On Saturday night at Crew Stadium (7:30 pm), the Crew take on Toronto in the second leg of this season’s Trillium Cup. Columbus is currently sitting at 11-8-7 (40 points) and in first place in the Eastern Conference. Toronto is 4-12-12 (24 points) and in last place in the East. Toronto’s goal difference is -23.
When the two teams met earlier in the season at BMO Field (April 23rd), they shared the points in a 1-1 tie. Emilio Renteria scored for Columbus, and Tony Tchani scored for Toronto. Tchani is now on the Crew’s roster.
Columbus is coming off a 6-2 drubbing in Seattle two weeks ago. Defender Julius James missed the game against the Sounders due to yellow card accumulation, but he will be available to play Saturday.
MLS pool goalie Chris Konopka will be backing up William Hesmer on Saturday. Andy Gruenebaum (broken thumb) and Alex Riggs (concussion) won’t be available.
Prediction: Crew 3-0 Toronto
Columbus needs a major bounce back after their previous game. Forwards Emilio Renteria and Andres Mendoza should be starting together, and their chemistry should be improving week by week. Toronto is second to last place in all of MLS, and they have the worst goal difference in the entire league. The Crew shouldn’t have any problems scoring a few goals and shutting out Toronto.
Columbus Crew – OUT: MF Tony Tchani; MF Eddie Gaven; GK Andy Gruenebaum; GK Alex Riggs; DOUBTFUL: MF Bernardo Anor; PROBABLE: MF Rich Balchan; DF Shaun Francis; FW Jeff Cunningham
Toronto FC – OUT: MF Elbekay Bouchiba; DF Adrian Cann; DF Dicoy Williams; DOUBTFUL: DF Demitrius Omphroy; QUESTIONABLE: DF Dasan Robinson; FW Danny Koevermans
In other Crew news, three Columbus players made senior international appearances for their countries during the break. Midfielder Emmanuel Ekpo made his senior national team debut for Nigeria in a friendly match against Argentina. He came off the bench for the last 20 minutes. Ekpo and the Super Eagles lost, 3-1. Defender Julius James played the full 90 for Trinidad and Tobago in a 1-0 win over Bermuda and in a 2-0 victory over Barbados in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. Midfielder Robbie Rogers made two appearances for the USMNT, starting against both Costa Rica and Belgium.