollocks of Toronto FC III is presented Young Player of the Year-Men's Division award by Krista Cellucci. Jade Kovacevic of FC London is presented as MVP-Women's Division by officers from Peel Region Police. The Fontana Primavera Event Centre
  7. League 1 Ontario 2017--Championship Final

    There aren't any teams that are even semi-pro from what I know. Some guys have been given contracts by TFC III to move up to their USL team and can still bob up and down. If you want to make some money, you can work at some team's youth summer camps coaching etc. I don't know if Master's had any of the coach Rick Titus guys that came over from starting the year in the CSL. I don't know if CSL pays anything or gas money in these times. I'll go with my estimates of 50 for most GTA games unless they are pre-organized to involve youth teams and parents of those players packing the stands--but not on school nights etc. I've heard attendance is better for non-GTA teams where entertainment wise that night may be the only game in town. The Cup final/Interprovincial Cup was quite well attended.
  8. Players you expect to see in the CPL

    Cavalini wearing #10 played the first 80 minutes in the L1O championship game against Oakville under the eyes of national team coach Octavio Zambrano. Zambrano was asking me about OBD's #10 Braden Culver.
  9. CPL General

    From my post in the 'Canadian teams and leagues' sub-forum USL Ottawa Fury coach Julian de Guzman was the celebrity brought in for the coin toss. I hadn't thought of it at game time but there is a good chance that tonight's winner will play Ottawa in the opening round of the Canadian Championship next year. Oakville and their PLSQ champion counterpart AS Blainville will NOT face each other in the first round but one will face Ottawa and the other will face FC Edmonton of NASL. The winners will then play each other and the next round the winner of that will join the MLS teams in the semi-finals. The start of the Canadian Championship will be held in May from what I've heard which shouldn't cause a problem as the L1O season will be into its first month by then. Since these games are usually played in midweek it will mean Oakville won't play at their usual home Sheridan College because there are no stadium lights. Rumour has it they will be trying to arrange to play at Tim Horton's Field in Hamilton. Will there be a sponsor or will they have to raise funds to fly to Edmonton if that's the team they draw? A joke going around after the game was 'how about a car wash?'. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Can this be used as a test for stadium packing in Hamilton? Everybody wants to see a Canadian Championship game but doesn't want to wait for the Hamilton franchise to start playing?
  10. 2018 Voyageurs Cup

    From my post in the 'Canadian teams and leagues' sub-forum USL Ottawa Fury coach Julian de Guzman was the celebrity brought in for the coin toss. I hadn't thought of it at game time but there is a good chance that tonight's winner will play Ottawa in the opening round of the Canadian Championship next year. Oakville and their PLSQ champion counterpart AS Blainville will NOT face each other in the first round but one will face Ottawa and the other will face FC Edmonton of NASL. The winners will then play each other and the next round the winner of that will join the MLS teams in the semi-finals. The start of the Canadian Championship will be held in May from what I've heard which shouldn't cause a problem as the L1O season will be into its first month by then. Since these games are usually played in midweek it will mean Oakville won't play at their usual home Sheridan College because there are no stadium lights. Rumour has it they will be trying to arrange to play at Tim Horton's Field in Hamilton. Will there be a sponsor or will they have to raise funds to fly to Edmonton if that's the team they draw? A joke going around after the game was 'how about a car wash?'. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx also the PK result was 4-2. Woodbridge didn't get a fifth round shot as they could have only closed to 4-3.
