By Brad Friedman
Saturday night’s match at MAPFRE Stadium was a shootout, and both Columbus Crew SC and Toronto FC came out with guns blazing.
The two sides combined for six goals, the most in any Crew SC match this season. It was Jozy Altidore’s 89th-minute penalty kick that completed Toronto FC’s second-half comeback and ended the match in a 3-3 draw.
Here, we break the Eastern Conference clash down by the numbers.
Six different players scored on Saturday night and four of them were the usual suspects. Kei Kamara and Ethan Finlay make up the most threatening offensive duo in MLS. Both scored and now combine for 22 goals and 17 assists. Tony Tchani also scored for the Black & Gold. Toronto's dynamic duo of Sebastian Giovinco and the aforementioned Altidore also scored one each. In between both of them, Collen Warner found the back of the net, as well. Goals 3 to 5 were scored with 10 minutes after the break. That’s enough to make your head spin. Six goals is astonishing considering neither club registered more than 14 shots and each put no more than seven shots on frame.
With Giovinco and Kamara both scoring, the League’s leading goal scorers have now combined for a whopping 28 goals (15 for Kamara, 13 for Giovinco). In addition, Finlay remains atop MLS in assists with 12 after providing a helper on Tchani’s goal.
Saturday’s match was extremely physical, and it showed with 31 called fouls. Both sides were getting chippy and the match had all of the makings of a rivalry meeting. Officials also handed out five yellow cards, two to Crew SC players (Kamara and Waylon Francis), and three to Toronto FC (Damien Perquis, Warner and Giovinco.)
Saturday night marked Wil Trapp’s 50th start with Crew SC. Though he only returned from injury five matches ago, Trapp went the full 90 for the third consecutive match.
By Brad Friedman
Did you know Columbus Crew SC’s rivalry with Toronto FC is named after a flower?
Well, you do now. The Trillium Cup, which is currently in its eighth year of existence, received its name because of the trillium flower’s significance to both teams’ regions. The three-pedaled plant is Ohio’s official wildflower and Ontario’s official flower.
Botany aside, the 20 matches since the series began, on top of the three pre-Trillium Cup meetings, have produced some wild matches and plenty of fond memories. Here, we’ll recall five of our favorites.
July 22, 2007: Schelotto’s Brace
The match remained a 0-0 draw through its opening 50 minutes, then Guiellermo Barros Schelotto made quick work. Ned Grabavoy and Frankie Hejduk combined to set up Schelotto in the 50th minute to break the tie. Six minutes later, Schelloto bent a beautiful free kick attempt over the Toronto FC wall and into the back of the net. Crew SC went on to beat Toronto again in September, finishing 2-0-1 against TFC during its first year in existence.
D.C. United– 25 pts. | 1-0 loss at Portland Timbers FC, 2-1 win vs. Philadelphia Union, this week: vs. Chicago Fire, vs. Toronto FC
After a 1-0 loss to Portland on Wednesday, D.C. United bounced back strong and snapped a three-game winless streak in a come-from-behind victory against the Philadelphia Union. An early goal from the Union’s Sebastian Le Toux was matched by D.C.’s 85th minute penalty kick from Chris Rolfe. This sealed a United victory at RFK Stadium and extended its lead in the Eastern Conference to four points.
New England Revolution – 21 pts. | 2-2 draw vs. LA Galaxy, this week: at Portland Timbers FC
In a rematch of last season’s MLS Cup Final, the New England Revolution came out of a hard-fought match with two goals and one point as they tied the LA Galaxy 2-2 in a rain-soaked match at Gillette Stadium. An offensive first half left the match tied at two goals apiece at the half, only to stay that way when the final whistle blew. Despite holding on to the majority of the possession in the second half, New England couldn’t find the back of the net for a third time.
New York Red Bulls – 17 pts. | 2-1 loss at Seattle Sounders FC, this week: at Houston Dynamo
Heartbreak struck the New York Red Bulls this weekend after a stoppage-time goal from Seattle’s Chad Barrett that sealed the deal for a 2-1 Sounders' victory. The Red Bulls started off strong with a goal in the 36th minute, as a free kick deflection gave New York's Lloyd Sam an easy sitter to finish in front of the net. But Seattle stood defiant, scoring two goals in the final 22 minutes to steal the win and take over the top spot in the Western Conference.
