Mosaic Stadium is usually home to a lot of football action during the year, but on Wednesday a different type of football will take place as Toronto FC 2 will meet Sunderland AFC U23 in a friendly on Wednesday night.
Toronto FC 2 competes in the MLS Next Pro league which is currently in the middle of their inaugural season. Currently the squad from Toronto is holding on to the final playoff position as they are in fourth place of the Eastern Conference with a 7-6-3 record for 26 points.
In their last action, Toronto FC 2 defeated the New England Revolution 2-0.
On Tuesday morning, the team arrived to Regina and straight from the airport the team arrived to Mosaic Stadium get a practice on the pitch.
Gianni Cimini is the Head Coach for Toronto FC 2, who was appointed to the position earlier this year, marveled about Mosaic Stadium once the team wrapped up practice.
“It’s a fantastic stadium, when the boys first walked on to the pitch they were all in awe when they seen the magnitude of the stadium, it’s beautiful, I think they’re really excited for tomorrow. ”
Luca Petrasso one of the players competing for Toronto FC 2 is looking forward to the experience at Mosaic Stadium
“It’s beautiful, I’ve never been in a stadium this big before, I never been here in Regina so it’s going to be good to play here. ”
Reshaun Walkes, also a member of Toronto FC 2 says he has seen Mosaic Stadium when he watched Roughrider games on tv but he was still awestruck when he arrived to the stadium today.
Playing in a neutral site game is a little bit of uncharted territory his team said Cimini but is still hopeful they will be able to receive warm welcome.
“For us we’re hoping that the Canadian fans are behind the Canadian team. ”
Walkes is also hoping for a friendly crowd.
“The fans are a really big part of the game and I’m hoping they come out to support. ”
Petrasso is hoping for Wednesday night will be an entertaining night for everyone involved.
“I hope we put on a good show for the fans to make fall in love with the game like we do, I think it’s going to be fun, I think we’re going to put on a good performance for them.”
Another thing Petrasso is hoping to do on Wednesday night is to interact with the fans who are attending the match at Mosaic Stadium.
Neutral site games like the one being played in Regina are used to help grow the game across the soccer which is a responsibility the club understands Cimini explained.
“For us in terms of preparing these boys, if you’re going to be part of a MLS club one day, you’re going have to do events like this where you are supporting the growth of football across Canada so it’s kind of our duty to make sure that we do the job that is needed to help the game grow in different parts so we’re happy to be here.”
The trademark for the Toronto team according to Walkes is there never quit attitude with a willingness to compete from the opening whistle until the final minute second of play.
With the game having no implications in the league standings, Toronto FC 2 will be rotating their players into the match, Cimini also noted it will be a great opportunity for fans to see a hungry young lineup who are looking to make an impact.
Toronto FC 2 will meet Sunderland AFC U23 in a soccer friendly at Mosaic Stadium. The action begins at 6:30.