FC Tucson defeated Orlando City B, 2-1, Wednesday night at Montverde Academy.
Jamael Cox opened the scoring in the 44th minute, winning possession back in Tucson’s attacking third and striking a low shot from distance that beat goalkeeper Christian Herrera.
Kyle Venter doubled the lead a minute later, hammering home a loose ball inside the penalty area after OCB failed to clear a Tucson corner kick.
Orlando’s Leonardo Simas drew a penalty in the 57th minute after being dragged down in the penalty area at the end of a long run down the right flank. Thiago Souza put the penalty away, slotting it in to his left to cut the deficit in half.
FRESH FACES - FC Tucson Head Coach Darren Sawatzky only named one player in tonight’s starting eleven that also featured in the starting eleven in the previous meeting between the two clubs on March 30 -- that player was Jamael Cox. The decision to start Cox paid off as the forward scored his second goal of the season just before halftime to give his side a lead at the break. Cox’s efforts helped Tucson take six points from six on trips to Orlando this season.
TIMELY SCORING - Two goals just before halftime helped FC Tucson secure its first road win since the club’s inaugural League One match on March 30. Head Coach Darren Sawatzky will be pleased that his side was able to find the back of the net twice at Montverde Academy after being held to just one goal in its previous three road matches.
STREAK SNAPPED - Wednesday’s loss puts an end to Orlando’s four-game unbeaten run that included three wins and a draw. The loss to Tucson is OCB’s first since May 11 overall and the first at home since April 19. Orlando is winless in its three road matches this season. The second half of the season will prove a tough test for Orlando as the club will play eleven of its last five matches away from home.
SOUZA SIZZLING - Despite the loss, Orlando’s Thiago Souza kept his good run of form going, coming on as a second-half substitute to score his side’s only goal. Souza has tallied four goals and an assist in his previous five matches, picking up a Player of the Week award in the process.
Toronto FC II and North Texas SC played to a 3-3 draw Wednesday afternoon at BMO Training Complex.
North Texas opened the scoring in the 9th minute through Ronaldo Damus. Alfusainey Jatta played a long ball from midfield over the Toronto FC II back four towards Damus and Dante Sealy. Sealy got an initial touch on the pass before being toppled over by a TFC II defender, but Damus was there to finish the chance and give the visitors an early lead.
Damus doubled his talley in the 26th minute, beating his defender at midfield and showing a good turn of pace to create space down the left flank before finishing from a tight angle.
Damus completed his hat trick a minute later, latching on to the end of a pass from Sealy. The Hatian forward collected the pass and fired a low shot on frame. TFC II goalkeeper Kevin Silva got a hand to the shot, but couldn’t keep it out and Damus notched his sixth goal of the season.
Griffin Dorsey pulled one back for the home side in just before halftime, finishing a rebound from a Jordan Perruzza shot. The goal was Dorsey’s first of the season.
Dorsey was involved again as TFC II cut into the lead again in the 73rd minute. The forward picked off a pass at midfield, sparking a counter down the right flank. Dorsey found Perruza at the top of the penalty area, who shifted the ball on to Matthew Srbely. Srbely found the side netting from 12 yards out to pull the hosts within one.
Franco Ramos Mingo scored the equalizer in the 92nd minute following a corner kick served in from the right side. North Texas cleared the initial serve from the corner, but only as far as Dorsey. Dorsey cut inside from the right flank, drawing three defenders to him before slipping a pass to Tsubasa Endoh. Endoh served a low cross into the box and Ramos Mingo swept it in to draw TFC II level.
GOALS GALORE - Wednesday’s match saw the two highest scoring teams in League One meet for the second time in the span of two weeks and did not disappoint. North Texas and Toronto FC combined for 11 goals across the two matches, with Wednesday’s match marking the highest scoring contest in the league’s young history.
COMEBACK KIDS - Nothing went right for Toronto in the first 30 minutes of Wednesday’s match and Michael Rabasca’s young side showed strong resolve to claw their way back when packing up and calling it a day seemed the easier option. Griffin Dorsey’s goal just before halftime gave the hosts belief heading into the locker room. It seemed belief was all TFC II needed as they dominated the second half and erased the three-goal deficit with Franco Ramos Mingo scoring the dramatic late equalizer.
DAMUS LOVES TORONTO - Ronaldo Damus scored the second hat trick in League One history Wednesday afternoon to bring his season goal total to six. In North Texas’ two matches in Toronto, Damus has scored four goals and registered an assist. Damus’ six goals have him one behind teammate Ricardo Pepi in the race for the golden boot. Pepi was unavailable for Wednesday’s match against TFC II as he is set to play for FC Dallas in the U.S. Open Cup Wednesday night.
STREAK EXTENDED - Wednesday’s draw extends Toronto’s unbeaten start at home this season. TFC II is now 3-0-1 at home; they’ll hit the road and head to Lansing Ignite FC for their first match away from home in three weeks next Wednesday.
DORSEY FLEX - The sixth pick in the 2019 MLS SuperDraft showed up in a big way when his side needed him most on Wednesday. Dorsey had a hand in all three goals, scoring the first and creating the next two. After serving the role of playmaker in the majority of his previous outings, Dorsey finally opened his League One account just before halftime to bring his side back into the match. TFC II fans will be hoping this goal sets him off and running for the rest of the season.