  11. Result and details of the Friday October 20, 2017 League 1 Ontario game between Woodbridge Strikers and Oakville Blue Devils played at the Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 7:30pm. This game involves the winner of the Eastern Conference Woodbridge Strikers against the winner of the Western Conference Oakville Blue Devils. Tonight's winner is considered champion of League 1 Ontario and also the winner gains entry into the 2018 Canadian Chmpionship. 10 min...Woodbridge Marcos Nunes GOAL...OBD Taylor McNamara chips ball from 25 yards down middle over players in box which WS goalie Quillan Roberts catches on bounce at 8 yards. Roberts steps forward and punts ball downfield from edge of box and it bounces at OBD 40 yard line and Nunes has cut behind defenders Connor McNamara and Victor Gallo who whiffs on ball at 25 yards and when they can't control it dribbles in from 22 yards and shoots low 15 yarder up middle into left corner of net past diving OBD goalie Matt George. 60 min...Oakville Brandon Duarte GOAL...OBD goalie Matt George receives defender's pass back wide left of net and blasts high clearance from own 5 yard line downfield and OBD Stephen Ademolu flicks header forward from WS 40 yard line behind defender also jumping for ball. OBD Filipe Vilela cuts over from middle to right to get to bouncer at 25 yard line. He dribbles forward to right edge of box and sends low cross along 6 yard box a step ahead of charging OBD player in middle but Duarte is unmarked and charges to edge of 6 yard box in line with left post and slides to connect a roller past sliding goalie Quillan Roberts at 3 yards and nto right corner of net. 79 min...OBD RED cards to two backup players...There's a dustup in the OBD end when WS are not awarded a Penalty kick. Referee Fabrizio Stasolla gives out Yellows to WS Kyle Watson and OBD Brandon Duarte for their part in the play. He sees two OBD players in pinnies (or had a WS player point them out) who had come around from behind the OBD net—players are supposed to warm up on the side of the field—and sent them off. 99 min...WS RED card...The referee orders off a WS backup player who had stepped on the field to argue a play. 99 min...regulation time ends with the score tied 1-1. There is no extra time and so the game goes straight to Penalty kicks. Penalty kicks: 1 OBD Filipe Vilela GOAL...blasts low to left as goalie dives right. 1 WS Emmanuel Issac GOAL...shot low to right as goalie dove to left. 2 OBD Victor Gallo shoots low and towards right and goalie dives right and bats ball away. 2 WS Luca Baldassarre GOAL...shoots low to right as goalie slides to left. 3 OBD Taylor McNamara GOAL...shoots low to right as goalie slides to left. 3 WS Michael Fayehun blasts shot well over net as goalie slumps to left. 4 OBD Stephen Ademolu GOAL...shoots to top right corner over goalie who dove to right. 4 WS Joshua Paredes-Procter shot to low left and goalie dives to left to bat ball away. 5 OBD Braden Culver GOAL...rolls shot to right corner of net as goalie slides to left. Final Score:...Woodbridge Strikers...1...Oakville Blue Devils...1... Oakville wins Penalty shootout 4-2. * Some media reports/tweets have the shootout score as 4-3 but WS did not get a fifth round shot. Attendance was about 1200 people with a large contingient of Oakville fans including their youth teams. The grounds are only about the width of three football fields from Vaughan Grove, the home of Woodbridge Strikers, which is diagonally across from here so they were going to get a large turnout. Last Saturday night, Toronto FC II of the USL had their home finale here and drew 1119 but that was greatly exagerated because of a non-stop hard rainstorm that night that maybe 60% showed up. Last Saturday night was originally supposed to have been the L1O Championship L1O chair Dino Rossi answere me a few weeks ago but TFC II bumped them back in March because of their agreement with Ontario Soccer Centre. Now TFC II repays the OSC by moving next year to hold their games at Lamport Stadium and BMO Field. Tonight's weather by contrast was pleasant with windbreakers being enough to keep warm this late in October. There may be another few fans show up Saturday night thanks to Duane Rollins on his Two Solitudes podcast giving the wrong date on his Thursday show. (I tweeted him in time for his Friday morning show but he didn't mention the game at all). USL Ottawa Fury coach Julian de Guzman was the celebrity brought in for the coin toss. I hadn't thought of it at game time but there is a good chance that tonight's winner will play Ottawa in the opening round of the Canadian Championship next year. Oakville and their PLSQ champion counterpart AS Blainville will NOT face each other in the first round but one will face Ottawa and the other will face FC Edmonton of NASL. The winners will then play each other and the next round the winner of that will join the MLS teams in the semi-finals. The start of the Canadian Championship will be held in May from what I've heard which shouldn't cause a problem as the L1O season will be into its first month by then. Since these games are usually played in midweek it will mean Oakville won't play at their usual home Sheridan College because there are no stadium lights. Rumour has it they will be trying to arrange to play at Tim Horton's Field in Hamilton. Will there be a sponsor or will they have to raise funds to fly to Edmonton if that's the team they draw? A joke going around after the game was 'how about a car wash?'