Alex Bruce North Texas SC Hero in Draw against Toronto FC II

North Texas Soccer Club returned home for the rematch against their Canadian foes after Toronto FC II won their first game in over a year. While Toronto FC II had scored the first goal, Alex Bruce salvaged a point in the dying moments of the game as the game finished 1-1.

The Game

Kazu returned to the back-line along with Mikey Maldonado. Collin Smith replaced Bernard Kamungo at the right-wing.

North Texas SC Starting XI vs. Toronto FC II

Toronto FC II opened the scoring thanks to Garrett McLaughlin who capitalized on the initial blocked shot from Rohan Goalbourne in the 58th minute.

Alex Bruce, Hope Avayevu, and Derek Waldeck entered for Thibaut Jacquel, Collin Smith, and Alisson respectively in the 64th minute.

Rio Ramirez replaced Alejandro Viniegra as the final substitute in the 82nd minute.

Alex Bruce brought the game level in stoppage time.

North Texas SC came away with a point in the dying moments of the game with both teams sharing a goal, 1-1.

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Alejandro Viniegra defending against Toronto FC II (Courtesy USL League One).

Thoughts & Takeaways

Skipping Lines

For a team that consists of young players and an ever-changing roster, understanding each player’s tendencies requires valuable time together on the field that can be hard to come by.

North Texas SC showed glimpses of well-timed runs, passes, and crosses as the season has progressed. This game highlighted the club’s desire to break lines with long passes.

“When we switched the point of attack, we have to go fast,’ Eric Quill said “We can’t get those isolations that we want so we want to move the ball faster. There’s a lot of technical growth in our young players. The ball movement is a little too slow but we are working on that.”

The ability to change the buildup of the attack gives the team an advantage by varying the direction and speed at which the players attack, keeping the defenders on their toes.

Shape

As the players have made improvements in their ability to play as a unit rather than individual players.

“It’s still a work in progress and we have a lot of young guys learning and I myself, I am still learning,” defender Derek Waldeck told 3rd Degree. “I think that is the beauty of the group that we have since everyone is very adaptable . It might not quite be there but I have a lot of faith and belief in the group.”

The team has struggled with team cohesion in the past but showed much improvement in this game.

Noticeably, the team defends within their own half and tries to limit the space between each other to choke any forward progression. This causes the opposition to move the ball out to the touchline where the North Texas SC attacking players will try to force a turnover and begin the attack.

Moments

While the team has holistically improved, there are moments that may leave regular viewers of North Texas SC scratching their heads.

“We missed five easy chances, but we dominated the ball,” Quill said of the game. “We have ourselves to blame for not putting the ball away. We can’t fall asleep and preventions and bad giveaways are what gave them their goal.”

Given the state of the team at the beginning of the season where most of the team was new to each other and the club missing a view pieces, North Texas SC has made improvements overall. While the occasional costly mistake may still occur, there are more things fans can be excited about than worried about when thinking about the rest of the season.


North Texas SC has 7 points in 6 games while sitting 8th in the league standings. North Texas SC play hosts to Greenville Triumph SC on Saturday, June 13, at 6:00 PM.

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