Photo courtesy of Toronto FC II
VAUGHAN, Ontario – Though Toronto FC II could not extend its first winning streak, the host side did come through late to garner a point as Skylar Thomas’ second-half equalizer helped TFC II draw 1-1 against the defending USL champion Rochester Rhinos on Wednesday at the Ontario Soccer Centre. Thomas’ header off of a Raheem Edwards cross offset a first-half goal from Rochester’s Christian Volesky. Toronto moved to 5-11-5 (20 points) overall and 3-4-3 at home, extending its unbeaten streak to three (2-0-1). The Rhinos saw a road win slip from their fingers, but they did garner a point to extend their unbeaten streak to six games (3-0-3). Rochester is now 8-4-6 (30 points) overall and 2-3-3 on the road.
27’ – ROC – Christian Volesky (Bradley Kamdem)
77’ – TOR – Skylar Thomas (Raheem Edwards)
Three Things That Mattered:
1. It was a frustrating night offensively for much of Wednesday’s match for Toronto. Some missed set-piece opportunities in the first half and key interceptions by Rochester’s midfield and defense in the run of play kept Toronto at bay for the first 75 minutes or so. TFC II put an end to that stretch shortly after another flubbed set piece. Raheem Edwards’ free kick from the right side was too low, but the deflection came back to him and he gave it another go with a beautiful left-footed delivery to Skylar Thomas making a run to the far left post. Thomas headed it into the back of the net to tie the score at 1-1. It was Thomas’ second goal of the season and the assist was Edwards’ second.
2. Christian Volesky continued his strong run of form, tallying a goal in back-to-back games. In the 27th minute, Kenardo Forbes played a deep ball to Bradley Kamdem on the left and collected it flawlessly to continue the push forward. Kamdem slipped the ball through to Volesky making a run toward the left of the box and he slotted his shot past Toronto goalkeeper Phil Di Bennardo for a 1-0 Rhinos lead. It was Volesky’s team-leading seventh goal of the season. Six tallies have come against Canadian sides – four against FC Montreal and now two against Toronto.
3. Rochester had a prime opportunity to add to its lead in the 50th minute on a counter attack. Kamdem crossed in from the left with a couple of scoring options at the edge of the six. Toronto’s Thomas made a big block against Steevan Dos Santos during that sequence and Di Bennardo eventually pounced on the loose ball to keep Toronto’s deficit at one. That stop ultimately proved to be a vital moment for TFC II as the club eventually found the equalizer.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match:
Skylar Thomas, Toronto FC II – Thomas came through with a game-tying header to help TFC II extend its unbeaten streak to three.
Toronto FC II at Richmond Kickers – July 23, 7 p.m. ET, City Stadium
Rochester Rhinos at Bethlehem Steel FC – July 24, 4 p.m. ET, Goodman Stadium