. Referee Fabrizio Stasollo was also the referee in last Saturday's USL game. Tonight he gave out three Yellow cards to each team and didn't fall for any of the soft Penalty kick pleas from either team. The game was 'spirited' with lots of close checking and injuries to both teams. OBD goalie Matt George was announced as the game's MVP. Well that was obvious with making the huge save in the Penalty shootout but he made some other key saves. George played for Woodbridge for the last few years before this season. It was his decision to switch teams to OBD before the season started as he lives a lot closer to Oakville than the drives to Woodbridge (he answered my question earlier this season). That was months before the Strikers signed Quillan Roberts dropped by Toronto FC to replace him. It's almost like both regulation time goals were rehearsed as just a moment before each goal an almost identical play was run. WS goalie Quillan Roberts punted a ball upfield at 9 minutes and only because it turned into a 1 v 4 was the Strikers player not able to get through and at 59 minutes OBD Khody Ellis sent in a low cross from 20 yards on the right that OBD Felipe Vilela blasted from 10 yards down the middle that was blocked by a defender and he shot a rebound high and wide right. A change at halftime brought in Khody Ellis and Stephen Ademolu up front for Oakville replacing Mathew Santos and Anthony Novak. Their attack immediately became more dangerous. A scoreboard problem meant there was no timer from the twenty minute mark on so the PA guy would announce the time in five or ten minute intervals. All times after that in my report are from my wristwatch but I'll insist that the OBD goal was at 60 minutes (not 66') and the second half went on until 99 minutes (seven minutes announced injury time with another injury during that time). I noticed standing behind me during the game Canadian Men's National team coach Octavio Zambrano. He has praised this league in the past. I was boasting to him that this was my sixty-third L1O game this year when he asked me about OBD's #10. Braden Culver. Ooh I don't know too much about him. Zambrano called him 'interesting'. He'd subbed in at 54 minutes. (Zambrano's comments were well before he took the winning Penalty kick). After the game I said to Culver that Zambrano was interested in him but by then the coach was gone. I mentioned it to the OBD media guy and head coach Duncan Wilde so he could forward info to Zambrano. "Oh he graduated from University of Buffalo this year, he teaches at the TFC Academy" is what Wilde said. I know Zambrano has used L1O players at national training camps. Woodbridge defender Michael Krzeminski (who tonight was injured and subbed off at 60 minutes) was brought into the training camp this summer. Whether Zambrano needed human pylons for the regular team or impressive play might earn him a place is unknown but he deserves a chance. There was a medal presentation after the game and Woodbridge got their medals first then disappeared back to the locker room. Oakville got theirs and then the trophy was presented. If Woodbridge would have won I'd be dropping names on that team in this report like head coach Peter Pinizzotto who coached Toronto Lynx when they first entered the A-League in 1997 and CNSL Toronto Italia before that. Etc etc. After something like every player and official on the Blue Devils held the trophy, a team rep handed it to me and I posed for a picture. That was something I never yearned for but it's the Voyageur's Cup I want to fondle because I tell anyone who'll listen that "I helped pay for that trophy". I congratulated a few of the OBD players on the field or at the food room inside the OSC building. Captain Taylor McNamara who I reminded that I watched him play for Toronto Lynx of PDL (before Toronto FC had team for a few years), I only found out tonight he is a school gym teacher. Stephen Ademolu who joked that now he can't retire (age 34, because of the chance in that chance in May). He joined OBD halfway through this season, although he was signed but injured last year, from Windsor TFC Stars (who ended up bringing undermanned rosters to the GTA). He