Megan Scribner, ColumbusCrewSC.com
Columbus Crew SC hosts Toronto FC on Saturday for the final match of the 2018 Trillium Cup. The match kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at MAPFRE Stadium.
Last week, Crew SC traveled to face Sporting Kansas City in a hot afternoon matchup. The Black & Gold brought home a point as both defenses reigned supreme and each goalkeeper recorded three saves.
The best chance of the game was given to Crew SC when forward Gyasi Zardes was fouled inside the box by Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia resulting in a penalty kick. Zardes took the kick for Columbus, but it was saved by Melia. In first half stoppage time, midlfielder Federico Higuain was shown a straight red card after video review, leaving Columbus with a 10-man squad to close out the scoreless draw.
Toronto FC is coming off of a loss at home against FC Dallas. Toronto was shut down twice by Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez, first in the fifth minute and again on a penalty kick in the 16th minute. Dallas scored in the 15th minute leaving Toronto to fight for an equalizer for the remainder of the match but the effort was not enough to produce a goal.
In their first meeting this season, Crew SC left Toronto with three points, opening the season with a 2-0 victory over the defending MLS Cup Champions. The first goal of the match came late in the first half when midfielder Artur found midfielder Milton Valenzuela on a long cross. Valenzuela then crossed the knee-high ball onto an oncoming Higuain volley that found the back of the net. In the beginning of the second half, Zardes opened his Crew SC debut with a perfectly timed one-touch finish from midfielder Pedro Santos.
Crew SC is currently unbeaten in seven games with five consecutive shutouts. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen, who currently holds the clubs’ record for longest consecutive minutes without conceding a goal, and captain Wil Trapp will be absent as the two impact players have been called up to the U.S. Men’s National Team for two friendlies against Ireland this Saturday and against France on Saturday June 9.
The Black & Gold kicks off the 2018 U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday June 6 at MAPFRE Stadium. The matchup against the Chicago Fire begins at 7 p.m. ET. Returning to the regular season, Crew SC hosts the New York Red Bulls on Saturday June 9 at 5 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium.