TFC II are set to welcome not only a new USL club to the Ontario Soccer Centre, but a former Toronto FC player.
After a tough draw against the Pittsburgh Riverhounds last week, TFC II will look to change their ways when they take on USL newcomers FC Cincinnati at the Ontario Soccer Centre for the young Reds’ second home match of the season.
Last week might not have went according to plan for TFC II, but they are still undefeated in three matches and that is something to be positive about.
TFC II head coach Jason Bent weighed in on what his side needs to do to keep up their good run of form. “We just need to do the same thing’s we’ve been doing over the course of the pre-season, as well as the first few games.”
“We’ve been passing very decent, good movement off the ball, defensively we’ve been okay, even though we’ve conceded five goals in three games. If we can take out those sort of sporadic moments- the way we get caught up in the break- with a bit of organization behind the ball then I think we will be okay.”
The young Reds have been playing well offensively, but they will need to step up when Cincinnati comes in with their big three scoring threats of Sean Okoli, Austin Berry and former Toronto FC striker Andrew Wiedeman. Bent mentioned that Wiedeman could be a threat come kick off.
“[Wiedeman is] a very clean striker of the ball with both feet and he has a nose for the goal. Athletically I don’t think he’s one that will run away from our defenders, but he is sharp in and around the box, so we have to be aware of him at all times,” said Bent.
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It has been mentioned that the young Reds look different this year, and one reason why is because they have been able to not be afraid when inside the attacking third. This has lead to them being more confident and taking shot whenever they are close (last game they took a season high 12 shots). The team looks to be more aggressive and more aware of what to expect when they push forward.
“I think this system suits us. We have a lot of pace on the side,” said Bent.
“[I am] trying to tell the players be aggressive and brave in the one-v-one situations and the attacking third.”
The match against Cincinnati will be TFC II’s second against a non-MLS run club, which does have its obstacles to overcome. Since MLS teams have had second teams compete in the USL, those teams tend to be very young compared to veteran sides that have been apart of the USL since its creation.
“For us it’s a little easier with the contact, but with the older players they are a lot bigger so we have to really think about what we are doing,” said left back Anthony Osorio.
Cincinnati has an average age of 24. TFC II’s oldest player is 23-years-old. With veteran USL players like Pat McMahon, Paul Nicholson and former MLS players like Berry and Wiedeman, then Cincinnati brings with them a good balance of experienced players.
You can catch the match live at 4 p.m EDT at tfc2.ca.