Vancouver TSS Rovers survive early onslaught to see off Lane United in season opener (report, video, and photo gallery)

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Vancouver TSS Rovers survive early onslaught to see off Lane United in season opener (report, video, and photo gallery)

Vancouver TSS Rovers’ season opener against Lane United at Swangard Stadium on Sunday wasn’t so much a game of two halfs as much as it was a game of the first ten minutes of the match and the other 80.

This was the second match of the season for the Oregonians, having played out a 1-1 draw in Victoria against the Highlanders on Friday night. Any thoughts that this was going to be a tired Lane United side were soon put to bed as they launched an attacking onslaught against TSS in the early stages of the match, with the Rovers struggling to keep the ball out of their half.

Thankfully for TSS, goalkeeper Luciano Trasolini was to be in inspired form and he was called upon to make his first save just 48 seconds in as Lane came out of the gates flying.

Keeping the pressure on Trasolini scooped the ball out of his net on the goalline with a fantastic save to deny a 4th minute Charlie Spurr header, but the visitors kept the move alive and a looping Søren Jensen beat the SFU Clan keeper but crashed off the bar and over, much to the relief of the Rovers.

It was a makeshift backline for TSS with Elie Gindo and Riley Pang away at the BC Provincial Cup final, but they soon settled after those early scares and the Rovers took over the game.

The home side’s pressure was rewarded in the 19th minute when David Malamura broke on the right, cut the ball back from the byeline, to a waiting Connor MacMillan who swivelled on the turn to volley home a beauty from 12 yards out and fire TSS Rovers into the lead.

Matteo Polisi nearly put the Rovers two up just before half time, battling away to create and opportunity and round Lane keeper Matt Olsen, but the Dane managed to recover in time to throw himself at the Polisi’s goalbound shot and turn the ball around the post.

You wondered if that may prove to be a crucial turning point in the game, but TSS continued to be the better team after the break, coming close on a number of occasions.

Their pressure and play was finally rewarded in the 68th minute when Malamura again went on a good break up the right wing, this time cutting the ball back to substitute Gurmaan Jhaj who allowed the Lane defender to over commit himself on a tackle and fired a low one into the bottom far corner to make it 2-0 Rovers.

Lane tried to get back into the game, but couldn’t, and TSS had a strong late penalty appeal waved away as they took advantage of having more space in the attacking third as the visitor’s pushed forward.

So a 2-0 final and the first time that TSS Rovers have started the season with a win. With three home games to kick off their 2019 campaign, and six of their first eight matches at home, if the Rovers can turn Swangard into a fortress then their playoff hopes will be very much kept alive.


AFTN photographer Tom Ewasiuk (@ResidualImage) was there to capture the action before, during and after the game. Here’s his “Story In Pictures”, with a full Flickr slideshow at the end.



A new USL League Two season begins



Your first Vancouver TSS Rovers starting XI of the new campaign



With Will Cromack now the main man at the Rovers helm



TSS are under the cosh early but Luciano Trasolini comes up huge to keep out a Charlie Spurr header



Lane feel it had crossed the line but the officials say no



Keeping the pressure on and the move alive, Søren Jensen crashes a looping header off the bar and over



Much to the joy of the Swanguardians behind the goal



Lane’s Red Aces had also made the long trip north from Oregon



Søren Jensen was making things tick for Lane but picked up an early injury and was forced to go off, letting TSS take over



The Rovers turned up the pressure on the Lane goal



Getting the breakthrough in the 19th minute when David Malamura cut the ball back to Connor MacMillan in front of goal



And the striker swiveled brilliantly to volley the ball home



Get in! 1-0 Rovers



The Swanguardians celebrate



And TSS nearly double their lead before half time when Matteo Polisi battles to make a chance, catching Lane keeper Matt Olsen off his line



But the Dane scrambles back to brilliantly turn the ball around the post



TSS kept the pressure up in the second half, causing Matt Olsen to be at his best



As the Rovers came closer and closer to scoring a second



They got it in the 68th minute when David Malamura once again broke up the right wing



Cutting the ball back to UFV striker Gurmaan Jhaj, who saw a spot in the far corner and fired home



2-0 TSS!



So you know what that means!



Lane tried to get one back but there was to be no way past Luciano Trasolini



Apparently this wasn’t a penalty



A 2-0 final score. The first of the season is always so sweet. Hopefully there’s lots more to come.


You can see all of Tom’s photos from the game HERE and in our full Flickr slideshow below:

Read Further on AFTN.ca
 

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Things I didn't know...

"USL League Two, formerly the Premier Development League, is a development soccer league sponsored by United Soccer Leagues in the United States and Canada, forming part of the United States soccer league system. The league has 72 teams competing in four conferences, split into eleven regional divisions."

