Toronto FC's road to becoming MLS Cup contenders kicked off on Friday, as preseason opened at the KIA Training Ground. Today, the first challenges they will face along that road were revealed, as the club released its initial preseason calendar, including the first friendly it will play against a Major League Soccer opponent.
On Wednesday the team will depart Toronto for Los Angeles, California to begin the first phase of their preseason training. They will then have a little over a week to prepare for their first major test: a friendly against the Los Angeles Galaxy on February 6 at the StubHub Centre. The time of the match is still to be determined.
The Friendly comes a day after Canada and the United States meet in an international friendly at the same venue. As such Toronto FC will be missing Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore as they represent the States and Will Johnson as he plays for Canada. Gyasi Zardes of the LA Galaxy is also on the American roster.
The Galaxy will be a good first test for Toronto FC as they will get an opportunity to measure themselves against one of the league's best teams of late. This game has some added meaning for LA as well, as it is crucial that they round themselves into form ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal against Santos Laguna which kicks off on February 24.
While the match against the Galaxy is the most notable game that the club will play in its Los Angeles leg of preseason, it is not the first. Toronto supporters will only have to wait until Friday to see, or at least hear about, their club in action as Toronto take on University of California, Irvine to start their preseason match schedule.
Two days later, on Monday February 1, they will play California State Fullerton. They then face their first professional opposition of the offseason when they take on Ventura County Fusion of the USL. All of these matches will be played at Anteater Stadium, which is the soccer field for University of California, Irvine.
Following their time in Los Angeles, Toronto FC will return to Toronto on February 8 for more training before flying to Orlando, Florida to complete their preseason. Orlando has been a mainstay in the Toronto preseason schedule the past few years.
Who Toronto will face in the Orlando part of preseason has not yet been released, but Kurt Larson of the Toronto Sun reported on twitter that it will be the Philadelphia Union, Montreal Impact and Orlando City SC that Toronto will play. Waking the Red will provide an update when the club's Orlando schedule is confirmed.
Here is the full match schedule released today by Toronto FC. As always the match schedule is subject to change.
|Saturday January 30- TBD||UC Irvine||Anteater Stadium|
|Monday February 1 - TBD||California State Fullerton||Anteater Stadium|
|Wednesday February 3 - TBD||Ventura County Fusion||Anteater Stadium|
|Saturday February 6 - TBD||LA Galaxy||StubHub Centre|