I arrived about ten minutes before kickoff and ran into a few people I knew, including a fellow TFC supporter who is working for the Kingston Prospect team now. I paid my $10 entry fee, which is a bit steep for a CSL Reserve game, and took my seat on the bleachers.
The crowd was decently sized at kickoff, maybe about 40-50 people, and that grew to at least 75 at its busiest. The TFC kids wore all red while the Prospect team wore all white. There was a big balloon archway by a tent, a DJ, t-shirts for sale, and even a raffle! Unfortunately, there were no corner flags!
I have to say, the kids on both teams were really fast. I really don't remember being even close to that fast when I was younger. TFC's Academy had the best early chance, winning a corner. The corner was put to the top of the 18, and the shot fired in was just wide. Moments later, Prospect FC got a chance at the other end of the field, but also put it just wide. The ensuing goal kick led to another chance for TFC, but the Prospect GK smothered the ball very well.
The game was a relatively clean game with very few fouls, but there were a lot of poor touches by both teams. TFC's best player was one of their two strikers, #37 (names to follow later if I'm able to get rosters), although #42 at left back (moved to CB in the 2nd half) was an absolute monster, standing over every other player on the pitch like Darth Vader over his stormtroopers. For the Prospect team, the one player that really stood out was their left midfielder (moved to right mid- in the 2nd half), #11. I was informed at half-time that #20, the team's captain and centre-midfielder, was their first professional signing.
|Team t-shirt, game ticket, and|
At this point, one of the other fans noted that the Prospect FC team had almost no possession or play at all. Amusingly, as this conversation took place in the 28th minute, Prospect FC had a throw-in deep in the TFC end, and took it long. The ball flew in and TFC's goalkeeper came out to attack the ball, but missed it completely, and a Prospect FC player headed the ball into the back of the net. I couldn't see who it was, but was told that it was "John".
Not long after, TFC mounted another attack and their midfielder #45 was fouled hard and words were exchanged between two players. Most of the words were in Spanish and something was said that upset the TFC player and he barged into the Prospect player and some handbags ensued. The referee calmed things down with several whistle blasts and talked with both players. The free kick that followed was easily cleared back up the field out of danger.
TFC exerted their dominance over the last several minutes of the half scoring in the 38th, 41st, and 45th. The first was a nice through ball to #38. He cut the ball back and tucked it inside the near post to make it 3-1. The fourth goal was an almost identical play to the first, with #2 taking the ball to the end line, crossing it, and #37 bundling it in. The last was a shot that the Prospect FC goalkeeper should have handled, as a TFC defender, #35, took a weak shot from just outside the penalty area along the ground and it went through the goalkeeper's hands into the back of the net to give the TFC Academy a 5-1 win at halftime.
I discussed the game a bit with my seatmate at half-time, and both of us agreed that #11 was likely the best player for Prospect FC – he had a good touch, lots of speed, and a good deal of sense about what was going on around the rest of the field. The game got going again fairly quickly, after only seven or eight minutes.
TFC continued to exert their dominance in the second getting a corner in the 50th minute. Their big defender, #42, put the ball into the back of the net with a little flicked header. After that goal, the game started to get much scrappier with more fouls, lots of small kicks to ankles, pushes, and other such slightly dirty behaviour. In the 57th, TFC extended their lead to 7-1 as #37 got onto the end of a nice through ball and got his hat trick by chipping the ball past the goalkeeper despite being off-balance. Before the kickoff, he was substituted off for #31.
Prospect FC were making some very good plays, getting into good positions, and creating chances, but the lack of support from their teammates was doing them no good whatsoever. The 68th minute brought the first caution of the game. It went to TFC's #38 for a very poor tackle deep in the Prospect FC end. The free kick was poor and led to a chance for TFC that the Prospect FC goalkeeper grabbed with one hand, essentially palming it like a basketball player would grab a basketball. The second (and final) caution of the game came in the 73rd minute to TFC's big defender (#42) for dissent.
The TFC Academy played a very good all-around team game, moving the ball well, and playing well off of each other. It was obvious that the players had spent a lot of time with each other, whereas it was obvious that the Prospect FC players had not been able to spend much time together, and the looked very disjoint for much of the game.
TFC Academy scored two more goals to close out the game with #31 scoring in the 78th and #26 in the 89th. The crowd seemed to enjoy the game, despite the 9-1 score, and nobody seemed too discouraged when the referee blew the final whistle to bring things to a close for the night.