March 24, 2007 Toronto FC lose to Houston Dynamo at Carolina Challenge Cup (from Canadian Press)

Toronto FC falls to Houston Dynamo

CHARLESTON, S.C. (CP) - Toronto FC's first action against an MLS club didn't start the way the club hoped as it fell 2-0 to the defending MLS Cup champion Houston Dynamo Saturday at the Carolina Challenge Cup exhibition tournament.

Ryan Cochrane and Chris Wondolowski scored for Houston, while Vancouver native Pat Onstad recorded the shutout.

Both teams were missing key starters, with Houston short five players through injury and U.S. national team call-ups. One of those out of the lineup for the Dynamo was Toronto native and Canadian national team midfielder Dwayne De Rosario.

Despite the absences, the Dynamo controlled much of the play exposing the weaknesses of MLS's first Canadian-based club.

Houston opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Cochrane easily touched home a Brad Davis corner kick after Toronto goalkeeper Greg Sutton misplayed the in-swinging ball.

The Dynamo added an insurance goal in the second half when Kevin Goldtheaite sprung Wondolowski with a cross-field ball from the left flank. Wondolowski ran through Toronto's offside trap and slotted the ball past Sutton.

Newly-acquired defender Richard Mulrooney, who has played for the U.S. men's national team, started and played all 90 minutes for Toronto.

Also Saturday, Toronto waived goalkeeper Jon Busch, who was acquired March 5 off waivers from the Columbus Crew.

In other tournament action Saturday, Red Bull New York beat the Charleston Battery 1-0. The Battery play in United Soccer Leagues' Division 1, one level below MLS.

Toronto FC's next game in the four team Carolina Challenge Cup is Wednesday against Red Bull New York.

Toronto FC opens its inaugural MLS season on April 7 at Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., against Chivas USA. The club's first home game is April 28 against the Kansas City Wizards at BMO Field.

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