Friday, November 6, 2015
With a blend of MLS SuperDraft selections, Homegrown standouts and academy graduates and prospects, the learning curve for TFC II was always going to be a steep one. Compounded by a road-heavy schedule in the early season, it proved to be the case as Jason Bent’s side struggled to find consistency over the course of the year.
There were some bright spots. Molham Babouli showed his talent as he led the side with four goals and four assists, Skylar Thomas offered leadership and stability in defense, and Quillan Roberts performed well in his 15 starts. Overall, though, more will be expected of those who return for 2016.
2015 USL Season in Review:
Place: 11th in the Eastern Conference
Goals For: 26
Goals Against: 52
2015 leaders: Mo Babouli (4 goals), Mo Babouli (4 assists), Quillan Roberts (72 saves, 4 shutouts)
Greatest moment of 2015: TFC II’s statement win came against one of the USL’s storied clubs, as a stoppage-time goal by Massimo Mirabelli earned a 2-1 win against the Richmond Kickers on August 15 at the Ontario Soccer Centre. Looking to boost their playoff position, the Kickers took the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Yudai Imura struck, but Toronto got back on level terms with 15 minutes to go as Mo Babouli got on the end of Wesley Charpie’s cross from the right to head home at the back post. TFC II then grabbed the winner as Mirabelli got in behind the Kickers’ defense in the second minute of stoppage time to earn a dramatic victory.
Lowest moment of 2015: TFC II suffered some tough defeats over the course of the season, but its most disappointing moment may have come late in the season against the Charlotte Independence. Toronto had one of its best games of the season with a team-record 20 shots, 10 on goal, and twice took the lead, including an excellent piece of interplay that saw Jay Chapman put the side ahead 2-1 in the 57th minute. As the side closed in on a victory, however, it conceded a late penalty kick that Charlotte’s Ryan Finley converted with two minutes to go as a strong overall performance was rewarded with just one point.
- RELATED: TFC II Preparations For 2016 Season Underway
What went right? The play of Mo Babouli, after he had almost called it quits, was a revelation, and earned him attention within TFC’s organization and the Canadian national program as he competed for the Canada U23s at Olympic Qualifying as they reached the tournament semifinals. The future appears to be bright for the 22-year-old forward.
What went wrong? Aside from Babouli, contributions from the TFC II attacking group was sparse, at best. More was likely expected from Homegrown signing Jordan Hamilton (20GP, 3G) after a solid stint in Wilmington last season, who sat tied for second on the team with center back Skylar Thomas.
He said it: “Next year is a key year for us. You’re going into 12, 18 months working into 24 months, and you want to see players progressing. I want to see players knocking on the door of the first team, getting into preseason, possibly getting into MLS games. That’s the pressure that I put myself under, and I hope the players put themselves under that type of pressure as well.” – Jason Bent, Toronto FC II Head Coach