TSS FC Rovers took on a Vancouver Whitecaps Residency side on Sunday in a match that allowed both teams to get some vital minutes under their belt for a number of players.
And it was a proverbial tale of two halfs, with a lacklustre Rovers side trailing 1-0 at the break to a Theo Bair header, before coming out all guns blazing in the second, scoring goals from Kristian Yli-Hietanen, Zach Verhoven, and Matteo Polisi (with a penalty) for the 3-1 win.
Although the first half performance was disappointing to TSS head coach Colin Elmes, he felt that it was perhaps not totally unexpected with the amount of games his team have had to kick off their inaugural PDL season and the younger line-up he put out, but he was delighted with how they responded after the kick up the ass he gave them at half time and some substitutions.
“It was our ninth game in 30 days,” TSS head coach Colin Elmes told AFTN. “And no matter how you craft it, the level of overall commitment to the cause was always going to be somewhat suspect as it wasn’t a league fixture.
“The first 45 was pedestrian and vanilla. Rarely attempted to cut through the lines to attack. But after a few choice words in the room at half time, and some changes, the group came out with a renewed purpose and we were clearly rewarded with some goals that helped us see this one out.”
That said, it was the kind of game that you would hope that a number of the TSS players would have been up for, especially those who have previously come through the Whitecaps Residency program.
It was also a chance for some to catch the eye of the ‘Caps with the possibility of earning a WFC2 contract next season. Some of the second half performances will definitely have made the Whitecaps coaching staff sit up and take notice.
TSS now have a bye week in the PDL schedule before defending their unbeaten home record against Portland Timbers on June 16th, then Victoria Highlanders on June 23rd and 25th, in the first pair of three games with the Juan de Fuca plate on the line.
For the Residency, the match was a valuable warm up for the USSDA playoffs that get underway in Indiana later this month. We’ll have full coverage of those here on AFTN during our fifth annual Residency Week.
In the meantime, here’s some more of AFTN photographer Tom Ewasiuk’s photos from the TSS v Residency friendly for you to enjoy. You can find them all HERE or view them in the Flickr slideshow below.