TFC gives glimpse of scoring power

DEAN McNULTY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:50 AM ET

SUNRISE, Fla. -- For one day at least, Toronto FC was the offensive juggernaut that coach Mo Johnston hopes it will become once the Major League Soccer season gets under way in a little more than a month.

Toronto rolled to a 5-0 win over the NCAA Division II-champion Lynn University, with only a lack of finish preventing the score from being higher.

"I thought we missed a lot of goals," Johnston said. "We were able to open them up at will but we didn't score on every opportunity."

Scoring for Toronto were Edson Buddle, Jose Canceda, Abdoulaye Ibrahim, Paulo Nagamura and Hunter West.

One of the players who missed on several golden opportunities before connecting of the final goal of the game was West -- Toronto's second round pick in the MLS draft out of the University of South Florida.

"I was really disappointed that I wasn't able to capitalize on all my chances," he said. "But on the other hand, I'm happy that I was getting myself in position to score."

West said that yesterday's game was more a reflection of the strategy Johnston has pounded into the team in the first two weeks of camp.

"Mo was a striker when he played professionally and he wants this team to attack constantly," West said.

Johnston said he hopes Toronto will be able to play different styles, but admits he prefers an attacking team.

"Ideally we would like to beat a team anyway they want to play," the coach said. "But I like the idea of being loaded up with strikers.

Johnston said that when the team returns to Florida next month to continue pre-season play, he'll have Welsh international midfielder Carl Robinson as another weapon on offence.

"We have strikers Carl will be able to get the ball to -- (Alecko) Eskandarin, Ibhrahim, (Andrea) Lombardo," Johnston said, adding that he prefers having a surplus of strikers around so that fresh legs coming off the bench are seen as scoring threats.

West said he likes Johnston's philosophy, particularly the late game scoring surge that he stresses.

"When you get the green light to go on the offence late in the game like we did against Lynn, it makes for fun soccer," he said.

Yesterday's game wraps up the first half of Toronto's pre-season friendlies leaving them with a 4-1 record, their only loss coming against the Canadian under-20s.

Johnston said he will reward the team with a trip to the beach today, before returning to Toronto to get ready for the remainder of training camp that resumes on March 5 in Bradenton, Fla.


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