What Did We Learn From TFC II vs Richmond Kickers?

TFC II fell short on the weekend in Richmond. Here is what can be taken from that match.

It was a difficult week for Toronto FC fans. The first team would lose a close one in Portland 2-1 and a day before that match, TFC II fell short against the Richmond Kickers.

It was tough match for the young Reds. They didn’t look to be much into the game and were often pressured to make mistakes by a persistent Richmond team. Things didn’t start off well for TFC II, after a 10th minute goal by Brain Ownby put the Kickers on top.

The goal started from a shot taken by Jason Yeisley, which was then blocked by centre back Skylar Thomas and then deflected into the air and tipped in by Ownby. Keeper Alex Bono could do nothing else  but watch it go over him.

Bono however was able to face countless shots and allow nothing else past him. But his teammates had trouble beating Richmond goalie Matt Turner, who was making his Kickers debut. TFC II’s best chance came in the 29th minute, when Sal Bernal‘s rocket of a shot from the edge of the box was tipped over by Turner. Raheem Edwards would also have his free kick denied shortly after. Edwards would take control of his teams attack, leading the young Reds with four shots, but that was not enough to defeat Turner. His four match goal streak was snapped.

It was hard for TFC II to come back into this game after giving up an early goal. Richmond was able to make some key turovers and cover the young Reds’ top players. The weather also didn’t help, as some passes were hard to handle thanks to the wet surface. Still, good weather or not, TFC II lost a game they should have at least tied.

Turnovers played a key factor

As mentioned above, Richmond played very well in the middle, leaving little space for TFC II to create anything. This caused some costly turnovers, but thankfully the young Reds backline was able to bail out their teammates.The constant pressure by Richmond was just too much for TFC II.

There were times where TFC II would have breaks on goal, but their inability to get inside Richmond’s box and finish on opportunities hurt them and caused the Kickers to dominate the match.

Matt Turner had a solid outing

Tuner was loaned to Richmond from the New England Revolution before the match on Saturday, and he put in a man of the match performance. Turner was able to make some key saves off set pieces, which further gave TFC II problems.

His ability to recognize threats, make acrobatic saves and not allow himself to be bullied in the box by the young Reds’ taller players gave his team an edge and a reason why this match didn’t end in a draw.

TFC II’s defence played solid after early goal

Even tgough they lost, TFC II’s defence was solid after that early goal. Thomas was an arial threat with his ability to head out balls out of harms way and he was able to make some key blocks as well.

When TFC II would make a mistakes in the midfield, it was the likes of Thomas and Mitchell Taintor who made it difficult for the Kickers to get anything else on goal. The two would stay back, get in front of their men and give them little space.

Lack of attacking threat for TFC II

Richmond’s attacking force of Ownby, Yeisley and Sunny Jane were all over the young Reds backline, but they couldn’t get their opportunities past the likes of Thomas, Taintor and Bono. But for TFC II, their attack was easily stopped by Richmond’s strong defence.

Going forward, the young Reds had chances, but they were either easily stopped or when they had possession, they would look for the long ball and that resulted either in a pass that had too much speed or headed out of danger. Also, the Kickers backline took notice of TFC II’s key players and marked them closley.

Missed opportunities like through balls and crosses caused trouble for the young Reds, but they were under a lot of pressure from Richmond.