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Carolina Cup starts Saturday
Toronto FC trained at BMO Field on Friday morning before leaving for South Carolina where they will compete for the third consecutive season in the Carolina Challenge Cup at Blackbaud Stadium, Dainel Island. The tournament gets underway on Saturday with the Reds taking on hosts Charleston Battery of the United Soccer League at 7:15 p.m. The game follows the opening match of the tournament between D.C. United and real Salt Lake (kick off 5:00 p.m.).
TFC have had a successful preseason so far and won 3-0 against Florida Atlantic University before beating Swedish Premier Division side Hacken 3-0 on the most recent trip to Florida. “The team is coming along very nicely and we are looking really strong,” said Toronto FC winger Rohan Ricketts. “I’m excited because I have never been to Charleston and I just want to go there and win the tournament.”

Defender Marvell Wynne believes the team is in good shape heading into the tournament. “We have a pretty good idea what our team is going to look like at the start of the season and that is a big difference compared to previous years. With the additions that have been made and the guys returning from previous seasons, we are all feeling very comfortable. We have a lot of confidence and high expectations,” he said.

Charleston enter the tournament with just a week of preseason training in the books. Fifth-year coach Michael Anhaeuser has retained the core of the lineup that overcame two MLS sides to earn a spot in the 2008 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup finals including Dusty Hudock in goal, Nelson Akwari and John Wilson in defence, Ian Fuller and Stephen Armstrong in the midfield, and Randi Patterson up front.

Previous meetings

Toronto won their first ever clash with Charleston Battery in the 2007 tournament as the Reds prepared for their first season in Major League Soccer. It finished 3-0 with goals from Alecko Eskandarian, Edson Buddle and Abbe Ibrahim. In the 2008 Carolina Cup, Toronto were beaten 2-0 by the Battery with both goals scored by Randi Patterson. 

TFC Schedule (all times local)

• Saturday March 7: Toronto FC vs. Charleston Battery, 7:15 p.m. • Wednesday March 11: Toronto FC vs. D.C. United, 5:00 p.m. • Saturday March 14: Toronto FC vs. Real Salt Lake, 5:00 p.m.

  • Marvell Wynne on Toronto FC TV
  • Rohan Ricketts on Toronto FC TV
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