It's crazy to think that this Trillium Cup rivalry is in its ninth season. Of the eight previous seasons, Columbus Crew SC has taken home the Cup six times including winning it back from Toronto FC a year ago. The Black & Gold own a dominating 12-5-8 record in 25 meetings and a 4-2-5 record at BMO Field.
All of that is great, but this season TFC sits at 4-4-3 and in fourth place in the Eastern Conference while Columbus is near the bottom of the standings with a 2-4-4 record.
The Reds will be without their target forward Jozy Altidore, who picked up an injury in last Saturday's home loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps. While his shoes will have to be filled, TFC still boasts plenty of talent, namely Sebastian Giovinco who is tied for the top mark in MLS with eight goals.
Crew SC is trying to move on from the debacle that was the Kei Kamara incident two weeks ago. After the forward was traded to the New England Revolution, the Black & Gold managed a 1-1 home draw with the Colorado Rapids, who sit at the top of the MLS standings.
The focus this week is on getting another result. Both teams could use a positive outcome as the next installment of the Trillium Cup rivalry kicks off.
Keys to the Match
- Limit Giovinco: The midfield maestro not only has eight goals, but also five assists. He has contributed in some way on 13 of TFC's 14 goals this season. Needless to say, figuring out a way to keep him off the ball will be crucial for Columbus.
- Control the midfield: Giovinco isn't the only talented player on the Toronto roster. U.S. international Michael Bradley pulls a lot of strings for the Reds and, when healthy, Jonathan Osorio is one of the better midfielders in the league.
- Pressure the back line: Toronto has only conceded 12 goals on the season, but has been vulnerable when teams pressure the defense. The back line is prone to mistakes, giving easy chances to the opposition. Crew SC need to capitalize.
How to Watch
Date/Time: May 21, 2016/5:0 p.m. EST
Venue: BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario, CA
Television: Fox 28, TWC SportsChannel
Online: MLS Live
Radio: CD 102.5 (English), La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)