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FT: Toronto FC 3-1 Columbus Crew—Match thread, preview & how to watch

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The biggest test of the TFC season as the Reds take on the first place Crew. Questions? Comments? Follow along and chime in with Michael Singh tonight on our live match thread.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Toronto FC
Toronto FC midfielder Alejandro Pozuelo (10) works the ball against Columbus Crew midfielder Sebastian Berhalter (18) in the first half at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field.
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Live Match Thread

FT: Toronto FC 3-1 Columbus Crew SC—Statement win for TFC.

90+1—Speaking of enormous potential, chance for 18 year old Jayden Nelson who just came on the pitch, but his touch lets him down. Golden opportunity to open his account for the Reds.

82’—Richie with a meg in the middle. His confidence is sky-high right now, and for good reason. Enormous, enormous amount of potential in the young Canadian’s boots.

76’—GOAL! Toronto FC 3-1 Columbus Crew SC. Oh my goodness, Richie Laryea just scored one of the goals of the season. Dance, Richie, dance.

70’—There’s been a different fight in this Toronto FC side this second half, but still lots of time to see out. As we’ve learned all too well, no lead is safe.

59’—GOAL! Toronto FC 2-1 Columbus Crew—POZ! It’s the MVP! Moments after hitting the post, Alejandro Pozuelo comes back with a gorgeous finish from outside the box to find the bottom right corner. Great assist by Richie as well.

54’—Chance! Pozuelo hits the woodwork! All Toronto FC since halftime.

52’—Chance! Ayo Akinola finds some space in the box, gets up on a Richie Laryea cross and manages to get away a clear header from roughly seven yards out but can’t make clean contact. That was a real opportunity for Ayo, but the Reds have been dominant since that formation change.

48’—GOAL! BANG! Toronto FC 1-1 Columbus Crew SC. JOZY! What a finish at the top of the box. Great play by Piatti to spring Laryea, who finds Pozuelo who lays it off for another one of his league-leading assist. Wow. Emphatic finish by Jozy.

46’—We’re back. Looks like Vanney slightly tweaking his side’s formation with Piatti coming to the right. I think they’re going to the 4-2-2-2 finally with Ayo and Jozy up top! If this works out, I should be the new TFC coach, right @TorontoFC?

HT: Toronto FC 0 - 1 Columbus Crew—That’s not the 45 TFC wanted. What do the Reds need to change in the second half?

40’—GOAL! Columbus 1 - 0 Toronto FC: Oh no. Chris Mavinga puts the ball into his own goal. He gets that one wrong, tracking back to defend a cross, he has to make a challenge, but elects to go at it with his wrong foot and the ball deflects into the net! Someone needs to communicate better there, no? Q? Or was that just on Mavinga flying back?

37’—Is it just me or has Piatti gone down quite a bit today? It’s not necessarily a bad thing. I feel like he’s one of the more physically-engaged players on the field today. Didn’t think I’d be saying that when he first signed with TFC following his knee injury.

34’—TFC got lucky there. Can’t give Zelarayan that space as his shot dips just over the bar. He’s their best player. Mavinga with a bad turnover to lead to the chance. He’s played well today, but he’s gotta move the ball quicker.

24’—Shoutout out to the TFC fans outside the stadium with the Danny Dichio chants... we can hear you. In Connecticut? That’s wild. UPDATE: I’m being told that’s part of the crowd noise, from The Real SK TFC Fan in our comments. Still, great add by the TSN crew then.

22’—CHANCE! Saved by Westberg! Q denies Zardes with a great save. Time to tighten up TFC...

20’—CHANCE! CLEARED OFF THE LINE! It’s the 100-cap man Chris Mavinga there to clear the Columbus chance off the line and away from danger. Great play by the Frenchman to bail his GK out who was beaten off the scrambled chance in the box.

19’—Former TFC defender Josh Williams goes through the back of Ayo Akinola. He’s lucky not to get a yellow there. Ayo seems to be managing alright on the right wing, for now. We’ll see how he progresses down that side throughout this match.

17’—Catch that Q. Sincerely, everyone.

