Toronto FC kick off with draw in Carolina


CHARLESTON, S.C. — Toronto FC kicked off the 2010 Carolina Challenge Cup with a 0-0 draw Saturday night against the host Charleston Battery.

Toronto controlled the play early, with scoring chances from Ali Gerba and Jim Brennan. Gerba’s 20-yard free kick eluded the wall but couldn’t beat Charleston goalkeeper Hunter Gilstrap. Brennan shot high after creating some space in the 17th minute.

Gilstrap was forced to make another big save in the 37th minute when defender Ty Harden directed a header on net off a botched TFC corner.

The Battery created a few chances late in the first half, including a series of corners culminating with Toronto goalkeeper Stefan Frei stopping a Yeniel Bermudez shot from in close.

Brandon Massie had Charleston’s best chance when his shot from the edge of the 18-yard box in the 63rd minute slipped past the outside of the right post.

TFC finished the game with 10 men after midfielder Gabe Gala was shown a second yellow card in the 83rd minute.

The next match day in the round-robin is Wednesday. Toronto will take on D.C. United, which beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 earlier Saturday.

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