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Game thread: Columbus Crew SC at Toronto FC

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You don’t want to miss a second of the Black & Gold’s season opener.

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Columbus Crew at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Full Time: Columbus Crew SC shuts out the champs on thier field to open 2018 with a 2-0 win. An outstanding statement with goals from Federico Higuain and Gyasi Zardes.

46th minute: GOAL CREW SC! It’s 2-0 behind a Gyasi Zardes finish. Pedro Santos slipped in a left footed pass into the box and the man from Hawthorn finishes.

Halftime: Crew SC lead Toronto 1-0 behind Pipa’s goal. The stats tilt in favor of the Black & Gold.

44th minute: GOAL CREW SC! Federico Higuain breaks the deadlock with a shot from 15 yards. Milton Valenzuela fed him a cutback cross to set him up. Artur started the move with a long switch.

12th minute: Crew SC nearly strike first as Cristian Martinez rings the post.


The 2018 Major League Soccer season starts today with a return trip to BMO field, the scene of 2017’s end. Columbus Crew SC had an excellent preseason with wins over Minnesota United, the Charleston Battery, Atlanta United and Iwaki FC from Japan. Toronto FC will be a much greater test.

With the looming prospect of a move Austin, Texas casting a pall over the season, even a game against a strong Toronto team is a welcome 90 minute respite. TFC have already played matches that count, defeating the Colorado Rapids 2-0 in Denver on Feb. 20 and tying 0-0 in the return to Toronto on Tuesday to advance in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.

Today will likely mark the Crew SC debuts for Milton Valenzuela and Gyasi Zardes. The two joined the Black & Gold during the offseason of tumult off the field as Justin Meram and Ola Kamara departed.

Lineups:

Columbus Crew SC:

Toronto FC:

Absences:

Crew SC: Pedro Santos picked up a thigh injury this week, but travelled with the team and is expected to play. Josh Williams is officially listed as questionable and was limited in training. Mike Grella and Gaston Sauro are still recovering from long-term injuries.

Toronto FC: None

How to watch:

Date: Saturday, March 3rd, 1 p.m. ET

Venue: BMO Field (Toronto, Ontario)

TV: WSYX ABC-6, Spectrum Sports

Radio: English: CD102.5 FM / ColumbusCrewSC.com Spanish: ColumbusCrewSC.com

Stream: Live.MLSSoccer.com