In the first edition of our new series “Getting To Know” we are going to take a look at Canadian Men’s National Team and Toronto FC keeper Quillan Roberts. Roberts is currently on loan at TFC II in the USL this season, but has enjoyed stints with the Wilmington Hammerheads and even the first team.
Roberts was signed by TFC on April 10, 2012 out of the Toronto FC Academy. He was the seventh player to in club history to move up from the Academy and sign with the first team. He impressed so much during his time with the Academy, that he got a call up to the Canadian U-17 team that participated in the 2011 World Cup.
In 2014, he was loaned out to fellow USL team and former affiliate Wilmington Hammerheads. In Wilmington, Roberts was seen as the teams starter, appearing in 17 matches and recorded a 5-4-8 record, along with six clean sheets. In August of 2014, TFC decided to recall Roberts from the Hammerheads to have some more depth in the goalkeeping position. He did not make any appearances for the club last year.
Playing for TFC II
When Toronto FC and Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Belleavqua announced that the Reds would be having a second team play in Vaughan, TFC general manger Tim Bezbatchenko had to decide which players would be loaned out to TFC II. Roberts was one of the five players the team loaned out to gain the most match time they can get.
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Roberts made his second team debut on April 19th against fellow Canadian side Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2. The young Reds were unable to get the three points, but still came home with at least one. Even though the result wasn’t a win, Roberts still impressed the coaching staff and the fans. He has since solidified a starting role with the team, and has been recognized for his stellar play.
Since making his debut for TFC II, he has appeared in 15 matches and has gone 3-7-5 with four clean sheets and a GAA (Goals Against Average) of 1.52. He also sits second in the league with a .766 save percentage. Not bad for 21 year old.
Playing for TFC II isn’t easy for any of the players, most if which haven’t played against much older players. It is all new for them, and to have so many under 23 players succeed at the USL level and make a name for themselves, that is huge to have. The experience they are getting is greater than victories at the moment. Roberts is one of those players who has succeed this year and can only get better with experience.
Playing for Canada
As mentioned before, Roberts made his Canadian debut at the U-17 level. He made his senior debut on March 30th this year against Puerto Rico. Also this year, after a strong USL season, the 21 year-old was selected to be part of CONCACAF Gold Cup squad. The team failed to win a match, but still Roberts gained even more experience being part of the Canadian set up.
Recently, Roberts was named to the U-23 Olympic Qualifying Roster that will begin play on October 1st against the United States. Another way for the talented keeper to face top youth players and grow his game.
The future looks bright for the Brampton native, and one TFC fans should be excited to watch. His reflexes, positioning and kicking ability has been exceptional so far. His future looks bright and one I cannot wait to see in a MLS match.