Toronto FC returned home on Monday following a nine-day trip to Los Angeles. “It was purposeful,” said Greg Vanney, “we pushed our fitness a little bit more, and we got a good look at guys from outside that we brought in.”
The Reds opened their trip to California with a light training session followed by a unique workout on the picturesque Crystal Cove Beach. The next day they held a double session with a focus on acclimating new players into Vanney’s system. The Reds returned to the pitch for a single session on Tuesday in preparation for their first preseason match.
The team opened up their preseason schedule against the Ventura County Fusion of the Premier Development League. The game was broken into three 30-minute periods. The Reds got a goal from Sebastian Giovinco in the first period and a brace from Mo Babouli in the second.
Toronto FC returned to training before kicking off their second preseason match against San Diego State University. The match was set for 120 minutes of play. Hamilton recorded a brace while trialist Aikim Andrews added one for the Reds in their 3-0 victory.
The Reds closed out their trip to California with a match against California State University, Fullerton. Similar to the previous match the game was set for 120 minutes. Sebastian Giovinco would open the scoring with his second goal of the preseason. However, Cal State Fullerton was able to battle back with a PK goal and a winner in the additional 30 minutes of play.
“It’s really an assessment period while we try to get fit and get some tactical things in order. From that standpoint it was successful and there were some good moments and some things that we need to clean up,” added Vanney.
The team will now train at the Kia Training Grounds before departing for an intense two-week long camp in Orlando, Florida to close out the 2017 preseason. The team will have their full roster of players together for the first time as Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore have returned from US National Team camp.
TFC will play five preseason matches while in Florida. The tentative schedule is as follows:
Wednesday, February 15 – Miami FC – 3:00 p.m.
Friday, February 17 – University of Central Florida – 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, February 19 – Orlando City SC – TBD
Wednesday, February 22 – Minnesota United – 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 25 – Chicago Fire – 3:00 p.m. – Al Lang Stadium
“We have some good matches lined up down there, I’m excited to see what those games bring, “ added Tosaint Ricketts.
You can stay up to date with all the news and highlights from preseason by following @TorontoFC on twitter and stay tuned for updates from camp on torontofc.ca.