Columbus Crew SC have a chance to collect their first trophy of this season tonight in Toronto. They will finish up their series with Toronto FC at BMO Field. Columbus had a dreadful come from ahead loss to New England Revolution last week, and are looking to reverse course and get back to their winning ways in Canada.
Toronto have come back to Earth after a six game winning streak as they drew with the New York Red Bulls and then lost to USL side Ottawa Fury in the Canadian Championship.
Toronto will have to deal with some key players missing from their lineup. Both Jozy Altidore and Sabastian Giovinco are missing tonight’s clash with Columbus. Altidore because of yellow card accumulation and Giovinco is out with a quad strain.
One thing of note, Columbus performed very well with Sebastian Giovinco in the lineup for Toronto and they picked up their loss in the second leg when he was absent. It will be intriguing to see how Toronto Head Coach Greg Vanney makes adjustments for those missing pieces in the offensive attack.
Keys to the Match:
Contain Tosaint Ricketts: Columbus cannot afford to let their guard down with Giovinco and Altidore out. They let the 29-year-old attacker run roughshod over them during the last ten minutes of their previous engagement. Crew SC need to keep track of him the entire match.
Manneh Maker: He has come incredibly close to scoring in each of his last two starts. If he manages to find the back of the net in this one, Crew SC could ride the momentum of a Kekuta Manneh goal to the finish-line and steal all three points in Toronto. They should look to get him involved early and often.
Pipa Perfect: With the exception of a tremendous nutmeg last week, Federico Higuain was largely absent last week versus New England. For Columbus to be successful, Pipa is going to have to try to capture the magic he had in Columbus’ last meeting with Toronto. Perhaps a repeat of the PK against Bono?
How to Watch:
Date/Time: Friday May 26th, 7pm
Venue: BMO Field (Toronto, Ontario, Canada)
Watch: CW Columbus, Spectrum Sports, BCSN2 (Channel Guide)
Stream: MLS Live
Listen: CD102.5 FM (English Broadcast) La Mega 103.1 FM (Spanish)