has five hour drives to get to the OBD home games and most of the teams being in the GTA. "Yes" he answered it was worth it. Coach Duncan Wilde for years coaching Toronto Lynx of A-League and PDL and Blue Devils when they were the Lynx farm team and won the CSL championship in 2005. Wilde answered me the 'OBD Women' have filed an application to enter a team into the L1O Women's Division. The league sometimes doesn't announce decisions like that until their banquet or meetings after that. Oakville has a history of having the best girls'/women's teams in Canada for various tournaments over the years so should be a natural. He said they'll start with players from their Junior Lady Lynx roster. Blue Devils won the league in 2015. There's only been four years of the league's existance so they can say they are the first multi-time winner. I was surprised that their 2017 name plaque had been adhesed to the trophy already but I expect the league had a Woodbridge name plate made just in case. In 2015 the season OBD won by finishing first in the 12 team single table. It wasn't a lost season for Woodbridge. They can still brag that they finished first in the East and they won the L1O Cup trophy competition this season. Hmm Woodbridge won the Cup in 2015 too! I will say that 2018 is the best chance for the L1O representative to advance in the Canadian Championship. This may be the only year without teams from the new Canadian Premier league which may start halfway through 2018 or by the start of 2019. It's not just that there will be more rounds for the L1O representative to get through but I can see the new league skimming the best five players from the better L1O teams to stockpile their own rosters. The amateur L1O teams (just a handful of semi-pros on some teams) won't be able to compete with retaining players to a professional league. Holding the game Friday night will mean that many of the players won't miss their college or university games this weekend. Rocket Robin robing@eol.ca twitter @RocketRobin01
  12. TFC2 2017 Discussion

    Result and details of the Saturday October 14, 2017 USL game between Toronto FC II and FC Cincinnati played at The Ontario Soccer Centre in Vaughan at 7:30pm. 9 min...TFC Tsubasa Endoh GOAL...TFC Luca Uccello runs on left to top left edge of FCC box and he crosses ball to center where charging TFC Ben Spencer heads 8 yarder up middle low towards right post with sprawling goalie Mitch Hildebrandt getting shins to it and deflecting it away. Endoh charges forward and shoots 10 yard roller while in line with right post into left corner of net. 30 min...TFC Tsubasa Endoh GOAL...TFC Luca Uccello on right taps ball to sideline for TFC Dante Campbell who takes high cross from 30 yards on right. TFC Ben Spencer on left side of box heads ball from 8 yard line across box to Endoh who blasts low 10 yard shot that hits sliding defender at 6 yards and deflects over him and sliding goalie and into right side of net. 40 min...FCC Danni Konnig GOAL...FCC Kenney Walker takes freekick chip from left edge of box near endline and leaping Konnig at 6 yards heads ball forward in crowd of players and over flying goalie Mark Pais's outstretched arms just under bar. 49 min...FCC Kenney Walker GOAL...Walker pass attempt from 30 yards in middle hits TFC player. FCC Tyler Polak recovers ball at 25 yards and taps to Walker who one-touches low shot forward around TFC Luca Uccello and into right side of net just between post and diving goalie. 53 min...TFC Shaan Hundal GOAL...TFC Mitch Taintor taps ball from 65 yards back to TFC Brandon Onkony who chips pass from 70 yards forward that finds Hundal behind two defenders on one bounce at 25 yards and he chips 22 yarder from just outside box on right over goalie who was just inside box and ball one-bounces into empty net. 66 min...FCC Djiby Fall GOAL...FCC goalie picks up ball after TFC Ben Spencer faceplants in box and rolls ball forward. An FCC player at FCC 20 yards sends low pass forward for charging FCC Jimmy McLaughlin near center line. He charges forward to edge of TFC box and runs to left endline with TFC Rocco Romeo keeping him outside of clear shot. McLaughlin slides to send cross near end line into middle of 6 yard box and charging FCC Djiby Fall steps in front of TFC Mitchell Taintor to tip in 5 yarder up middle into center of net with goalie frozen in middle. 