First-round draft pick scores as young Toronto FC side blanks UC Irvine

The Canadian Press

IRVINE, Calif. — First-round draft pick Ifunanyachi Achara scored as a young Toronto FC side defeated UC Irvine 2-0 on Monday.

Achara, taken 25th overall in the first round of the MLS SuperDraft last month from Georgetown, converted a Luca Petrasso cross. Toronto also got an own goal. 

Toronto's starting 11 featured Ayo Akinola, Griffin Dorsey, Julian Dunn, Noble Okello and Rocco Romeo, all young members of the first-team squad, plus several Toronto FC 2 players.

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Toronto brought on three more members of the first-team squad in the second half in the form of Liam Fraser, Tsubasa Endoh and Jacob Shaffelburg.

Toronto is holding its training camp at the University of California, Irvine.

TFC, which opened pre-season play with a 4-0 win over Colorado on Saturday, faces Los Angeles FC on Wednesday at Banc of California Stadium.

Achara is the only one of Toronto's four 2020 draft picks currently with the team in California.

Canadian defender Nyal Higgins, a Syracuse player taken 19th overall, is training with TFC 2 players in Toronto. Clemson defender Malick Mbaye, chosen in the second round (33rd overall) is rehabbing an injury.

And Indiana defender Simon Waever, selected in the second round (51st overall) has been released.  

Higgins, Mbaye and Waever were with the team in Orlando, TFC's first warm-weather training stint. Achara joined the team in California.


This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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