Toronto FC closed out its preseason schedule with a 2-1 defeat against the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California on Saturday night.
Efraín Álvarez opened the scoring for the home side in the first half when his curling run worked past a series of defenders to find an opening down the left-side of the area and his low shot beat Sean Johnson to the far-post.
Adama Diomande looked to have levelled for TFC, pouncing on a ball from Lorenzo Insigne, but it was ruled offside. Following half-time, Mark Delgado doubled the Galaxy’s lead with a long distance strike off a quick restart.
Ayo Akinola pulled one back late, blasting in the rebound after Mark-Anthony Kaye was denied from close range by Jonathan Bond, but time ran out as Toronto pressed for an equalizer.
“A very good match to prepare for the opener,” said Bob Bradley post-match. “There was real intensity. We had good moments, we had to deal with some calls that didn't go our way, so there's a lot that we have to look at and understand that these are things that happen as you go through tough games against good teams and how can we keep going as a team for the full match.”
Since returning to California at the start of February, TFC has played four matches against MLS competition.
Losses against Vancouver Whitecaps FC and LAFC were followed by a 2-2 draw against the Portland Timbers on Wednesday. Preseason isn’t about the results though, it’s about building up to the season opener.
Toronto will begin the campaign against D.C. United at Audi Field on Saturday.
Week Two has the club hit the road once more away to Atlanta United before the home opener on March 11 against the Columbus Crew at BMO Field.
Preseason over, preparations for Saturday will continue when the side returns home this week.
“The collective understanding continues to get better, our ideas on the field are improving match-by-match, and there's a mentality that is getting stronger,” said Bradley. “We know that to go to D.C. is a big test for the opener and we all understand what we need to do to be at our best.”