85 min...FCC Justin Hoyte GOAL...Hoyte at 30 yard line on right sideline sends centering pass to FCC Kenney Walker closer to middle. He steps forward and chips ball into box where charging Hoyte gets behind TFC Mitchell Taintor who heads ball backwards as he doesn't jump high enough at 12 yards. The ball lands at 8 yards and Hoyte on bounce shoots 4 yarder while in line with right post into left corner of net. Final Score:...Toronto FC II...3...FC Cincinnati...4... Attendance was announced as 1,119. It had started to rain hard before game time and continued all night. I'll admit there were more fans than last the last game which was a surprise for such a miserable night but nowhere near those numbers actually turned up. There were more than thirty traveling fans—more than just parents and family of team members. They were chanting the whole game up against the pre-teen Little Ultras who had been absent the last two home games. There was even a fog that drifted in for the start of the game. I was in a tough spot as when I say 'notebook' that doesn't mean a computer but pen and paper. I couldn't get my umbrella to wedge between the fencing of the stands for protection so well before game time I asked to squeeze into what I call the treehouse/pressbox. Permission eventually granted but it was somewhat an obstructed view. My goal descriptions are embellished by rewatching them on YouTube. Interesting hearing the PA staff also skeptical about the number of fans and earlier reading through the stadium rules about forbidden behaviour and objects in the stands "...large bags and umbrellas..." and them mumble away from the microphone "except for tonight". Everyone had a raincoat or umbrella. There were some questions before the game which was the last weekend of the regular season of whether TFC II would use their young players or drop some TFC players down that wouldn't play in the MLS game tomorrow against Montreal. It might be important to keep them tuned up for the MLS playoffs. Would they give their MLS regulars a rest that were away at World Cup qualifying which meant Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore for the USA and Armando Cooper for Panama. Nicolas Hasler was NOT away playing with Liechtenstein. In a mid-week game, because Tampa Bay beat Orlando City B, Cincinnati clinched a playoff spot without playing. Although tonight they could move up a spot or two I wasn't sure if they would rest players. Man of the Match (who is always a TFC II player) was Tsubasa Endoh who with the first two goals of the game was the obvious choice. Ashtone Morgan and Ben Spencer were the other MLS roster players starting tonight's game. Defender Morgan was injured earlier this year but has had a hard time finding playing time at the MLS or USL level. His playing tonight solved the push-pull between TFC Academy grad young Julian Dunn-Johnson and MLS high draft choice Brandon Aubrey for the starting spot. Neither player was even on the bench. Dunn-Johnson's positional doppelganger Nobel Okello was an unused sub. Neither of the goalies were spectacular in this game but weather conditions played a big factor I think. Mitch Hildebrandt had saved three of four spot kicks after extra time in a Round of 16 US Open Cup game against MLS Chicago Fire. Cincinnati were eventually knocked out in the semi-finals. He didn't look good at all being caught out on Hundal's goal. I was only surprised that Mark Pais started instead of Angelo Cavalluzzo because Pais allowed four goals last week against Bethlehem. Referee Fab Stasolla gave out four Yellow cards (three to TFC but two of them were after the 90 minute mark) in a game that's only danger was slide tackles. Roughest part of the game was when FCC Harrison Delbridge and the TFC goalie got into a pushing match after Delbridge bent over to grab the ball after their goal at 40 minutes to hurry up and get the game restarted. FCC almost didn't need the end of game heroics as one minute after that goal at 40 minutes FCC Djiby Fall jumped for a cross sent in from the left and his low shot from 18 yards hit the right post and FCC Danny Konig standing all alone at 8 yards was called offside. 47 minutes had FCC Corben Bone at 30 yards in the middle roll the ball forward and right for Konig who received it at 20 yards, turned, and fired between defenders at 18 yards and hit the bar. The ball deflected back and downward and hit the back of the flying goalie and deflected back and hit the bottom of the right post from 4 yards and then TFC Mitch Taintor cleared over his own end line. The next minute had Konig tapped a pass and blasted a low 15 yarder between players from the left side of the box and the goalie blocked but couldn't hold on and a defender cleared. I was surprised that TFC only made one sub in the game so no players were rewarded for participating. I'd expect it was because the game was undecided until almost the end. FCC dominated possession especially in the second half with TFC counterattacks their only chances. League stats post FCC leading 8 to 1 in cornerkicks. The TFC lineup again made me happy with six Canadian starters and six of seven players on the bench being Canadians. This was 'fan appreciation day' although I don't recall seeing the ice cream truck here tonight nor any burger tent set up. A popcorn wagon was brought