TFC II picked up a 2-0 win over League1 Ontario’s Vaughan SC in their first match of the preseason on Saturday.
Both goals came in the first half from Luca Uccello and Andrew Dias.
The first half saw Head Coach Jason Bent go with a more USL experienced lineup that saw the likes of Skylar Thomas, Adam Bouchard, Luca Uccello, and Raheem Edwards starting.
Trialists Matthew Nogueira and Mitchell Taintor – the 59th overall pick in this year’s MLS SuperDraft – were also named to the starting XI. Both players are vying for a TFC II contract.
Andrew Dias and Richie Ennin were the only starters from the Kia Toronto FC Academy. Dias made a significant impact, pouncing on a loose ball in the box to put TFC II up 2-0.
The Young Reds were the more dominant team in the first half, creating more scoring opportunities and maintaining majority of position, while giving little space for Vaughan to create anything offensively.
“We’ve been working on our defensive shape and pressing game from the front. The players had a real specific game plan today and I thought we executed it,” said Head Coach Jason Bent following the match.
The second half saw TFC II field a lineup that consisted of mostly Kia TFC Academy players, with Sal Bernal and Liam Fraser being the exceptions.
Preseason is a perfect time for the team to evaluate some of the younger players coming up the ranks. Give young players opportunities. That’s been the consistent message from Bent and TFC II since the inception of the club. He reiterated that message in his post match interview.
“We will always promote players from within our system and give them a chance. Ultimately we are trying to develop pros for the first team,” he said.
The team’s next preseason match is against Ottawa Fury FC on Friday, February 26th.
Luca Uccello (First Half)
Andrew Dias (First Half)
First Half: Matthew Nogueira ^; Bubacarr Jobe, Mitchell Taintor ^, Skylar Thomas ©, Andrew Dias *; Adam Bouchard, Malik Johnson, Luca Uccello, Raheem Edwards; Martin Davis, Richie Ennin *
Second Half: Gianluca Catalano *; Steven Furlano *, Nikola Stakic *, Klaidi Cela *, Leonard Sohn *; Liam Fraser ©, Matthew Srebly *, Aidan Daniels *, Sal Bernal; Nicholas Osorio *, Reshon Phillip *
*- Academy Player; ^- Trialist