Toronto FC II registered a strong defensive effort in their home opener, holding the Rochester Rhinos to a 0-0 draw at BMO Field.
The Rhinos beat the Reds 1-0 earlier this season and lead the Eastern Conference with 22 points through 10 games.
With that in mind Jason Bent can take many positives away from the match.
“The team shape was well organized,” said Bent.
“We limited them to some long range strikes that Quillan Roberts dealt with quite easily. That team is top of the league and still undefeated. We’ve played them twice now over 180 minutes and if not for a late goal in the first match we would’ve taken a couple of good points from them so I’m pleased with the overall performance today.
Roberts and Jordan Hamilton were unused reserves in Toronto FC’s match against the Portland Timbers earlier in the day. Both were factors in the goalless draw.
“It was a long day for them,” said Bent. “It reminded me of the old MLS reserve league. They did well and contributed to the team so fair play to them.”
The play of Skylar Thomas and Adam Bouchard stood out. The centre-back duo is still learning to play off one another, but the process is promising.
“Their partnership is getting better,” stated Bent.
“Skylar talks a little bit more on the field than Adam. We trying to get [Bouchard] to communicate a little bit more. I thought their organization today was pretty good. When you can limit an opposition like them to some long range strikes then you’re doing a pretty good job.”
The opportunity for the team to play in front of family and friends after such a long road trip wasn’t lost on Bent’s players.
“They were really excited for the match,” he said. “When you’re playing in the stadium that they want to play in week in and week out with the first team it’s a great example for them.
“The supporters that stayed behind [following TFC’s match] showed good support. The players were itching to get out there.”
TFC II’s next match is on June 6th, when they will take on the Harrisburg City Islanders in, you guessed it, another away match.