The Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC game will probably mean a lot more for Columbus than Toronto. However, that is not to say that that TFC does not have anything to play for as there is a rivalry cup to win at Lower.com Field.
Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC Predictions On July 26
Columbus Crew SC (3-1-1)
Note: Their loss came in a penalty shootout loss against Minnesota United FC.
The Columbus Crew SC had a successful group stage in the Leagues Cup, including a dominant win over Club America. However, they were not able to continue that momentum into the knockout stage, where they lost to Minnesota United FC in a penalty shootout.
Ohio is pic.twitter.com/xcWOgcNZEK
— Steven Moreira (@S_MoreiraOff) August 21, 2023
All is not lost though, their win against their Ohio rivals, FC Cincinnati, with a dominant 3-0 performance is something to notice. This is especially true when considering that Cincinnati has the most points in the league right now in MLS play. This is what Aidan Morris, an American midfielder for the Columbus Crew, said about the game (source: Jaime Uribarri of MLS Soccer):
“There’s a lot of weight behind this game. It’s not a regular MLS game,” the midfielder said of the Crew’s dominant display. “For sure that was a statement, especially at 3-0. I think we know what color Ohio is, huh?”
Morris was one of the players to score for the Crew, along with former Toronto FC II and former Toronto FC III player, Jacen Russell-Rowe. Morris has four goals and four assists while Russell-Rowe has three goals and three assists for the team.
Lucas Zelarayan leads the team with ten goals, while Cucho leads the team with ten assists. TFC players should watch for these two players in Columbus.
Toronto FC (0-0-5)
This year is turning from bad to ugly for TFC. They have now lost nine games in a row and is winless in their last 12 games in all competitions. What hurts more might be losing all three games this year in all competitions to their biggest rival, CF Montreal. There are some positives though, as Terry Dunfield highlighted some of the players who played well in the second half (source: Tomas Karageorgos of Waking The Red):
“I thought Kobe [Franklin] came on and gave us a little bit of a lift. Brandon [Servania] had a nice relationship in midfield with Alonso [Coello] which allowed Oso[rio] to step out and press. I was happy with the response after halftime.”
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) August 21, 2023
Osorio also assisted in one of Federico Bernardeschi’s two goals last Sunday. Of course, Bernardeschi also scored that fantastic goal from outside the box for TFC at the time to cut the lead in half. Unfortunately, for Toronto, their defence let them down, especially in the first half. They have now lost nine straight games in all competitions. Also, in that nine-game stretch, they only scored first once, which also resulted in a loss, where the New England Revolution won 2-1.
Bernardeschi will be the centre of attention come Saturday evening. He leads the team with five goals and co-leads with Lorenzo Insigne with four assists. Also, despite Insigne missing several games this year, he is tied in second place with Deandre Kerr with three goals scored. It will also be interesting to see if Osorio can impact the game as he is a veteran and well-liked player with an important presence on the squad.
Injuries on the Team
TFC has two injuries with both center-forward, Adama Diomande, out with a leg injury since May 15, and goalkeeper, Sean Johnson, who fractured his hand on August 15. Losing Johnson hurts the team as he was signed to be the starting goalkeeper of TFC.
This is while the Columbus Crew SC will be without the services of Will Sands, as the left-back has been injured with a cruciate ligament rupture since April 24.
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) March 12, 2023
As of recently, Columbus has the better record against Toronto. The Crew has won three of the last four games. Both teams met each other at BMO Field earlier this year, which ended in a 1-1 draw with Deandre Kerr scoring for Toronto. Of course, these teams also met in the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, where TFC eliminated their Trillium Cup rivals.
Yes, the Trillium Cup is not what it used to be when the rivalry started in 2008. However, it is the only time TFC can win something for the fans this year.
When the Game Happens and Predictions
PREDICTIONS: Columbus Crew SC 3 – Toronto FC 1
Columbus is in very good form right now. There is something to be said of beating the best team in the league 3-0. Also, TFC, they have not won one road game in MLS play this year. It is going to be very difficult for them to get that result in Columbus at Lower.com Field, where besides that Montreal game, TFC has struggled to score goals. The game will kick off at 7:39 p.m. ET and the game will be shown live on Apple TV.
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports, of a Columbus Crew SC Headshot, on March 11, 2023.
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