Dajome scores twice as Vancouver Whitecaps blank Toronto FC 3-0 in pre-season play

INDIO, Calif. — Cristian Dajome scored twice in the second half to help the Vancouver Whitecaps blank Toronto FC 3-0 in pre-season play Wednesday at the Coachella Valley Invitational.

Dajome scored in the 67th minute from the penalty spot, adding his second in the 77th at Empire Polo Club.

Javain Brown, heading home a Luis Martins free kick that hit the goalpost, scored in the 75th minute for the Whitecaps. Federico Bernardeschi missed a first-half penalty for Toronto.

The 13-team tournament features 12 MLS clubs — Charlotte FC, D.C. United, Los Angeles Galaxy, Los Angeles FC, Minnesota United, New York City FC, New York Red Bulls, Portland Timbers, San Jose Earthquakes, St. Louis City SC, Toronto and Vancouver — and the USL Championship's San Diego Loyal SC.

The Whitecaps played to 1-1 draws with D.C. United and Charlotte in earlier tournament play

Toronto had previously just held closed scrimmages against the San Jose Earthquakes and Mexico's Tijuana.

TFC plays LAFC on Saturday and the Portland Timbers on Feb. 15. Vancouver takes on Minnesota on Feb. 18.

Toronto coach Bob Bradley fielded a first-string starting 11 for the first half.

Toronto started its new-look backline with Sean Johnson in goal behind Raoul Petretta, Matt Hedges, Sigurd Rosted and Richie Laryea. Only Laryea is a holdover from last season.

Captain Michael Bradley was joined in the midfield by Mark-Anthony Kaye and Victor Vazquez, back in the fold after leaving the team for a team in Qatar in January 2019. Italian star Lorenzo Insigne joined Bernardeschi and Spanish striker Jesus Jimenez in attack.

Bradley shuffled the entire deck for the start of the second half.

Toronto has 31 players in camp including five members of TFC II, two trialists and defender Jalen Ellis-Watson, a second-round pick (32nd overall) in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft.

The TFC II players in camp are goalkeeper Adisa De Rosario, defenders Kobe Franklin and Adam Pearlman and midfielders Markus Cimermancic and Alonso Coello Camarero.

The trialists, midfielder Hafiz Ibrahim and Alhassan Benny, are young players from an academy in Ghana that Bradley knows.

Greg Ranjitsingh, who was TFC's third-string goalkeeper, remains in Toronto recovering from a non-COVID illness.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 8, 2023.

The Canadian Press