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Toronto vs. Columbus (Match Preview)

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After beating one Canadian team last Saturday, the Columbus Crew will want to add another tally to that streak tomorrow afternoon as they face off against Toronto FC at BMO Field (2:00). This is the first of three editions of the 2012 Trillium Cup. The other two games will be held at Crew Stadium, including the regular season finale.

Columbus is coming off of a 2-0 home victory over the Montreal Impact last weekend. New additions Milovan Mirosevic and Olman Vargas came through with the goals, while goalie Andy Gruenebaum came up with plenty of good saves.

Toronto most recently played on Wednesday night against Mexican side Santos laguna in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals. The game ended in a 1-1 tie. The return leg is in Mexico this upcoming Wednesday.

In MLS play, Toronto lost to the San Jose Earthquakes at home last Saturday, 3-0. Toronto's defense is in shambles, and their offense isn't helping out too much either. Along with a 3-1 loss in Seattle to open the season, Toronto's goal difference is already -5.

Designated Player Torsten Frings and starting goalie Stefen Frei will both be unavailable for Toronto on Saturday. Expect the starting lineup for the Crew to remain the same as the one used against Montreal.

Prediction and more after the jump...

Prediction: Crew 3-1 TFC

With this game sandwiched between Toronto's CCL semifinal leg against Santos Laguna, their lineup may be even weaker than it currently is. Injuries and schedule congestion, as well as a chance to make it to the CCL final, will definitely hinder Toronto's quality in some areas of the field. Columbus' offense is starting to click while Toronto's defence is not the most reliable. The Crew's defence, on the other hand, is coming off of a clean streak. A rough, hard-fought game will end with three more points coming back to Columbus and the Trillium Cup one game closer to returning to its rightful home.

For more questions concerning the game, check out Massive Reports three questions with Waking the Red.