North Texas Soccer Club headed to the Arizona desert to take on Toronto FC II in the Canadian club’s first game in over a year. After a flurry of goals at the halfway mark, North Texas SC lost despite late efforts in the game, 1-2.
Collin Smith, Thibaut Jacquel, and Gibran Rayo made their return to the starting lineup with Antonio Carrera (FC Dallas Academy goalkeeper) making his first North Texas SC gameday roster.
Garrett McLaughlin opened the scoring for Toronto FC II from the penalty spot after Thibaut Jacquel was called for a handball.
North Texas SC quickly earned a penalty of their own as Thibaut Jacquel brought his team level after a handball ball in the box.
McLaughlin got his brace from Themi Antonoglou’s cross that saw McLaughlin one-on-one with Richard Sanchez who beaten, giving Toronto FC II the lead.
Hope Avayevu replaced Alejandro Viniegra in the 60th minute.
Mikey Maldonado and Kazu replaced Alisson and Collin Smith respectively in the 68th minute.
Alex Bruce was Eric Quill’s final substitute as he replaced Gibran Rayo in the 83rd minute.
In spite of the final efforts from North Texas SC they were defeated 1-2.
Thoughts & Takeaways
In spite of the score, North Texas SC created pressure against Toronto’s backline as shown through the intensity and in the volume of passes within the final third.
North Texas had a 63.8% pass accuracy within the final third while servicing 23 crosses in contrast to Toronto’s 54% pass accuracy in the final third and 11 crosses. This resulted in Toronto FC having 23 clearances, to North Texas SC’s 10, and 17 tackles to North Texas SC’s 6 tackles.
Similar to FC Dallas, North Texas SC wants to create a high amount of volume when creating goal-scoring opportunities to allow a higher likelihood of scoring.
North Texas SC didn’t score during the run of play which the players and coaches will want to improve upon during the rematch next weekend given the individual attacking talent the team has.
North Texas SC continues to indicate the squad is coming together both in the attack and defensively.
Toronto FC II provided North Texas SC their first evenly match competition thus far far into the season.
The Canadian club challenged the DFW-based club over the entire field even if they were beaten looking at the statistics from the game.
Toronto’s persistent press and equally matched high intensity challenged the North Texas SC players as a team which forced the players to be precise in their technical abilities and reduce mistakes in dangerous positions.
Where North Texas SC has struggled in the past with “playing to their opponents level,” the young professionals have, from the first whistle, played the game according to the practiced tactics and adapting accordingly throughout the game.
The players have continued to makes efforts to compete up to the final whistle and see out games in their entirety. There is a mood within the squad that the team is not ruled out of the game regardless of the score.
North Texas SC (2-0-3) sit in 6th place with 6 points. The club returns home to Globe Life Park for a rematch against Toronto FC II on Saturday, May 29th, at 4: 30 PM.