Toronto FC recently played their last exhibition game in Florida against the Chicago Fire, which ended in a 1-1 draw. All in all the pre season record was not bad as the club went 2-1-3. Toronto FC played games against D.C. United, Odense Boldklub, U.S. Under 17 National Team, Kansas City Wizards, and Chicago Fire.
In the last exhibition game in Florida both Toronto and Chicago played with competitive teams and the beginning of the first half was some face-paced soccer. Chicago had a couple of scoring chances in the latter half of the first half but failed to put one on the net. The first solid strike from Toronto came in the 33rd minute as Colin Samuel turned on the burners and sped right by a Fire defender but his shot was right at the Fire goalkeeper. The Chicago keeper stopped another shot set up by Samuel, who crossed to Ronnie O’Brien but his one timer, was again right at the keeper. There was some good action in the first half but it remained a scoreless draw.
Chicago drew first blood but it was because of a mistake by Toronto keeper Josh Wagenaar. Wagenaar mishandled a shot from long range and the rebound landed right at the feet of Calen Carr, who buried his gift in the empty net to give the Fire a 1-0 lead. Just 3 minutes later Fire forward Dwight Barnett got behind the defense of Toronto but his shot hit the post and was immediately cleared.
New Zealand native Jorrod Smith came on for Ronnie O’Brien in the 73rd minute and 5 minutes later took advantage of his lone opportunity. Tyler Hemming found Smith on the box and having some space got off solid shot, which found the back of the net leveling the game at 1-1. After that the game stayed in the mid field and there were no more good chances for either team.
The questions that Toronto had going into the preseason were not answered, as they still need a playmaker to step up. They have talented rookies and Julius James was impressive throughout camp and should start right away for Toronto. Toronto still has time to pick up a free agent or two at forward, as they need the help only scoring 25 goals last year. Even though the goalless draw against the Fire was nothing to write home about, it showed promise in the young team from north of the border. If Toronto can find a way to score some goals they may surprise some teams this year.
Author: Jason Green