Last year's MLS Cup finalist Columbus Crew are no more. Kei Kamara is in New England. Tony Tchani went from great to ... well, Tony Tchani. Wil Trapp hasn't been good. Higuain hasn't been great either. Ethan Finlay is coming back to earth (and will still never play for Canada).
Cue a visit to BMO field. In years past, this fixture would be an opportunity for the Crew to try and turn things around. The Reds are a team reborn, though. The defense is vastly improved, despite the disappointment of points dropped in the past two games.
The Crew aren't exactly lighting things up, and getting rid of Kamara hasn't been a cure-all for their woes. They managed a draw against league leaders Colorado, and before that had a wild 4-4 draw with Montreal that pushed the Kamara/Higuain feud over the top. To this point in the season, only Chicago are worse in terms of points and points per game. Without Kamara, goals will continue to be hard to come by for the Crew.
Sounds familiar, doesn't it? Sure, Giovinco is pretty easily the best player in MLS, but he can't (continue) to carry the team. Without Jozy Altidore, the attack feels pretty toothless at times. This week, I think the Michael Parkhurst and Tyson Wahl centre back pairing favours Giovinco, but we do need to get someone in the final third who is over 5'6".
Some reports suggest that Osorio will be fit and ready to play from the start in this one, which is good. Unfortunately, Jay Chapman played like a youngster against NYCFC, passing off instead of shooting in two good opportunities. Osorio will provide a little more on both sides of the ball. Expect Damien Perquis to rotate back in, though Williams was excellent against New York and may retain his spot. Babouli gets the start due to the complete lack of other options.
The Crew are a bit of a wounded animal and shouldn't be taken lightly. The other side of that coin is that Toronto needs to get another win at home before we go back on the road. With TFC's defense on the right side of the goal-difference column (barely), and Columbus decidedly lacking the right kind of Kamara, TFC should come away with a result. Prediction: 2-0 to the Reds.
*NOTE* The Game has been moved from 7pm kickoff to 5pm. You can catch it on SN360, or catch the game at BMO Field.