TFC II will be coming off a bye week when they head to Olympic Stadium and take on fierce rival FC Montreal.
The so called 401 Derby kicks off on Saturday when TFC II head to Olympic Stadium to take on fierce rivals FC Montreal. TFC II started the season with a tough draw against New York Red Bulls II, while Montreal is coming off a 1-0 loss against USL newcomer Bethlehem Steel.
The rivalry between both clubs can be seen from the first team all the way down to the USL squads, as the fans, players and even coaches get really into the match, spending 90 minutes competing for bragging rights over the other. Even though this rivalry is only a year old, TFC II will want to leave Montreal with three points.
“It’s a rivalry, there is no love lost. Both teams know what is at stake,” said TFC II head coach Jason Bent.
Both teams managed to split the season series last year 2-2, with TFC II taking three points in Montreal, and FC Montreal coming to Toronto and grabbing a victory.
All the players are aware of how important this match is for both teams, and know that a win is a must.
“If we can keep our emotions in check and stick to the game plan, then we feel we can go there and get a result,” said Bent.
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TFC II centre back Skylar Thomas told the media he expects the rivalry to continue this time around, as both clubs have seen what each other has to offer. “One team is looking for the one up,” said Thomas.
It is fair to say that the young Reds didn’t look so confident last year, considering they faced clubs with much older players and even some with MLS experience. However, taking a look back at the match two weeks ago against NYRB II, TFC II did look more comfortable and aware of their surroundings. Looking more confident in front of the goal.
“I think all around, as a club, we have a little bit more of a competitive spirit. We know what it takes to win, and a lot of guys on the team want to win,” said Thomas.
Considering both teams are coming off bye-weeks, it will be interesting to see which team comes out with a lot of energy. Bye-weeks can be seen as a great way to regain strength and fitness, but taking a week off after only playing one match isn’t easy. Also considering that the young Reds played a decent match two weeks ago and were able to dominate the first half.
Bent mentioned that a week off shouldn’t affect his team too much and that his club will continue to prepare for this match as the hours pass by. “We were training hard throughout last week. We were able to have inter-club games, so players were able to get match minutes in a pretty competitive game.”
You can catch TFC II take on FC Montreal live at 7:30 p.m EDT at tfc2.ca.