The Headliner: A Good Test
Toronto FC could go a long way towards winning their second silverware of the season tonight when they take on the Columbus Crew at Mapfre Stadium. Sure, the Trillium Cup is definitely the least compelling trophy the club can win in a year, with the exception of one awarded in preseason, but it means something nonetheless.
After beating the worst team in the East on Saturday, the Chicago Fire, Toronto will get a chance to take down the ninth place team tonight when they face the Columbus Crew at MAPFRE Stadium. This is the first of two meetings Toronto has in the next four games, and their lone visit to Ohio this season.
With that in mind, tonight will still be a big test for Toronto FC regardless of where the Crew are in the standings. For one, the road hasn't necessarily been kind to Toronto this year, even if they have been fairly good away from home.
But the Crew will also be desperate to get all three points in what they themselves will see as a winnable game, and try to put the disaster that was the first half of their season behind them. They need all the points they can get, especially on home field.
The Crew have not won in their last five MLS matches, and Toronto FC will certainly not want to be the opponent that makes them hot again, especially when they play again in a few weeks.
Key to the Game: The Other Kamara
Toronto FC may be meeting a cold Columbus Crew team today, but the Crew still have one of the hottest strikers in the league. By virtue of the Crew system, the striker is always going to be dangerous, but Ola Kamara has taken over for Kei Kamara in a big way.
The Norwegian striker has seven goals in his last six matches, and will be looking to add to that tally tonight. The easiest way for Toronto FC to shut him down will be to cut off his service. Ethan Finlay and Justin Meram are two dangerous playmakers on the wings, and Toronto will have to be mindful of their abilities.
It is also up to Drew Moor and Eriq Zavaleta to keep the striker in check as well. Not losing him in the box will be especially important when it comes to making sure he doesn't cause any damage.
Toronto FC: Bono; Zavaleta, Moor, Williams; Bloom, Delgado, Cheyrou, Osorio, Morrow; Hamilton, Babouli
Subs: Roberts, Endoh, Hagglund, Chapman, Beitashour.
Columbus Crew: Clark; Afful, Parkhurst, Wahl, Ashe; Trapp, Tchani; Meram, Duka, Finlay; Kamara