The Headliner: No Points for the Needy
Toronto FC, unfortunately, has been far too kind at times this season when it comes to giving opponent's points. It has been part of the reason they have not been more convincing as a team in 2016.
They allowed the lowly Seattle Sounders, they who recently had their coach "resign", to take a point off of them at home. They have lost to Orlando City, Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes, all three who currently sit outside of the MLS playoff picture. One of whom had only nine men on the field at the time, in case you forgot.
Toronto also failed to beat their opponent today, the second worst team in the league, in their first two meetings of the season. The Crew and Toronto played to a 0-0 draw at BMO Field before drawing 1-1 in Columbus earlier this month. TFC will be eager to make sure that they Crew don't take another point off them today.
There are a couple of names that Toronto FC has to be careful of should they want to earn maximum points today. One is Ola Kamara, the hottest scorer in Major League Soccer currently. The other is noted Toronto FC killer Frederico Higuain, who could make his return to the starting lineup from injury today.
The Crew, however, have been dreadful lately. They have not won since May 28 against Real Salt Lake, and have only done so three times all season. But only three of their last 12 matches have ended in losses, meaning that while they fail to win often, they are also hard to beat outright.
Key to the Game: Continuity
Everything that Toronto FC did last game, they will want to implement as soon as possible in this game. That doesn't necessarily mean the full guns a blazing routine that Jozy Altidore, Tosaint Ricketts and Sebastian Giovinco put together at the end of the last match. But a similar start would be perfect.
An early free kick goal from Giovinco seemed to inspire Toronto FC last Saturday, even if it was quickly cancelled by a DC United goal shortly thereafter. A similar early goal is crucial today if Toronto FC wants to take control of the match.
When they do that, the rarely look back, as they still have not lost this season after scoring the first goal. That's a good sign of how important a positive start to a match can be for Toronto
Toronto FC: Bono; Beitashour, Zavaleta, Moor, Morrow; Endoh, Delgado, Osorio; Chapman; Hamilton, Giovinco.
Subs: Roberts, Williams, Bloom, Hagglund, Babouli, Ricketts, Altidore
Columbus: Clark; Francis, Wahl, Parkhurst, Afful; Tchani, Trapp; Meram, Mabwati, Higuain; Kamara
Venue: BMO Field, Toronto, Canada
Kick Off time: 7:30 PM Eastern
SB Nation Opposition Blog: Massive Report
TV: Sportsnet 360
Streaming: Sportsnet Go