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Toronto FC to face Columbus Crew in Eastern Conference final

Dust off the Trillium Cup.

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at Toronto FC Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

It’s a familiar foe next for Toronto FC.

The Reds will face the Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference final following the international break. Both Toronto and Columbus lost on Sunday, but had done enough in the first leg to progress.

Gregg Berhalter’s Crew were defeated 2-0 by New York City FC but had won 4-1 at home, while Toronto lost 1-0 to the New York Red Bulls but advanced on away goals having been 2-1 victors in New Jersey.

Columbus will host the first leg on Tuesday, November 21 at 8 p.m. ET before making the trip to Canada on Wednesday, November or 29 at 7.30 p.m. ET.

Those matches will be the fourth and fifth meetings between the two clubs this year. Columbus won the first, 2-1, at Mapfre Stadium before Toronto took another game in Ohio by the same scoreline. The Reds then won the season series - and the Trillium Cup - by registering a 5-0 thrashing at BMO Field.

That was back in May. The Crew have improved considerably since then and were unbeaten in 12 games stretching back to August 5 before losing to NYCFC. They have won nine and drawn one of their past 10 games at home.

Berhalter is attempting to mastermind an MLS Cup run with the club in a state of turmoil off the pitch. Its owner, Anthony Precourt, announced in October that he is considering moving the team to Austin, Texas in 2019.

Precourt told ESPN that there would need to be a “dramatic change” in his confidence of the Crew’s place in the Columbus market for him to consider building a new stadium in the city instead.

But if the insecurity had any effect on the Crew players they have done a very good job of hiding it. Columbus recorded an impressive win on penalties over Atlanta United before seeing off New York City.