With only two games left in the regular season and a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs yet to be secure, every game is a big game for Columbus Crew SC.
Saturday's clash with Toronto FC is no different. Not only is it a rivalry game that will determine the winner of the Trillium Cup, but it also pits two of the league's best attacking talents against each other.
Crew SC forward Kei Kamara returned to Major League Soccer and the Black & Gold this year and set nearly every team he's played on fire. The striker has 22 goals and eight assists in 30 games this season.
Kamara was in the driver's seat for the Golden Boot award, given to the top scorer each year, before Wednesday night's games, something that he and his teammates are well aware of heading into the final two contests.
"It's certainly in our minds," head coach Gregg Berhalter said on Tuesday of the Golden Boot race. "We want Kei to win the Golden Boot. We think it would be a great accomplishment for the team and for Kei individually. So we're all pulling for him and anything we can do in these next couple games to get him there, we're going to do."
Sebastian Giovinco was right behind him, but scored a dazzling game-winning goal against New York Red Bulls Wednesday night. The Italian international now also has 22 goals and is looking to pass Kamara in Saturday's head-to-head match.
Of course the Golden Boot isn't the only individual award these players will be looking for at the year's end. While Kamara has held the edge in goals for most of the season, Giovinco is the favorite for the Most Valuable Player trophy.
The attacking midfielder has not only been a scoring machine in his debut MLS season, but also provided plenty of helpers. His 15 assists is tops in the league and broke the MLS record for combined goals and assists in a single season.
"I think it's going to be interesting," Berhalter said. "I think those are two names that are certainly involved in that conversation, if not the two frontrunners. I think it's going to be a great conversation. I think it will depend largely on the end of the season."
If history is any indication, Kamara should be in good shape for the Golden Boot. The forward has scored in both matches against TFC this season, while Giovinco has only one goal and was kept relatively quiet against Crew SC.
In the final match of the season, the Black & Gold face a struggling D.C. United side at home who can't seem to get a consistent run of results of late despite being second in the Eastern Conference. They have already clinched a playoff birth and may not have a ton to play for on the final day.
The Reds meanwhile square off with a desperate Montreal Impact side that could still be looking to clinch a playoff spot. They have also been one of the better teams in the league this year defensively.
As for the MVP award, the league might as well give it to Giovinco now. He's been one of the best players in a single season in league history and has helped spark Toronto to what should be the team's first ever playoff appearance.
Nothing is set in stone though and this weekend could go a long way to deciding who takes home what award. If Kamara can help Columbus clinch a playoff spot with goals this weekend, he could all but lock up the Golden Boot and maybe give MVP voters something to think about.