Toronto FC faced their first professional opponent in preseason yesterday and didn't skip a beat. The club has yet to lose in three friendly matches after a 3-0 win over the USL's Ventura County Fusion last night.
Jordan Hamilton led the way for Toronto, scoring two second half goals to extend the team's lead. With three goals, he has been the club's preseason leading scorer so far. He is one goal ahead of Sebastian Giovinco, who scored his second of the preseason against Ventura County.
Hamilton's dominance so far hasn't really been a huge surprise, he played against USL opposition most of last year with Toronto FC 2. But it is still good news that he has come into camp looking to win a job with the senior team ahead of what is an important season for his career.
At 19 years of age Hamilton has been one of the club's top prospects for a long time, but has struggled to take the final step to the professional ranks. He has only played 14 minutes in Major League Soccer over the past two seasons. He also struggled on a loan spell in Portugal with C.D. Trofense.
This is the second straight match where Toronto's young second half lineup has provided the majority of their scoring. Against Ventura there were a couple of veterans sprinkled in, as Drew Moor and Damien Perquis led the defensive line, but for the most part it was again made up of players expected to start the season with Toronto FC II.
The club started the match with Clint Irwin in goal behind Dan Lovitz, Josh Williams, Eriq Zavaleta and Steven Beitashour. In the midfield was the trio of Jonathan Osorio, Marky Delgado and Benoit Cheyrou while Jay Chapman, Sebastian Giovinco and Herculez Gomez played up top.
Greg Vanney once again decided to go with the 4-3-3 for both halves, which appears to be the formation for the upcoming season. This could well have been what Vanney wanted to play last season, but the club did not have a skilled enough right back and needed to compensate.
The club's second half lineup, as aforementioned, was mostly made up of Toronto FC II players with a few first team players sprinkled in. There is no way to tell whether it will be Alex Bono or Quillan Roberts who will back up Irwin this year, but both now have clean sheets. Bono started this match while Roberts started against Cal State Fullerton.
Moor and Perquis would lead a backline that would see Lovitz again as the fullback played 62 minutes, after which draft pick Mitchell Taintor replaced him. Wesley Charpie was the final member of backline who started the second half, but would be replaced by Nick Hagglund.
Midfield three would be made up of Luca Uccello, Chris Mannella and draft pick Brian James. Up front Hamilton would play in the middle of Tsubasa Endoh and Molham Babouli. Endoh would be subbed off in the 81st minute for Darius Madison.
The club's final preseason game in Los Angeles will take place on Saturday, when they will play against the LA Galaxy. This will be their first match of the preseason against MLS opposition. After this the club will return to Toronto for a couple of days of training before heading to Orlando to conclude their camp.