Toronto FC soundly beaten 4-1 by Chicago in pre-season finale for both teams

Toronto FC soundly beaten in pre-season finale

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Toronto FC was soundly beaten 4-1 by the Chicago Fire on Saturday in the final pre-season test for both MLS teams.

Dutch forward Michael de Leeuw scored twice for Chicago.

Toronto fielded 10 of its 11 starters from the MLS Cup loss to Seattle in December, with only defender Eriq Zavaleta missing though illness. France’s Clement Simonin started in his place at Al Lang Stadium.

The Fire led 2-0 after 16 minutes on a long-range rocket by Juninho and penalty by Nemanja Nikolic after onrushing goalkeeper Clint Irwin took a Chicago attacker down.

De Leeuw made it 3-0 in the 39th minute.

Toronto coach Greg Vanney made eight changes at the half but it did not help. De Leeuw scored his second of the day in the 74th minute, punishing Toronto for an errant back pass that allowed him to go in on Irwin alone.

Toronto’s lone goal came on an 89th-minute penalty by substitute Tosaint Ricketts.

The Fire, who finished last in the league in 2016 with just 31 points at 7-17-10, finished the pre-season with a perfect 6-0-0 mark having outscored the opposition 18-6.

Toronto, 6-2-0 in the pre-season, opens the regular season next Saturday at Real Salt Lake. Chicago plays at Columbus that day.

 

 

The Canadian Press

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