Canada’s Roberts to back up Irwin as TFC keeper

Clint-Irwin;-Toronto-FC

Clint Irwin. (Darryl Dyck/CP)

CHAMPIONSGATE, United States — Canadian Quillan Roberts has won the battle of backup goalkeepers with Toronto FC.

The MLS club included ‘keeper Alex Bono in roster cuts Thursday ahead of the team’s final pre-season game against Philadelphia on Saturday.

That means Roberts, a 21-year-old from Brampton, Ont., will back up No. 1 ‘keeper Clint Irwin.

Toronto elected to cut loose both of last year’s goalkeepers, parting ways with Joe Bendik and Chris Konopka in the off-season.

Also returned home to join Toronto FC II were defender Wesley Charpie, midfielders Chris Mannella and Brian James and forward Darius Madison.

The cuts leave the Toronto FC roster at 27 players, including injured defender Clement Simonin and absent forward Luke Moore.

They also mean that attacking midfielders Tsubasa Endoh, a first-round draft pick in January, and Mo Babouli, an academy product, have likely made the first team.

In other news, star forward Sebastian Giovinco was back in training Thursday after skipping a couple days with a leg issue. Fellow striker Jozy Altidore remains out with a mild hamstring pull.

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