This fall we took a handful young aspiring boys to Toronto FC. Friday afternoon we met with TFC officials in hopes of taking our relationship to the next level. We were pleasantly surprised with everything TFC officials had to say. Both sides were open to suggestions and many of their values replicate our own.
Professional clubs across our country are contributing to the development of local players and coaches. TFC has a great facility in the Kia Training Grounds and a year round plan that involves elite players from age 9 to it’s professional team. The domestic pathway to being a professional is close to complete. This is a very exciting time for young aspiring players.
On Saturday evening players, parents and coaches headed to BMO field to watch TFC take on the Philadelphia Union. TFC were fighting to clinch a birth in the upcoming MLS playoffs. It was a beautiful sunny fall evening that saw 23 000 fans in the stands. The game started slow for TFC who established more of a defensive shape. They came alive in the second half with lots of possession and forward runs which contributed to goal scoring opportunities. In the end TFC came up just short with a win with a 1-1 draw. Thankfully the second half comeback left the viewers wanting more.
Sunday morning was the big event for our players. The U10, U11 and U12 boys teams all had successful seasons proving to be some of the strongest sides in the Ottawa area. This would be their opportunity to test themselves against some of the provinces best players their own age. There was a common theme in each of the games. The TFC teams moved the ball well, remained calm in tight spaces, penetrated when they were given space and were clinical around goal. It was really nice to watch such talent and intelligence working together at such a young age. The TFC coaching staff and players should be proud of what they are building. For the WOSC players who were used to dominating it gave them a different perspective and reminded them that they still have a lot to strive for. After a while each team settled in, strung a few passes together and created a few chances of their own. For our players who have aspirations of being part of a professional academy this experience was a great measuring stick and reminder to keep their standards high. A worthwhile event at hopefully something we can replicate in the future.
Thank you to the parents, coaches in attendance (Traian Mateas, Victor Ogbechi, Samir Karaga, Andre Badescu) and club who made this trip possible.