It’s not just college basketball teams playing for trophies at this time of year – the Crew is too. (Sort of). On Saturday night, Columbus travels up north to face Toronto FC in the first match of this season’s Trillium Cup. 

Three Things to Know 

3 – As we approach the Crew’s third game of the season, supporters are starting to get a better understanding of the way head coach Wilfried Nancy wants to play. In the 2-0 win against D.C. United, the attack was dangerous and multifaceted, while the backline remained stout and earned a clean sheet. After the match, Nancy said he was pleased with his team’s performance and the three points, but he wanted to see his side pick and choose the best moments to attack. Meaning, counter attacks are great, but sometimes it makes more sense to maintain possession, recycle the ball and build an attack.

2 – Lucas Zelarayán looked just as dangerous as last year this past Saturday night when he produced a brace against D.C. United. His performance led to a standing ovation inside Field – and MLS Player of the Matchday recognition by media around the league. Both of his goals were high quality and reiterate the Armenia international is in for a big season. In 2022, Zelarayán finished with 10 goals and 12 assists. He’s off to a strong start in 2023…

1 – Toronto FC is off to a frustrating opening to the new campaign. The Reds have one point from their first two matches, and notably lost, 3-2, in their season opener against D.C. United – despite leading, 2-1, entering the 90th minute. Certainly, their star-packed roster means Toronto can be a dangerous opposition, but the home side enters this match with injury concerns to its frontline. Designated Player Lorenzo Insigne is recovering from a lower leg injury, while Ayo Akinola and Adama Diomande have suffered hamstring injuries. 

The Last Time They Met

The Black & Gold are the reigning Trillium Cup winners after beating TFC twice in 2022. The last matchup was a 2-1 Crew win at BMO Field on June 29, when Sean Zawadzki and Darlington Nagbe were on the scoresheet for Columbus. Fun fact: Zawadzki’s goal was his first in MLS – and also the only shot he’s taken through seven league appearances across two seasons. 

Match Overview

Who: Columbus Crew at Toronto FC

When: Saturday, Mar. 11 at 7:30 p.m.

Where: BMO Field

How to Listen: 97.1 HD3/The Fan Stream, La Mega 103.1 FM

Current Standings: Columbus Crew – Ninth in Eastern Conference; Toronto FC – 11th in Eastern Conference

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