Toronto FC – 16 pts. | 3-1 win vs. San Jose Earthquakes, this week: at D.C. United
Toronto FC leaps into a tie for fourth place in the East thanks to a team effort offensively. Though trailing San Jose in possession and passing statistics, Toronto connected well as a team with three goals scored by three different players. Toronto extended its home win streak to two games.
Columbus Crew SC – 16 pts. | 2-2 draw at Orlando City SC, this week: at Philadelphia Union, vs. Montreal Impact
Despite conceding a late-game goal, the Black & Gold can hold their heads high after their 2-2 draw at Orlando. Tony Tchani gave the visiting squad the early go-ahead goal thanks to a cross from Hector Jimenez. It gave Tchani the opportunity to capitalize on a header from eight yards out, and that he did. After a far-post penalty shot from Kaká, the Lions leveled the match at 1-1 and resumed to play up a man. Columbus, meanwhile, held well defensively and managed to retake the lead. A counterattacking cross from Waylon Francis found the head of Kei Kamara for his 10th goal of the season. In the end, Columbus fared well despite playing down a man. A powerful low-bearing strike from Pedro Ribeiro evened the match and sent Columbus home with a hard-earned road point.
Chicago Fire – 14 pts. | 3-0 win vs. Montreal Impact, this week: at D.C. United, vs. Orlando City SC
The Chicago Fire ended a four-match winless streak over a Montreal Impact squad that played with only 10 men for a majority of the match. With possession (64.8%), shots on target (11), and crossing opportunities (22) all favoring Chicago, it would have been disappointing for the hometown team not to have reached a winning result. Despite a rain-soaked pitch, the Fire’s high-paced offense remained intact. Goals from defender Jeff Larentowicz, midfielder Harrison Shipp and forward Kennedy Igboananike continues Chicago’s potent offensive play, having scored five goals in the club’s last two matches.
Orlando City SC – 14 pts. | 2-2 draw vs. Columbus Crew SC, this week: at Chicago Fire
An 89th minute goal from Orlando City’s Pedro Ribeiro salvaged a point for the home team. A successful penalty kick from Kaká, his fourth of the season, left the game at a 1-1 tie until Kei Kamara’s 61st minute header gave the visiting squad the lead. After struggling to conjure up any threatening offensive opportunities, Ribeiro-turned-savior provided the missing link, blasting a low driven ball past Crew SC goalkeeper Steve Clark for Orlando City’s game-tying goal.
Philadelphia Union – 12 pts. | 2-1 loss at D.C. United, this week: vs. Columbus Crew SC, vs. NYC FC
The Union witnessed their two-game win streak snapped at the hands of an 85th minute penalty kick, completing a come-from-behind victory for D.C. United. Philadelphia trailed significantly in possession (39.6%) and rarely were the first to fifty-fifty balls, trailing in duels won 41-53. But the road team held it together defensively in the final third until a mishandled cross in the Union’s own box resulted in a hand ball being called. A successful penalty kick from United’s Chris Rolfe translated to D.C.’s game-winning goal.
Montreal Impact – 8 pts. | 3-0 loss at Chicago Fire, this week: vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, at Columbus Crew SC
Though only having played eight regular season games this season, after a 3-0 loss to the Chicago Fire, Montreal sits in the bottom of the East. After a second yellow card was shown to midfielder Marco Donadel, Montreal became the fifth team to play down a man against the Chicago Fire this season. In the end, Chicago’s speed gave them the possession advantage (64.8%) and the hometown team outshot Montreal by a tally of 20-3, with zero shots on target for Montreal.
NYC FC – 8 pts. | 1-1 vs. Houston Dynamo, this week: at Philadelphia Union
After trading first-half goals, New York City FC and Houston Dynamo played to a 1-1 draw at Yankee Stadium. For New York it was a David Villa penalty kick in first half stoppage-time that kept the home team afloat. However, New York City remains winless in its last 11 games, sitting tied for last in the East with only eight points in 13 regular season games played.
ANOTHER LEG OF TRILLIUM CUP PRESENTED BY SCOTTS ...
The Crew and Toronto FC battle on Saturday for the second of three meetings in 2014 to decide the Trillium Cup, presented by Scotts ... Toronto secured a 2-0 victory at Crew Stadium in April in the first match of the regular-season series ... Trillium is the provincial flower of Ontario and the state wildflower of Ohio and Scotts joined as the presenting sponsor of the award ahead of the 2013 series ... the trophy was first awarded in 2008.
