Toronto FC dropped their first match of the preseason on Wednesday, falling 1-0 to Orlando City B at ChampionsGate.
Pierre DaSilva recorded the only goal of the game in the seventh minute. The Reds mustered a number of chances in both halves, but couldn’t find the back of the net.
A handful of Orlando City SC veterans started for OCB, including Aurélien Collin, Pedro Ribeiro, Kevin Alston and Servando Carrasco. TFC fielded a veteran-laden starting lineup of their own, and controlled the play following a nervy opening 10 minutes.
The result didn’t go their way, but at this stage of the preseason that wasn’t of concern for Will Johnson, who featured in his first game as a member of Toronto FC.
“We made two mistakes and got punished for one of them,” said Johnson, “and then played well for our first 45 minutes together.”
Indeed, it was the first chance for Johnson, Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore to play with their teammates this preseason.
“It was fun to be a part of,” Johnson continued. “ For me it’s almost a positive to get punished on a mistake so that we look at it closer then we otherwise would have.”
Sebastian Giovinco picked up where he left off in Southern California. A sensational pass to Johnson in the 30th minute put the Canadian international in on OCB goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. but the ensuing shot was wide. Edwards foiled Giovinco minutes after with an excellent save from close range.
“As the half progressed things started to get a lot clearer for us defensively,” said head coach Greg Vanney, “ and we spent a lot of time in their half of the field.”
“If we can play that way for 90 minutes over the course of the season we will be exactly where we want to be,” added Johnson.
Vanney made wholesale changes to the squad for the second half. TFC continued to control possession and reside in the OCB half for long spells. Their play, led by the likes of Benoit Cheyrou, Daniel Lovitz and Mo Babouli left Vanney impressed.
“They made it very clear for each other in terms of what spaces they were going to defend,” said Vanney. “Guys were very good at fulfilling their responsibilities within the system. The opposition didn’t create anything. We played, I’d say, 90% of final 45 minutes in their half. We did create some very good chances on their goal so I was very pleased with the guys that came on in the second half.”
The Reds will take on Orlando City SC, OCB’s parent club, on Sunday in another closed-door friendly.
Toronto FC Starting XI: Irwin; Morrow, Moor, Perquis, Delgado; Osorio, Bradley, Johnson; Giovinco, Altidore, Endoh
Second Half XI: Roberts; Lovitz, Zavaleta, Hagglund, Charpie; Chapman, Cheyrou, Mannella; Babouli, Gomez, Hamilton.
Join MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco and the rest of Toronto FC at BMO Field this season. 2016 Toronto FC Season Seats are on sale from $608 and up. In addition to Toronto FC Season Tickets, the Reds are currently on sale with TFC II Season Seats at $75.00 for TFC Season Seat Holders & $120.00 for non-TFC season seat holders. For More information head to TorontoFC.ca/tickets