Championsgate, Fla. – Minnesota United FC's undefeated preseason/draw streak all washed away Wednesday in a 3-0 loss to Toronto FC at a rainy Sports Complex at Omni Orlando.
Italian forward Sebastian Giovinco of the Major League Soccer Cup runner-up scored twice in the first half, in the 17th and 23rd minutes. Forward Jordan Hamilton added a third goal in the second half.
Giovinco was an MLS Best XI selection last season and 2015's MVP. He is one of Toronto's designated players, along with U.S. men's national team stars Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley, and all of them started the game.
"We're playing against a really good team that's got five or six quality players. They were in the final last year," United coach Adrian Heath said. "So we're talking about, probably, I would think, one of the strongest in depth, and the team with the best individuals in Major League Soccer. So today, it was a little bit of an eye-opener for us, in terms of the quality of the opposition at the top end of the MLS."
Heath added that his team contributed to its own downfall on Giovinco's goals — despite the finish on the first one being "world-class" — by giving away in dangerous areas. Center-back Vadim Demidov and winger Miguel Ibarra couldn't connect on a pass on the first one, and right-back Jermaine Taylor gave away the ball on the second.
"If you turn the ball over cheaply, and the ball drops at Giovinco's feet, it invariably ends up at the back of the net," Heath said. "We presented the opposition with too many opportunities in our half of the field.
"I know it was really difficult conditions and everything, and we were playing a really good team. But bottom line is, if you continue to give it away in poor areas, which we did today [it won't end well]."
United fielded John Alvbage in goal; Justin Davis, Francisco Calvo, Demidov and Taylor on defense; Collen Warner, Mo Saeid and Rasmus Schuller in the midfield; Ibarra and Johan Venegas on the wings with Christian Ramirez up top. Kevin Venegas was the only substitute, on for Taylor the whole second half.
Heath said this was "maybe" his potential opening day starting lineup, minus midfielder Kevin Molino, who missed the game because of an illness. He said coaches still are figuring out one or two things.