to the game to give the fans free popcorn but I don't know how many takers would want popcorn coated with rainwater with their butter. Halftime had the finals of the KIA car. One finalist of the six chosen throughout the season was allowed to draw out a key which might start the car electronically from the 50 yards away. The third contestant succeeded which ended the building suspense. There was not much of a 'meet and greet' promised by the team before the game. The rain had fans just as anxious to leave as soon as they could. Players came over to the fence to chat with fans and the end gate was opened so fans could come out onto the field but there were few takers. Many of the players used that gate as an exit back to the locker room. Cincinnati's huge USL crowds of 20K have sent them up the list of potential MLS expansion teams. Thinking ahead I thought some potential expansion draft that TFC who lost oft injured defender Mark Bloom of home state Georgia to Atlanta United, would lose oft injured defender Nick Hagglund to his hometown Cincinnati. Cincinnati is one of the independent USL teams—not in any kind of arrangement with an MLS team. They have some former MLS players on their roster including TFC forward Andrew Wiedeman which the PA guy mispronounced which proves he's newer than 2014. Cincinnati ends the season at 12 wins, 10 losses, 10 ties for 46 points. Their plus/minus is -2. They climb to sixth place in the East (not knowing all the weekend results yet). Eight teams in each conference make the playoffs but finishing fifth to eighth is a handicapped since each round is only one game and hosted by the higher ranked team so Cincinnati is almost guaranteed to play all their games on the road. The result ends the season for Toronto FC II. Their record falls to 6 wins, 19 losses, and 7 ties for 25 points. They have a goals plus/minus of -27. 27 goals for, 54 against. They finish fifteenth (last) in the Eastern Conference. Last year (in a 30 game season) their record was 7 wins, 18 losses, 5 ties for 26 points. They were eleventh out of fourteen teams last season. The League 1 Ontario championship final was originally to be held here tonight when it was scheduled back in the spring but was bumped by TFC II having preference with the Ontario Soccer Centre according to L1O chair Dino Rossi. After some uncertainty they have rescheduled to play here on Friday the 20th . The rain was fitting destiny for L1O assuming the weather will be better. Ironic that this was the last game TFC II will play at this location as next season they will groundshare at BMO Field and Lamport Stadium in downtown Toronto. I think TFC II are glad to leave the OSC facility despite the polite thank you tweets. Fans won't miss the aluminum bench seating (particularly in cold weather or rainy weather like tonight) and the port a potties. The ownership will be glad to control concession revenue rather than lose it to indie-owned mobile food trucks. The new locations will allow liquor sales so will attract a more hard core support replacing the family entertainment atmosphere of games the last few years. Rocket Robin robing@eol.ca twitter @RocketRobin01
  13. League 1 Ontario--Week 24 (Final Regular Season)

    Yes you're right, thanks.
  14. League 1 Ontario--Week 24 (Final Regular Season)

    Result and details of the Sunday October 8, 2017 League 1 Ontario between Sanjaxx Lions and Toronto FC III played at Monarch Park in Toronto at 2:00pm. 54 min...TFC Zakaria Abdi GOAL...TFC Jordan Faria rushes down right and sends short centering pass to TFC Riley Ferrazzo at 22 yards. He rolls pass into crowd of players and Abdi rolls in 8 yarder from left side of goal is into left corner of net past goalie Nuno Goncalves. 79 min...TFC Luca Petrasso GOAL...TFC Armando Caracciolo low cross from left from 22 yards has Petrasso blast low one-touch from 18 yards on right into left side of net. 85 min...Sanjaxx sub...Tayjon Campbell replaces Nuno Goncalves in goal. No injury that I saw. These two have platooned all year so I expect it was a celebration/reward for the season. Final Score:...Sanjaxx Lions...0...Toronto FC III...2... Attendance was about 40 on this mild and sunny day—a real surprise this late in the year. Referee Adam Devenyi gave out one Yellow card to each team. I didn't see when they happened or hear an announcement. First thing I noticed in the hallway before the game is Devenyi was the referee and I said "You again?" because I had seen them last night in the same position at the Aurora vs Toronto Skillz game. "Isn't there a 24 hour rule?" I joked but he explained there was a rescheduling because today's referee was sick who was the fourth official position last night. On the line was Cyrus Eshafi who was also on the line for the Masters vs Durham game yesterday afternoon. I was surprised that Sanjaxx had