After withdrawing from the 2020 League One season due to cross-border travel restrictions, Toronto FC II is back and aiming at the playoff places this season / Photo courtesy Toronto FC II
Toronto FC II did not compete in the 2020 League One season due to COVID-related restrictions on cross-border travel, but the team is back and full of ambitious young players in 2021. Two of the team’s top players from 2019 both found success on loan at other USL clubs in 2020. Forward Jordan Perruzza, who finished second in League One’s Golden Boot race in 2019, scored three goals in five appearances for the USL Championship’s San Antonio FC, while midfielder Adolfo Ovalle played nine times for Forward Madison FC.
The club’s 2021 roster features plenty of Toronto FC Academy products who have earned their first chance to play at the professional level, and other members of the 2019 squad who went out on loan to get playing time during TFC II’s hiatus last year. If the team’s 2019 performance is any indication, they won’t be easy to get a result against.
Nyal Higgins, Defender: Signed in July 2020, then spent the remainder of the 2020 season on loan with Swedish side Nyköpings BIS.
Julian Altobelli, Midfielder: Toronto FC Academy Product and Canadian youth international.
Rohan Goulbourne, Defender: Toronto FC Academy Product and Canadian youth international.
Matthew Srbely, Midfielder: Signed with the USL Championship’s Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Eric Klenofsky, Goalkeeper: Joined the University of South Florida as Goalkeepers Coach.
Nyal Higgins, Defender
Higgins was a collegiate standout for both Oakland University and Syracuse University. He spent time with the Flint City Bucks of USL League Two, and was selected 19th overall by Toronto FC in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft. During the 2020 season, he was loaned to Swedish side Nyköpings BIS. At 23, Higgins will be one of the older players on the TFC II team, but is a mature center back capable of marshaling his teammates when needed.
Julian Altobelli, Midfielder
The 18-year-old Altobelli represented the Canadian National Team at the most recent Concacaf Men’s U-17 Championship, where he appeared in all five games as Canada qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup. He made one appearance with Canada at the U-17 World Cup. Altobelli signed his first professional contract with York United of the Canadian Premier League on May 13, 2020, and spent the 2020 season with the club.
Mike Muñoz (1st season)
A former professional soccer player, Muñoz takes the reins of Toronto FC II for the first time in 2021. He brings experience managing at the USL Championship level, having coached LA Galaxy II from 2017 to 2019. He was appointed in January of 2020 before the pandemic forced TFC II to withdraw from the League One season, but is back and ready to lead the Young Reds as they look to improve upon 2019’s seventh place finish.
43 The amount of goals Toronto FC II scored in the 2019 League One season, which was good for third-most in the league. They’ll hope to replicate that tally in 2021 to put themselves very much in the hunt for a playoff place.
Toronto FC II does not begin League One play until May 22, and therefore has not yet announced its full roster for the 2021 season.