ORLANDO – Reggie Lambe was signed in the offseason to add an element of speed to the Toronto FC attack.
But the Bermuda international did not have much chance to show what he can do in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Orlando City in the Walt Disney Pro Soccer Classic at ESPN Wide World of Sports, as he was slowed down by Toronto’s inability to get on the ball and spray passes into space.
“Our centre midfielders had a tough time getting on to the ball and therefore they couldn’t get it to us as much as we wanted,” Lambe said on Saturday. “I guess you could say it’s a credit to Orlando kind of controlling the midfield a bit. But then again, it comes to our fitness and our level of playing right now.”
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Video: Reggie Lambe following Orlando draw.
It was a difficult game all around for Toronto, and they will try to set things right on Tuesday against Sweden’s BK Hacken (streamed at 6 p.m. ET on Toronto FC Live).
“[Saturday] was a tough game, our first game in preseason, so we were really working on fitness,” the 21-year-old said. “I don’t think we played as good as we should be playing, but then again, it is our first game. I think we came out and played better in the second half.”
Lambe, whose last club was Ipswich Town in England, started at the wide right forward position. Fellow speedster Joao Plata was on the left with Danny Koevermans in the middle.
On occasion Lambe and Plata switched sides.
“I don’t mind which side I play on,” Lambe said. “When Plata goes over to my side, I just fill in for him over on the left side so I don’t really mind. Mainly, I want to be on the right putting in crosses, so I switched back after a few minutes.”
The Reds have work to do before they play the LA Galaxy on March 7 at Rogers Centre in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal.
“I think we just need to get more together as a team,” Lambe said. “In the first half, we really didn’t come out playing as a team as we should be playing. But we came out in the second half and started to put a few passes together and looked better.”