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Game thread: Toronto FC v Columbus Crew

Please be upstanding for the return of the always awesome two guys, one cup photo/caption combo.  Yay!
Please be upstanding for the return of the always awesome two guys, one cup photo/caption combo. Yay!
2pm E.S.T BMO Field

That's what it's all about right there. Forget the distractions of the CCL, it's time to get down to what's important, defending the Trillium Cup. Much like the whole two guys one cup photo and caption, that opening sentence is an easy gag, as it's been a long time since anyone even pretended that anyone gave a crap about the cup. The rivalry, though diluted by the presence of Montreal, is still kind of there, TFC still have too much to prove after only getting their first win last year, and still having never beaten the Crew at home.

Will this be the year that TFC finally get that monkey off their back? Given that our first MLS game against Montreal is next week, it would be a very neat way to wrap things up. Get the win, then put everything behind us and let Columbus slip away to be just another MLS club, no more annoying or worthy of attention than say Chicago, and move on via Torreon, Mexico, to Montreal and the start of a proper rivalry.

The big questions pre game revolve around the inavoidable Santos Laguna game. Will TFC finally be able to bring their CCL form to MLS play? Will it prove a distraction? Will squad rotation come into play? Given all the injuries and international absences, can it come into play? Do we really have reliable alternatives ready to play in defence and midfield? If TFC had some points in the bag already, it'd be easy for me to call for as much of a B team as possible and damn the result, but with two defeats and 6 goals conceded already, this one is also important.

For a detailed breakdown of what challenges the Crew will bring, formation and tactics wise, click here for Know your enemy from James, or here for How you doin'? with Patrick Guldan of Massive Report answering my questions.

We'll be here with team news as soon as it gets handed out to Dave in the press box, and of course commenting throughout the game. Join us, it's time to move on.

Come on you Reds!