Chad Barson
USA Today Sports

Black & Gold battle at BMO Field

The Black & Gold return to BMO Field in Toronto on Saturday, a venue that has proved to be very friendly to the visiting Crew. In eight trips to Toronto the Crew is unbeaten, winning three times and drawing five. Columbus’ most recent game in Toronto was a 1-0 victory on May 18, a win which marked the fourth consecutive victory for the Crew in regular-season series and the quest for the Trillium Cup presented by Scotts.

Chad Marshall, who has made six Trillium Cup appearance since its inception in 2008, said that despite the Crew’s successes at BMO Field, he and his teammates can’t take anything for granted.

“It’s not an easy place to play,” said Marshall. “They have good fans and a hostile atmosphere.

“We come together as a team there and get the results, and hopefully that’s the case this weekend.”

Chad Barson, whose MLS debut came as a late substitution in Toronto earlier this season, knows that even in just one appearance at BMO Field, despite the Crew’s success, the venue remains a tough place to play.

“It was a nerve wracking game to go into, but it was definitely exciting to play in front of their fans,” said Barson. “They have a pretty good following even though they haven’t done as well as they would have liked.”

The veteran Marshall knows that his teammates can continue to overcome the hostility, especially at this crucial point of the season.

“We need to play the way we are capable of playing,” said Marshall.

“It’s been frustrating as of late with the results, but this is an important game, so we need to go there with the right focus, mentality, and game-plan and if we execute we should be alright.”

Toronto has only scored in one of its last six matches, a 3-3 draw against Montreal on July 3 and has not scored against Columbus at home since 2011. Barson is hoping the Crew keeps that streak going as they prepare make a second-half push for the playoffs.

“Wins are very important right now,” said the Homegrown defender.

“We are in a place right now where we need to start getting results and a win this weekend would be very positive for us.”