another good effort two weeks in a row—this one even better. Last Sunday they took a Red card at the 2 minute mark and held off what turned out to the Western Conference winner, Oakville Blue Devils and held them to one goal for the first 70 minutes. I had notes about action today between 6 and 14 minutes where neither team were inside each other's 30 yard lines. Lions listed five subs available and made four during the game including the goalie. I don't know if he was scratched off this list at the last minute but they never brought in Israel Perrin who was the player Red carded last week. [the MLS had a fiasco between Orlando and Dallas within the last two weeks regarding an ineligible player]. Lions have only scored 18 goals this season which is second worst in the league. 'Goals against' they are fifth worst but I feel it's the lack of scoring that was their greatest limitation this season. Sanjaxx forwards were burned about four times in the first half on offsides. Most of the last minutes of the game were played in the Sanjaxx end and sometimes that is the best strategy for preserving a lead. Gianluca Catalano earned the shutout for TFC. I credited him with two key saves. At 63 minutes SJ Tomas Ondras took a 20 yard shot from the left that had the goalie dive to the left and get a piece of and the ball spun over him but wide left of the post. 70 minutes had SJ Julio Carvalho runs down the right and cross from 20 yards and Catalano caught the ball in the middle of the box at 3 yards to prevent a tap-in on the left post. At the time a slip up would have tied the game for Sanjaxx. I made sure after the game I congratulated TFC defender Noble Okello who was one of three TFC III players signed to the TFC II (USL) team last month. He made his debut as a substitute at the 70 minute mark on Friday night against Bethlehem Steel FC as a defender. Today he played the whole 90 minutes as captain on what I drew as defence on my initial lineup (which I sketch during the first ten minutes of every game) but I noticed he moved up and was all the way up to forward during part of the game. The other guys signed on September 15 were Rocco Romeo who played the whole 90 minutes today and Julian Dunn-Johnson who has ingrained himself as a starting defender on TFC II replacing high MLS draft choice Brandon Aubrey. Only potential problem I can see is Okello and Dunn-Johnson are both tall defenders and may be too similar—a criticism I've heard about TFC forwards Tosaint Ricketts and Jordan Hamilton rather than my joke about not playing two Canadian forwards at once. I asked a TFC official before the game what happened on Thursday night when they were dismantled by Sigma FC 5-0 with all goals scored in the first half. He said Sigma jumped on them fast and that this could do the team some good for overconfidence. Wednesday night had Oakville and Woodbridge play to a 'convenient' 0-0 [correction] tie thus insuring both teams would finish first in their conference. Sigma with two games to go could not make up the seven points. I think they took out their rage by thumping TFC then yesterday crushed Windsor TFC Stars 10-0 (well partially explained by Windsor bringing a roster of only 12 players to the GTA). All the time I've been coming to this stadium I assumed Monarch Park was named after the royal family but the man videoing the game for the league—long time neighbourhood friend of mine and Voyageur Dave Bailey said it may be because of the butterflies in the area. Sure enough what I thought were orange coloured leaves falling off the trees for the season were the Monarch butterflies. Also if you listen to the games here it's like every five minutes there's a train going past behind the stadium. Dave could name whether it was a GO or VIA train without turning around by the engine noise. This was the final game of the season for both games (22 league games). The field was taken over by women's teams as today was also the last game for the L1O Women. Sanjaxx and Aurora played to a 1-1 tie. Sanjaxx record falls to 4 wins, 15 losses, 3 ties for 15 points. They finish seventh place out of eight teams in the Western Conference. TFC III improves their record to 14 wins, 5 losses, 3 ties for 45 points. That was third in the West behind Oakville and Sigma. So that's the end of the regular season. I expected this was my last game of the season because of scheduling conflict for the league championship final but that game has now been moved to Friday October 20 at the Ontario Soccer Centre at 7:30pm. If I can make that it will make it 62 L1O games I've attended this season! Rocket Robin robing@eol.ca twitter @RocketRobin01
  15. League 1 Ontario--Week 24 (Final Regular Season)

