Frei's the hero as TFC hold on for 2-2 draw vs. Orlando
ORLANDO, Fla. — At this rate, Toronto FC may not want to return to the Disney Pro Soccer Classic next year.
A year after losing 1-0 to Orlando City in the tournament's third-place match, Toronto FC were once again shown little local hospitality by the USL side in a 2-2 draw. Only the goalkeeper heroics of Stefan Frei saved them from a loss in their first of three group matches as they prepare for the start of the MLS season and the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals against the LA Galaxy on March 7.
Orlando City took the lead on a 17th-minute penalty kick converted by ex-New York Red Bulls midfielder John Rooney after TFC central defender Geovanny Caicedo brought down Orlando forward Maxwell Griffin in the box.
TFC equalized just six minutes later on a free kick by left-footed center back Miguel Aceval, which took a deflection on its way into the back of the net.
Nearly 10 minutes into the second half, Orlando regained the lead as Trinidadian Kevin Molino finished off a break on goal by the home team, which beat TFC's offside trap.
But that lead was also shortlived. Former German international Torsten Frings ran down a ball in the Orlando box and beat the goalkeeper to it to equalize at 2-2 just moments before making way for one of several TFC subs after the hour mark.
Orlando had a handful of late chances to win the match if not for the reflexes of Frei, who earned the start over Milos Kocic. He stopped forward Dennis Chin cold on a one-on-one breakaway, he parried an 83rd-minute free kick by Orlando's Jerome Mechak and then he tipped a point-blank, stoppage-time blast by Nick Sowers over the bar.
Orlando City: John Rooney 17' (PK), Kevin Molino 54'
Toronto: Miguel Aceval 23', Torsten Frings 59'
Toronto FC (4-3-3, left to right): #24 Stefan Frei -- #5 Ashtone Morgan (#42 Kevin Huezo), #3 Miguel Aceval (#32 Michael Green), #2 Geovanny Caicedo (46' #21 Aaron Maund), #27 Richard Eckersley (46' #4 Doneil Henry) -- #23 Terry Dunfield (#16 Oscar Cordon), #8 Eric Avila (#15 Matt Stinson), #22 Torsten Frings (Sergio Camargo) -- #7 Joao Plata (#33 Junior Burgos), #14 Danny Koevermans (32' #18 Nick Soolsma), #19 Reggie Lambe (#43 Moises Orozco)
Orlando City SC (4-2-3-1, left to right): #1 Miguel Gallardo -- #14 Luke Boden (72' #8 Erik Ustruck), #5 Kieron Bernard (61' #16 Wes Allen), #22 Rob Valentino, #2 Jerome Mechak -- #6 Anthony Pulis, #17 James O' Connor (66' #20 Don Smart) -- #23 Charlie Campbell (76' #3 Adama Mbenge), #10 John Rooney (72' #7 Dustin McCarty), #18 Kevin Molino (83' #25 Nick Sowers) -- #11 Maxwell Griffin (61' #15 Dennis Chin)
Referee: Geoff Gamble
Assistant Referees: Philippe Briere, James Conlee
Fourth Official: Edvin Jurisevic
WATCH: Full Match Highlights