... AND THE CUP IS ON THE LINE
Following Toronto FC’s 2-0 victory over the Crew on April 5, the Crew heads to Toronto in need of a result to keep its Trillium Cup chances alive in 2014 ... a victory for Toronto would capture the trophy even with an August 9 meeting still on the schedule ... the Crew has secured the Trillium Cup five times ... 2008 marked the first year
the award was up for grabs and the Crew held the trophy from 2008-2010 before a Toronto regular-season series victory gave the Reds the Cup for 2011 - Toronto’s only Trillium Cup victory ... the Crew regained the award in 2012 with three victoies over Toronto and retained it in 2013 with a 2-1-0 record against the Reds.
FIRST TRIP NORTH OF THE BORDER IN 2014, 15th OVERALL FOR CLUB
Saturday’s trip to Toronto is the Crew’s first of two trips to Canada in 2014 and 15th overall regular-season match north of the border ... although the Black & Gold fell to Toronto on July 27, 2013, the Crew has secured points in 11 of the 14 previous meetings up North and is 5-3-6 in those Canadian-hosted matches ... Columbus is 3-1-5 in nine matches at Toronto FC, has a 1-1-0 record at Vancouver and is 1-1-1 in Montreal ... additional Ohio ties to Canada include Assistant Coach Pat Onstad ... Onstad’s extensive Canadian ties are available on his bio at TheCrew.com.
BACK AT TFC & LOOKING TO RETURN TO BMO FIELD WINNING WAYS
The Crew suffered its first loss in Toronto on its last trip to BMO Field and looks to rebound in 2014 ... the Black & Gold are 3-1-5 in their first nine visits to BMO Field in Toronto dating back to 2007.
PIPA LOVES THE REDS BUT IS OUT SATURDAY
Toronto FC gets a break from Federico Higuain this weekend while the Argentine serves a one-match suspension for yellow-card accumulation ... Higuain has been lethal against Toronto and has recorded five goals and two assists in just six meetings with Toronto FC ... he recorded a two-goal performance on August 18, 2013, assisted Dominic Oduro on the game-winning goal on May 18, 2013 and the Crew playmaker recorded a brace in the final meeting between the two teams in 2012 on October 28 ... Pipa has been quite efficient against the Reds, as he’s scored all five goals on just seven shots on goal in 525 minutes.
MLSsoccer.com's Dan Haiek and Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle preview the Saturday afternoon Trillium Cup match between Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew. With Michael Bradley and Federico Higuain both missing the match, who will win the midfield? Can Toronto generate enough chances to defeat its rivals?
BACK HOME IN TEST AGAINST TORONTO
The Black & Gold return home for their second home match of 2014 after opening the season with a pair of victories away from Crew Stadium ... the Crew is looking for wins in its first two home matches to open the year for the first time since 2010 when the club went 4-0-0 at Crew Stadium to begin the campaign ... in the three years since, the Crew went 3-0-1, (2011), 1-2-1 (2012) and 1-1-2 (2013) through its first four contests at home.
TIME FOR TRILLIUM CUP
The Crew and Toronto FC battle on Saturday for the first of three meetings in 2014 to decide the Trillium Cup, presented by Scotts ... the Crew has secured the Trillium Cup five times ... 2008 marked the first year the award was up for grabs and the Crew held the trophy from 2008-2010 before a Toronto regular-season series victory gave the Reds the cup for 2011 - Toronto’s only Trillium Cup victory ... the Crew regained the award in 2012 with three victoies over Toronto and retained it in 2013 with a 2-1-0 record against the Reds ... Trillium is the provincial flower of Ontario and the state wildflower of Ohio and Scotts joined as the presenting sponsor of the award ahead of the 2013 series.
PIPA AND THE REDS
Federico Higuain has recorded five goals and two assists in just five meetings with Toronto FC ... he recorded a two-goal performance on August 18, 2013, assisted Dominic Oduro on the game-winning goal on May 18, 2013 and the Crew playmaker recorded a brace in the final meeting between the two teams in 2012 on October 28 ... Pipa has been quite efficient against the Reds, as he’s scored all five goals on just seven shots on goal in 435 minutes.
Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter, Josh Williams and Tyson Wahl share their thoughts following Wednesday's 3-1 victory over Toronto FC in Orlando.