Photo courtesy Martin Bazyl / Toronto FC II
For the third straight year Toronto FC II won exactly six matches through the USL regular season, and as a result missed the USL Cup Playoffs for a third consecutive time. With the improved quality of the league as a whole, Toronto FC II still managed to produce some good performances, particularly at home, but the youth within the side led to inconsistency that meant the side was unable to string together any long undefeated winning streaks, or back-to-back wins, at any point of the season.
Toronto's struggles were two-fold, both conceding too many goals defensively, second-most in the Eastern Conference at 54 goals, but unlike the New York Red Bulls II (which conceded the most, with 60), Toronto didn't have the firepower to compensate. While there were bright spots, most notably the continued solid play of Shaan Hundal in attack and from goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzzo, TFC II was left well off the pace for the postseason for another year.
Record: 6-19-7, 25pts
Place: 15th in the Eastern Conference
Goals For: 27
Goals Against: 54
USL Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify
2017 leaders: Shaan Hundal (7 goals), Ryan Telfer (4 assists), Angelo Cavalluzzo (79 saves)
The blooding of young players continued for Toronto FC II, with Shaan Hundal at just 18 years old earning the team-lead with seven goals after finishing tied in the same category with Raheem Edwards a season ago. Hundal and teammates Luca Uccello and Liam Fraser also featured for the the Canadian U20 national team over the year. Slightly older, Ryan Telfer led the team in assists with four, while also leading the team in appearances with 29, and the play of goalkeeper Angelo Cavalluzzo helped earn Toronto some bonus points on the road, including memorable shutouts against both Louisville City FC and Ottawa Fury FC. With such young players leading the way for Toronto the future is looking bright for moving forward in 2018.
Toronto's inability to string together successive positing results ended up with the side ending well off the pace in the postseason race. The worst of those runs came very early in the season. After winning the opening match of the season, 1-0 against Phoenix Rising FC, TFC II then went on a 12-match winless run. Too often Toronto conceded bundles of goals, conceding four or more goals in a match five times throughout the season.
A great switch of the field found Luca Uccello on a counterattack, and the Canada U20 international looked up, spotted Ottawa Fury FC goalkeeper Callum Irving off his line he unleashed an impressive chip into the left corner of the net that proved the winner in the clash between the Ontario rivals.
Facing a rampant Louisville City FC attack, Angelo Cavalluzzo reacted perfectly to a redirection from Luke Spencer to help preserve a shutout at Slugger Field, parrying the initial chance forward before covering up the rebound. The save was so good it not only earned the Toronto FC II Save of the Season honor, it won the USL Fans’ Choice Save of the Year.