14’—Decent start for the Reds, but you can tell this Columbus team is legit. This is going to need a 90-minute effort.

8’—The advertising around the stadium is awesome. How does this not feel like a home match for TFC?

1’—Players take a knee prior to kickoff in protest of racial injustice. And we’re off. The biggest test of the Reds’ season. Here we go.

7:37 p.m. EST—The bonus question in our prediction league is: will TFC score in the first half tonight? Well, with Ayo and Jozy in attack, the odds are probably in favour of the Reds achieving that accomplishment, but we’ll see.

7:25 p.m. EST—Former TFC GM Tim Bezbatchenko’s No. 10 Lucas Zelarayan is their most dangerous player, but don’t sleep on Columbus’ striker Gyasi Zardes either. He’s having a great season. Omar Gonzalez, Chris Mavinga, Jonathan Osorio, and Marky Delgado will be crucial tonight.

7:16 p.m. EST—Greg Vanney prematch interview. Some interesting comments in here regarding Ayo Akinola, Marky Delgado, and Alejandro Pozuelo.

6:55 p.m. EST—According to TSN, TFC expected to play a 4-2-3-1 tonight, different from their 4-3-3. That’s just how they’ll start the match. Greg Vanney has stated multiple times that the way they submit their shape doesn’t mean anything, so keep an eye on their formation when the game actually gets underway. For what it’s worth, I had them using a 4-2-2-2, with Ayo Akinola and Jozy Altidore up top. We’ll keep a close eye on how Akinola does on the right wing, if that indeed is how Vanney decides to deploy the 20 year old.

6:50 p.m. EST—Keep an eye to see if the recent birthday boy, now-18 year old Jayden Nelson gets another look tonight off the TFC bench. Good to see Liam Fraser also make the 20-player roster tonight. He’s been out for the past few nursing a minor injury.

6:35 p.m. EST—Friendly reminder to leave your predictions for this evening’s final score line in our prediction league. Tonight’s marquee matchup can honestly go either way, but TFC will certainly be in tough against a Crew team in form!

5:52 p.m. EST—After his performance last game, the biggest question may be whether or not Alex Bono or Quentin Westberg gets the start tonight. Bono has two clean sheets in as many games this season.

3:43 p.m. EST—We lacked a preview for this one and I’m buzzing for tonight, so I had to throw this one up early. Come on you Reds.


STARTING XI

Here’s how Toronto FC will lineup tonight. For what it’s worth, that’s 11-for-11 for our predicted starting xi

And the first-place Crew...


PREVIEW

TORONTO, Canada—It’s the biggest test of the 2020 Reds’ season.

Vying for a Supporters Shield, Toronto FC (7-4-2) and the MLS-leading Columbus Crew (9-3-1) square off as TFC welcome an opponent to their ‘home away from home’—Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Connecticut—for the first time this season.

It’s the only meeting of the season between these two sides, meaning up for grabs in addition to three vital points will also be this year’s Trillium Cup. Columbus, winners of five of the first six editions of the annual rivalry, have since conceded four of the last six. With a five point lead atop the MLS standings, however, they are a different-looking machine this season in comparison to year’s past and will be seeking to continue their winning ways so far in 2020.

On the injury front, Toronto FC will be without two mainstays in their starting xi: Michael Bradley (knee) and Auro Jr. (ankle). Both are in Toronto rehabbing and are expected to rejoin the Reds in East Hartford ahead of Saturday’s match vs. the second-place Philadelphia Union. Liam Fraser, meanwhile, is listed as questionable.

Here is the Columbus Crew injury report for tonight’s game, with Darlington Nagbe being their most notable omission.

  • OUT: D - Vito Wormgoor (ankle injury)
  • OUT: F - Fanendo Adi (not medically cleared)
  • OUT: M - Darlington Nagbe (not medically cleared)
  • OUT: D - Waylon Francis (not medically cleared)

WTR PREDICTED STARTING XI

Predicted Starting XI

HOW TO WATCH

Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. EST tonight and those in Canada can watch on TSN 2 or stream it across all TSN digital platforms.