Toronto FC kicked off the first of three preseason matches in California today with a 3-0 victory over Ventura County Fusion. The match was broken into three segments of thirty minutes allowing the players to slowly build towards match fitness this early in the preseason.
The first group consisted of nine of the 11 that played in the MLS Cup Final (minus Bradley and Altidore who are both still away with the U.S. national team). The Reds pressed the Fusion throughout the opening thirty minutes and dictated the play for the majority of the time. Sebastian Giovinco’s low driving shot opened the scoring for TFC. Tosaint Ricketts fought to win back possession and Jonathan Osorio played the ball to Giovinco who beat the keeper to his right, to make it 1-0. Toronto maintained a strong shape and were untested until the closing minutes when goalkeeper Clint Irwin was forced to make a save to keep the Fusion off the score sheet.
After the break, Toronto made ten substitutions to start the second match. Minutes in Mo Babouli’s header put TFC up 2-0 after a cross from Tsubasa Endoh. The Reds continued to pressure Ventura County and kept play in the Fusion’s half of the field. Midway through Jordan Hamilton replaced Ricketts and instantly became involved offensively, however it would be Babouli that increased the score after curling in a free kick past the diving keeper to make it 3-0 for TFC after 60 minutes.
The final 30 minutes saw another round of changes for TFC featuring several TFC II players, draft picks and trialists. It appeared Hamilton put Toronto up 4-0 however the play was ruled offside and the goal was called back. The teams battled in midfield but neither could add to the scoring, ending the match at 3-0 for Toronto FC.
Up next for the Reds is San Diego State University on Friday at 3:00 p.m. PT
First 30 Line-up:
Irwin, Zavaleta, Moor, Hagglund, Beitashour, Morrow, Cheyrou, Cooper, Osorio, Ricketts, Giovinco
Second 30 Line-up:
Bono, Taintor, Trialist, Simonin, Endoh, Morgan, Delgado, Chapman, Babouli, Ricketts (Hamilton 15’), Spencer
Final 30 Line-up:
Cavalluzzo, Saavedra, Aubrey, Eckenrode, McCrary, Edwards, James, Alseth, Johnson, Andrews, Hamilton