    Result and details of the Saturday October 7, 2017 League 1 Ontario game between Aurora FC and Toronto Skillz played at St Maximillion Kolbe High School in Aurora at 7:00pm. 23 min...Skillz Hassani Kamara GOAL...Kamara survives bump with AFC goalie Stefano Spina at 12 yards and gets up first and shoots 7 yarder into empty net. 40 min...Skillz Jeremy Nand GOAL...TS Leslie Fitzpatrick taps over ball from 15 yards on right and trailing Nand blasts roller from 12 yards and ball deflects over sprawling goalie on right and pops into net. 60 min...AFC Basel Rashrash wins Penalty kick call from referee Adam Devenyl when jumping for header just inside box and receiving cross from the left and getting knocked over. 61 min...AFC Ruben Dos Santos GOAL...Dos Santos blasts Penalty kick low to right side as goalie Lucas Birnstingl dives left. 85 min...Skillz Anhr El-Eidani GOAL...El-Eidani takes low 8 yard shot up middle in crowd of players. (He answered me after the game he took the ball off the goalie). 94 min...Skillz Antonio Giummarra GOAL...TS Anhr El-Eidani long rush down right and crosses over to Giummarra on left post who jams ball between goalie and short post. Final Score:...Aurora FC.....1.....Toronto Skillz......4..... Attendance was about 40 on this mild night which never got colder than windbreaker weather. Referee Adam Devenyl gave out four Yellow cards (three to Skillz players) and the Penalty kick call in a game that had some tough tackles. Aurora started the game one point behind Skillz tonight in a battle for last place. Two minutes after the Skillz first goal TS Hassane Kamara again crashed with the goalie this time near the top left corner of the box but AFC were awarded a freekick. Skillz almost put the game out of reach at 44 minutes when TS Leslie Fitzpatrick took a corner kick from the right and TS Justin Alvarez skied a ball down the middle from 20 yards over the net I expected but the ball suddenly dropped into the 6 yard box and was popped around by about four headers and headed into the net but was called back as either offside or for pushing in the box. The Aurora goal put them right back in it until the last ten minutes. Aurora was called, I thought, at least six times offside in the second half. I don't think it was an elaborate trap play by Skillz but just excited Aurora players starting their runs too soon waiting for a through ball pass. It was the L1O debut of Antonio Giummarra. He came into the game at 93 minutes and scored the fourth goal for Skillz at 94. He also picked up a Yellow card (I can only think for excessive goal celebration). The game ended at 95 minutes with his goal one minute earlier being the last play of the game as the referee blew the whistle before the restart. One minute of playing time! If there was a goal vs game time ranking or Yellow cards per minute would his rating for the season be 90.00? There was some controversy on that fourth goal. AFC Morey Doner was down injured at the AFC 50 yard line and even the Skillz players nearby shouted for teammates to kick the ball out of bounds. (they did have a two goal lead). Anhr El-Eidani had already turned at the center line towards goal and maybe didn't hear them. I don't expect Giummarra heard them as he was even further upfield and the small group of Skillz fans (translation—parents!) were on the far side of the field shouting encouragement After the game Skillz Leslie 'Tiger' Fitzpatrick came over to shake my hand. I attended eight of their games this year so it can't be said I only watch the glamour GTA teams. I complemented him on how well the team had improved the last weeks. They started off by losing their first twelve games! When I was told that some players had left for university (Nippissing in North Bay, Ontario was one school mentioned) I thought the streak would go even longer but on August 13 they beat Windsor (OK one of the first times in the season the TFC Stars would bring ten men to the GTA) they would eventually also beat Ottawa South United Force at home, on the road against Pro Stars FC (a game that was rescheduled twice) and tonight. As impressive were later games against top teams that I saw North Toronto Nitros and Woodbridge Strikers. Both teams teams use the L1O alternate lineup sheets so instead of the 'year of birth' they just use U-23 Yes or No column. The entire Aurora team this late in the season except for forward Petros Vasilos are under age 23. This was the last game of the season for both teams (22 League games). Aurora finishes with a record of 2 wins, 17 losses, 2 ties for 8 points. That's eighth (last) place in the Eastern Division. OK that doesn't add up to 22 but their August 19 postponed road game against Ottawa South United Force was never rescheduled. Toronto Skillz win means they finish with a record of 4 wins, 18 losses, 0 ties for 12 points. They finish in seventh place in the East. Rocket Robin robing@eol.ca twitter @RocketRobin01
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