Sports Toronto FC rivalry with Columbus Crew has history

04:35  15 november  2017
04:35  15 november  2017 Source:   thestar.com

Toronto FC loses but still advances

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Columbus Crew midfielder Artur tangles with Toronto FC midfielder Armando Cooper during a match in April. Until now, that is: while the cup is no longer up for grabs, the rivalry between Toronto and the Crew , who square off in a two-leg Eastern Conference starting next Tuesday, has peaked.

After the best season in MLS history , Toronto FC opens the 2018 MLS season against their foe in last year's Eastern Conference Finals, the Columbus Crew .

Columbus Crew midfielder Artur tangles with Toronto FC midfielder Armando Cooper during a match in April. TFC won the season series, but now the Crew get a rematch in the playoffs.© Fred Squillante Columbus Crew midfielder Artur tangles with Toronto FC midfielder Armando Cooper during a match in April. TFC won the season series, but now the Crew get a rematch in the playoffs.

Toronto FC may be vying for its third major trophy of the season, but an MLS Cup win next month would actually be the fourth piece of silverware the Reds accrued this season.

A month before Toronto lifted the Voyageurs Cup for winning the Canadian championship, and six months before securing the Supporters’ Shield for Major League Soccer’s best regular-season record, the Reds won the Trillium Cup, after coming away victorious in two of their three league matches against the Columbus Crew.

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The Crew have not allowed a goal in their last 495 minutes of play in MLS, a franchise record and the eighth-longest streak in league history . Season Stats. Columbus Crew SC Toronto FC .

Columbus Crew Soccer Club is an American professional soccer club based in Columbus , Ohio. The Crew competes in Major League Soccer (MLS)

The Coles Notes version of the supposed rivalry goes as follows: born it 2008, before either the Vancouver Whitecaps or the Montreal Impact joined the league, it developed from the franchises’ relative proximity, their respective homes the Great Lakes and their connection to the trillium — the official flower of Ontario and the official wildflower of Ohio. Columbus has won the season series, and therefore the cup, six times. Toronto’s first win came in 2011, and the Reds have been victories in three of the last four years.

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Even in the years the Trillium Cup was the only trophy either team earned, it never fell high on the priority list. Until now, that is: while the cup is no longer up for grabs, the rivalry between Toronto and the Crew, who square off in a two-leg Eastern Conference starting next Tuesday, has peaked.

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COLUMBUS , Ohio -- Toronto FC had neither beaten the rival Columbus Crew , nor captured the Trillium Cup, in three previous seasons. All that changed Saturday

The Crew have not allowed a goal in their last 495 minutes of play in MLS, a franchise record and the eighth-longest streak in league history . All-Time Series. Overall: Columbus Crew SC 14 wins, 47 goals … Toronto FC 8 wins, 23 goals …

“It’s the first time that this game has really, really meant something,” Columbus defender and former Reds player Josh Williams said earlier this week. “This one has much more implications.”

Toronto couldn’t agree more. For defender Justin Morrow, an Ohio native himself, the history between the two teams hasn’t been there during their regular season meetings. But that changes in their first playoff meeting.

“I think a lot of guys who are new to this club in the past four years, we really built and new team here and I don’t think a lot of guys have that Trillium Cup history,” he said. “For us, it’s more about being in the moment, in the week and so when you’re preparing for Columbus the week of the game, yeah, the Trillium (rivarly) is on the line.”

Coach Greg Vanney isn’t sure the post-season head-to-head will lend to a bigger rivalry: whether or not the Crew sticks around in Columbus long-term remains to be seen, with rumours of a move to Austin flying.

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Columbus Crew and Toronto FC have competed for the Trillium Cup since 2008. Although a manufactured rivalry , albeit linked by the fact that the official ^ " Toronto FC – our brief history and bright future". mlsnet.com. Archived from the original on November 12, 2006. Retrieved March 8, 2009.

Columbus Crew 's history . Columbus Crew 's rivalries . DC United is the Crew 's oldest rival , having knocked the Crew out of playoffs three times in a row (1997-1999). Columbus Crew also plays for The Trillium Cup against Toronto FC , who have won just twice since the traveling trophy

“I think the situation is there’s two good teams, two very tactical teams, with different strengths, in some ways. I think it’s going to make for an interesting series with a lot of different variations in terms of the soccer. In that way it makes it exciting,” he said.

Looking back, Vanney said, more organic duels have developed across the league since the Trillium Cup foes were pitted against one another. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for added competition.

“I think when this rivalry was sort of stemmed, I think that was before there was a few other rivalries that came into play so I think in that way it’s probably lost a touch of steam,” he said. “But it’s irrelevant at this point because we’re all playing to get to the MLS Cup and so any game is a rivalry game now, at this point in time.”

That rivalry will likely be mirrored in the stands, with about 1,000 Toronto FC fans expected to travel to Mapfre Stadium in Columbus for the first, away leg on Tuesday. The stadium, with a capacity of about 20,000, is expected to sell out by game time, meaning even TFC defender Nick Hagglund, another Ohio-born Red, is struggling to find tickets for all his loved ones.

“There’s been a couple of games where we’ve gone to Columbus and it feels like a home game, we have so many fans there,” Hagglund said.

Whether those fans will get to see Jozy Altidore on the field is up in the air. Toronto is still waiting for an independent review board to come to a decision on the club’s appeal of the red card the striker was issued in the conference semifinal against the New York Red Bulls.

For now, Vanney said Altidore’s training as if he will be involved come Tuesday — as are all the Reds’ strikers.

“I really suspect that in the next day or so that we’ll get some indication of where they’re at.”

By the numbers: How Toronto FC fares without Giovinco, Altidore .
Toronto FC will be in tough without Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore on Tuesday, but history shows that the Reds can still generate offence without their top two scorers.However, the Reds will be without their top two scorers as Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore, who have accounted for nearly 42 per cent of TFC’s offence this season, will both miss the first half of the tie due to suspension.

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