On the heels of its thrilling 2-0 win over the Montreal Impact at Crew Stadium on Saturday (March 24), the Crew begins its quest to reclaim the Trillium Cup when it travels north of the border to face Toronto FC at BMO Field this Saturday, March 31. The Black & Gold’s First Kick 2012 victory was highlighted by goals from key offseason acquisitions Milovan Mirosevic and Olman Vargas.
Saturday’s match will kick off at 2 p.m. (ET) and be televised live regionally on FOX Sports Ohio, with Dwight Burgess and Duncan Oughton calling all the action. The game can be heard in English on News/Talk 610 WTVN and on-line at TheCrew.com, and in Spanish on La Mega 103.1, with Neil Sika and Carlos Cordova handling play-by-play responsibilities, respectively.
It will be the first of three meetings between the Crew and Toronto FC. The Reds are still looking for their first MLS point of 2012, but they have succeeded in advancing to the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals. Toronto will be playing on three days of rest, after playing Santos Laguna (Mexico) to a 1-1 draw in the first leg of the CCL semis at BMO Field on Wednesday (March 28). TFC shocked the defending MLS Cup-champion in the quarterfinals.
The Crew owns the all-time series against Toronto with a 5-1-7 record and won the Trillium Cup in its first three seasons, from 2008-10. Last season, the Black & Gold rallied to draw the Reds 1-1 in Toronto (April 23), responding with an Emilio Renteria goal after going down on a tally by Tony Tchani (now of the Crew). Toronto FC then clinched its first Trillium Cup on Sept. 10 by defeating the Crew, 4-2, at Crew Stadium.
Toronto is 0-2-0 so far this season, having opened the campaign with a 3-1 loss at Seattle on March 17 and dropping a 3-0 decision to the San Jose Earthquakes in its home opener on March 24. The Reds have suffered a few injuries, having lost starting goalkeeper Stefan Frei to a broken fibula and star player Torsten Frings who is out with a hamstring injury, but Toronto still has plenty of firepower with midfielder Julian de Guzman and forwards Danny Koevermans and Joao Plata.
Next, the Crew returns home to host the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, April 7, at 3 p.m. at Crew Stadium.
COLUMBUS CREW at Toronto FC
Saturday, March 31 – 2 p.m. (ET) – BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario
Regional Television: FOX Sports Ohio
Crew Radio: News/Talk 610 WTVN (English); La Mega 103.1 (Spanish)
Crew Webcast: TheCrew.com (English)
CREW PUB TOUR CONTINUES AT KILDARE’S IRISH PUB
The Crew continues its 2012 Pub Tour with a viewing party at Kildare’s Irish Pub (1576 N. High St.), a new establishment in South Campus Gateway, this Saturday, March 31, as the Black & Gold travels to Toronto. The match kicks off at 2 p.m. (ET) and there will be prizes and giveaways, including autographed memorabilia.
MLS RESERVE LEAGUE CONTINUES IN TORONTO
The Crew opened the 2012 MLS Reserve League with a 2-1 loss at the hands of the Montreal Impact last Saturday (March 24). Defender Aubrey Perry scored the lone Crew goal in the 89th minute of the match. The Black & Gold will continue defending its 2011 East Division title at BMO Field in Toronto, with a match that will take place immediately after the first teams play. Last year the Crew reserves defeated Toronto FC 2-1 behind goals from Andres Mendoza and Crew Soccer Academy product Chris Davis.
CREW SOCCER ACADEMY RESUMES U.S. SOCCER DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY PLAY THIS WEEKEND
The Crew Soccer Academy U-15/16s and U-17/18s return to U.S. Soccer Development Academy action this weekend, when they travel to Elmhurst, Ill., to face Sockers FC at Elmhurst College, on Saturday, March 31. The U-17/18s will kick off at 10 a.m. followed by the U-15/16s at 12:30 p.m.
CUP CREW JUNIORS GOLD AND GRAND RAPIDS CREW JUNIORS WIN DIVISION TITLES
The CUP Crew Juniors Gold U-15s and the Grand Rapids Crew Juniors U-18s won their respective U.S. Youth Soccer Association division titles over the weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. With their victories, both teams advance to the USYSA National Championships to be held in South Carolina later this summer.
KEVAN GEORGE STARTS EVERY MATCH AS TRINIDAD & TOBAGO FALLS SHORT OF QUALIFYING FOR OLYMPICS
Crew midfielder Kevan George featured prominently in all three group stage matches of the Trinidad & Tobago U-23s’ quest for Olympic qualification. George started and played every minute of every match, but the Soca Warriors fell short of qualifying for London 2012.
TICKETS FOR JASON ALDEAN SHOW AT CREW STADIUM ON SALE FRIDAY
Tickets to the August 5, Jason Aldean concert at Crew Stadium will go on sale this Friday, March 30, at 10 a.m. following an exclusive pre-sale for Crew Soccer Nation members. Fans will be able to purchase tickets at the Crew Stadium Box Office, all central Ohio Ticketmaster retail locations, via Ticketmaster phone at 1-800-745-3000 and on-line at TheCrew.com.