Preseason in sports isn't meaningless, but for the most part the results are. Nothing should read into the fact that Toronto FC beat Montverde Academy today 4-2. Not the fact that they scored four goals, not the fact that they conceded two against a team who in theory should be significantly worse than them.
What can be evaluated in preseason, and what should truly be regarded, is the performance of players. Not necessarily those who are established, if Jozy Altidore fails to score in the preseason nobody should be overtly concerned. It is the academy and fringe roster players who should be watched, as they have the most to prove.
As such, in the first game it is worth noting that Jordan Hamilton had a strong start to a preseason camp where he is expected to be on the outside looking in of the main roster. But while most expect him to feature for the newly created Toronto FC II for the majority of the season, one would be foolish to completely count him out. With the exception of a disappointing loan to Portugal, he has excelled at every level.
Here are the highlights from Toronto FC's first game of the preseason. The club's played three 30-minute mini-games. Mini soccer games that is, this had nothing to do with Mario Party.
Toronto will be hoping this is what they get all season from Robbie Findley: similar to Luke Moore with a bit more impact on the game between goals. Findley has proven his ability to do this in MLS in the past, but has lost his finishing touch in recent seasons. It is worth noting the ball from Jonathan Osorio on this play. He tends to be a player who makes better passes when he keeps them on the ground, but as someone who will likely be playing at least slightly out wide this season this sort of crossing can't hurt.
Nothing special here, but pretty classic Hamilton in terms of how calmly he finished this play. At this point Toronto FC were actually down 2-1, and this was the equalizer. Judging by Hamilton's celebration, it was far from the most important equalizer he has scored in his career.
Look at the celebrations here as Jordan Hamilton scores the game winner. That one high five from Jay Chapman almost looked heartfelt! Nice pass nonetheless from Chapman, and a more difficult finish for Hamilton as he scores his second of the day. Hard to see from the angle, but the keeper doesn't look like he is having his best day either.
Again, very good play from Chapman, who it should be noted like Hamilton had a very strong start to his preseason. In this case Chapman will have a bit of a harder time breaking into the lineup, as Toronto for once have pretty solid midfield depth. That was third round pick Michael Ramos with the finish, rounding out a good outing for Toronto's future.
Toronto FC will be back in Toronto only February 9th to train before returning to Florida on the 16th to play in the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic where they will play New York Red Bulls, Oklahoma City Energy and HB Koge.