Toronto FC unveils pre-season plans, with training stints in Florida, California

The Canadian Press

Toronto FC will play five pre-season friendlies with training camp stops in both Florida and California.

Players report Saturday for medicals at the team's north Toronto training facility, with the first training session set for Jan. 20. The squad leaves for Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 23, returning to Toronto on Jan. 29 before departing Feb. 5 for another warm-weather training stint at the University of California, Irvine.

The MLS Cup runners-up will open pre-season play against Colorado on Feb. 8 at UC Irvine, marking a reunion with former assistant coach Robin Fraser, who is now in charge of the Rapids.

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Toronto will meet Los Angeles FC on Feb. 12 at Banc of California Stadium and the Los Angeles Galaxy on Feb. 15 at Dignity Health Sports Park before facing Chicago Fire FC on Feb. 18 at Irvine and Colorado on Feb. 22 at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Toronto opens the 2020 MLS season on Feb. 29 in San Jose. Toronto's home opener is March 7 against New York City FC.

In other news, the club confirmed that veteran Belgian defender Laurent Ciman has obtained Canadian residency and will no longer be considered an international player when it comes to the roster.

Ciman, 34, played three years in Montreal from 2015 to 2017 before joining Toronto for last season after a stint with Los Angeles FC and in France.

With Ciman's paperwork and French winger Nicolas Benezet's departure for Colorado, that leaves Toronto with five used international slots: Bazil's Auro, Japan's Tsubasa Endoh, Veneuzuela's Erickson Gallardo, France's Chris Mavinga and Spain's Alejandro Pozuelo.

The club is actively looking for a third designated player — an attacker who will likely also occupy an international slot.

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 14, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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