PREVIEW – The first of two games between the two Trillium Cup rivals will start on Saturday, March 11. So far, Columbus has the better record with one win and one loss. However, it is important to consider that Toronto FC has not played a home game yet.
Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew SC Trillium Cup Derby Predictions on Saturday
Toronto FC earned a big draw against Atlanta United FC last Saturday. It was TFC’s first earned point this year and Sean Johnson was the player of the game making five big saves for the team. The defence also played hard and Federico Bernardeschi and Richie Laryea both gave a fantastic performance in Atlanta.
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) March 5, 2023
This is what Bernardeschi said about the draw against Atlanta according to Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun:
“Back on track!” wrote Bernardeschi, who scored TFC’s lone goal in the match, a superb left-foot blast from just outside the box in the 52-minute. “One important point at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But there is still a long road ahead before we achieve what we want.”
Bernadeschi was one of TFC’s best players against Atlanta as he has the ability to create possession in the opposing team’s zone. This ability gives defences some breaks, which they desperately needed in the game last week.
Some big news for TFC fans as Lorenzo Insigne could be playing in Toronto FC’s home opener against their Trillium Cup rivals as mentioned in Steve Buffery’s article in the Toronto Sun. He is back in training with TFC and it is all positive right now.
In what seemed like a serious injury, Insigne left the game against D.C. United in a 3-2 loss. Fortunately, the injury was not serious and he will be ready to play sooner rather than later.
Columbus Crew SC
— The Crew (@ColumbusCrew) March 6, 2023
Columbus Crew SC was able to win their home opener at Lower.com Field as Lucas Zelayan scored two goals against D.C. United. TFC fans might recognize the current Crew head coach, who coached CF Montreal to the third-best record in MLS last year, Wilfried Nancy. This is what Nancy said about the game against Washington D.C. in Bailey Johnson’s The Columbus Dispatch article:
“Yes, we won, but I would have preferred to have better control of the game at certain moments,” Nancy said. “This is something that we have to be a little bit better. The emotional control for me is really important. Today, we rushed the play when it was the moment to keep, to manipulate a little bit more the opposition, to disjoint a bit the line.
In the same article, Zelayan had similar sentiments to what his head coach said:
“We were excited to play. We have to manage that emotion, especially at home,” Zelarayan said. “With our people, we want to run and score. Sometimes, it’s difficult to manage that, but we have to keep working on that and try to be patient, keep more of the ball, play side-to-side to find the spaces.”
This emotional control will be put to a big test as this is a rivalry between two MLS sides that has existed since 2008.
With the 17 Trillium Cups, the Columbus Crew SC has won eight of them and Toronto FC has won seven of them. Columbus won the Trillium Cup last year in a dominant fashion, as they won both at home and on the road 2-1.
There were also other special moments between these two teams. They faced each other in the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals, where the Crew lost. Columbus was able to redeem themselves though in the 2018 Toronto FC season home opener and MLS Cup Championship parade when Columbus won on the road.
The last time TFC won against the Crew was a 2-0 win at Exploria Stadium on May 12, 2021. TFC would end up winning the Trillium Cup that year, despite losing to Columbus 2-1 a few weeks later.
Predictions on the Toronto FC vs Columbus Crew SC Game
Toronto FC 4 – Columbus Crew SC 3
READ MORE: 2023 Toronto FC Season: Cautious Optimism
If Lorenzo Insigne does in fact play in this game, TFC has a good chance to win this game. It is no guarantee though as Columbus is a good team that is not satisfied with their win last week. It will be interesting to see who comes out on top. The second game between the two teams will be on August 26, 2023, at Lower.com Field.
Toronto FC’s home opener will be on Saturday, March 11 at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will take place at BMO Field, and it will be shown live on Apple TV – MLS Season Pass.
Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports on September 30, 2022, of Lorenzo Insigne’s Headshot.
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