Couple of questions...

1. Wasn't this what WFC2 played in a few years back?
2. Do you see TSS switching over to CPL?

From my VERY limited exposure to both and knowing some of the players now, I'd say CPL is truly a step above USL2, but would love yo hear other's comments.
 

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No, WFC2 played in the top tier of the USL, so two steps above this. They rebranded PDL to USL2, making the the USL the Caps played in the main one and adding a new USL1 between them. USL2 is really a place for college kids to play their summer soccer, with opportunities for other lads looking to get noticed.

I think CPL is a step too far for TSS. The guys don't have the money to get in so would need a big bucks backer. Someone told me that CPL ownership groups have to show a net worth of $100 million to get even to the talking stage. If a BC Teir 3 league comes off, I could see them being interested in that. In the future there would be hope for promotion to CPL for champs.
 

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Ya TSS/USL League 2 is well below CPL or at least the level that CPL is aiming for.

Agree that BC Soccer and its tier three plans would involve the assumptions that both Victoria Highlanders and TSS Rovers would play in the new league. However, it may be about providing those teams with an appropriate level of competition. Right now any "Tier 3" league would likely supplant PCSL and that level of play is below the standard of USL League 2. Would it improve with BC Soccer making it a "semi-pro" environment? Yes? Could we potentially see a Whitecaps U23 team in this hypothesized league? Maybe.

The better question might be would you be willing to expand the talent pool by going inter-provincial and allow/attract Calgary Foothills or an FC Edmonton development team to play in this "Tier 3" league? Now you might have five or six viable teams and could potentially add an Okanagan side or a Nanaimo based team, plus maybe a Surrey/Valley team.

Otherwise, as we have seen before, there just is not enough talent outside of the Lower Mainland to get this off the ground. Of course any "Tier 3" league would likely have to release it's players at the end of the season to play USports/college and, because presumably this will be a summer based season, release the rest of the players to play VMSL/VISL/FVSL. Not having buy in from the established adult leagues was a major hurdle to getting this league off the ground when BC Soccer tried a few years ago (that and the fact that their revenue projections and capital requirements looked like they had been mocked up by first year undergraduate business class) so getting the adult leagues on side from the start will be key. When you look at the amount of talented players playing across the adult leagues in the lower mainland, there is potential for a solid league, but these guys want to play in the winter as well as the VMSL/FVSL/VISL are not going to take kindly to BC Soccer arbitrarily blowing up their current structure.

That being said, I know BC Soccer is rattled watching Ontario and Quebec getting to enter teams in the Canadian Championship from their respective Tier 3 leagues. I would think that will put a greater emphasis on them actually finding a way to get this league up and running this time around.
 
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Ya TSS/USL League 2 is well below CPL or at least the level that CPL is aiming for.

Agree that BC Soccer and its tier three plans would involve the assumptions that both Victoria Highlanders and TSS Rovers would play in the new league. However, it may be about providing those teams with an appropriate level of competition. Right now any "Tier 3" league would likely supplant PCSL and that level of play is below the standard of USL League 2. Would it improve with BC Soccer making it a "semi-pro" environment? Yes? Could we potentially see a Whitecaps U23 team in this hypothesized league? Maybe.

The better question might be would you be willing to expand the talent pool by going inter-provincial and allow/attract Calgary Foothills or an FC Edmonton development team to play in this "Tier 3" league? Now you might have five or six viable teams and could potentially add an Okanagan side or a Nanaimo based team, plus maybe a Surrey/Valley team.

Otherwise, as we have seen before, there just is not enough talent outside of the Lower Mainland to get this off the ground. Of course any "Tier 3" league would likely have to release it's players at the end of the season to play USports/college and, because presumably this will be a summer based season, release the rest of the players to play VMSL/VISL/FVSL. Not having buy in from the established adult leagues was a major hurdle to getting this league off the ground when BC Soccer tried a few years ago (that and the fact that their revenue projections and capital requirements looked like they had been mocked up by first year undergraduate business class) so getting the adult leagues on side from the start will be key. When you look at the amount of talented players playing across the adult leagues in the lower mainland, there is potential for a solid league, but these guys want to play in the winter as well as the VMSL/FVSL/VISL are not going to take kindly to BC Soccer arbitrarily blowing up their current structure.

That being said, I know BC Soccer is rattled watching Ontario and Quebec getting to enter teams in the Canadian Championship from their respective Tier 3 leagues. I would think that will put a greater emphasis on them actually finding a way to get this league up and running this time around.
If they went with a semi-pro model it would eliminate all NCAA players from joining. It would have to be a true amateur league. Rumours has it the semi pro teams in the VMSL and FVSL caused a local NCAA team to have a visit from the NCAA
 
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