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.
PLENTY OF ONE-GOAL GAMES IN THE SERIES
The last five meetings between the Crew and Toronto FC have resulted in one-goal affairs ... the Crew is 4-1-0 in those matches and has shut-out Toronto twice in those matches ... the contests have been close, though, as the Crew has scored two goals twice in those four matches and have been held to single goals three additional times.
LOOKING FOR BACK-TO-BACK WINS
The Black & Gold will try to accomplish something they haven’t been able to do all season -- capture back-to-back victories ... although the club won the last match of the 2012 season and the first tilt of 2013, the last time the team won back-to-back contests was last season on August 29, (2-1 win) at Philadelphia and September 1, (2-1 win) against Montreal.
Federico Higuain scored two goals against New York on August 10, as the Designated Player recorded his third career brace and first since October 28, 2012 at Toronto in the 2012 season finale ... Higuain’s sixth and seventh goals this season pull the Argentine closer to the team lead for goals this year, trailing only Dominic Oduro (nine goals).
... AND THE CAPTAIN IS MONEY FROM THE SPOT
With his penalty kick goal on Saturday against New York, Federico Higuain is now 5-for-7 from the spot this year ... his five converted goals ties a single-season club record, tying Guillermo Barros Schelotto (2010, 5) and Andres Mendoza (2011, 5) ... Higuain is now third on the club’s all-time list for career penalty kick goals with six overall (five in 2013), trailing Schelotto (13), Brian McBride (11) and Jeff Cunning- ham (8) ... Higuain also set a new single-season career high in goals with seven now through 23 matches ... he scored five goals in just 13 appearances in 2012 after joining the Black & Gold halfway through the campaign.
DOWN TO TWO CLUBS THAT ARE NOT SEEING RED...
Through the first 23 matches this season, the Black & Gold have benefitted from smart soccer and a shortage of send-offs ... in fact, the Crew is one of two remaining teams in MLS this year -- joining D.C. United -- that have not been issued a red card ... last season through 23 matches, the Crew was issued just one red card: a Cole Grossman straight red in the 19th match of the season at Sporting KC on July 28, 2012.
... AND CHASING A RED CARD FAMINE RECORD
If the Crew can continue to avoid an ejection, the club could be on its way to matching a club record for fewest red cards in a season ... the record of zero ejections -- set in a 32-match season in 1999 -- has been relatively untouched in the years since ... the closest the team has come to matching the record were four seasons with two red cards (2000, 2003, 2004, 2012) ... on the flip-side of the ejection argument, the club record for most red cards in one season -- seven in 2009 -- for now seems to be safe for another campaign.
The Crew hosts Toronto FC in the third -- and deciding -- match of the 2013 Trillium Cup presented by Scotts on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET / TICKETS). Before the Black & Gold welcome their rival to the North, here is a look back at the meeting in Toronto back on July 27.
With a chance to clinch the Trillium Cup, the Crew gained an early lead from Dominic Oduro's strike from outside the box in the 17th minute. That score would hold for most of the match, but late goals from Jonathan Osorio and Andrew Wiedeman would earn Toronto FC its first win on home soil over the Black & Gold. The Reds' 2-1 victory makes Saturday's game all the more important as the Crew aims to retain the Trillium Cup.
The Crew will travel North to Toronto for the second match of the 2013 Trillium Cup presented by Scotts on Saturday (2:00 p.m. ET / FOX Sports Ohio). The Black & Gold have lost just once in nine meetings with Toronto FC, including a 1-0 win at BMO Field on May 17.
Here are the highlights from that match.
The Crew took down the Reds 1-0 at BMO Field in the 2013 Trillium Cup opener between the two Eastern Conference rivals. Federico Higuaín slotted a perfectly weighted through ball to the speedy Dominic Oduro, who then split two defenders for the game's only tally just before halftime. Oduro's goal ended a two-match scoreless drought for the Black & Gold, propelling his team to the victory.
The 2013 edition of the Trillium Cup rivalry kicks off on Saturday (5:00 P.M./FOX Sports Ohio) between the Crew and Toronto FC at BMO Field in Toronto. The Black & Gold have owned the rivalry having only been defeated once in 16 meetings since it began with the Reds' expansion into MLS in 2007 and the Trillium Cup started as a bet between the cities' mayors in 2008. The teams have had a similar number of MLS All-Stars and Best XI selections, and though the Crew's large-market competitor has had twice the number of Designated Players, the Ontario side has yet to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs while the Black & Gold have won an MLS Cup and has been to the playoffs four times in the past six seasons.
|Head-to-Head Goal Differential||+9||-9|
|Overall Record (Pct.)||84-62-52 (.555)||46-93-59 (.381)|
|MLS Supporters' Shields||2||0|
|MLS Best XI Selections||4||2|
*All stats, 2007-2013
The Crew swept Toronto FC in three matches last season, outscoring the Reds 5-2 in the process. Before the 2013 Trillium Cup series kicks off on Saturday (5:00 P.M./FOX Sports Ohio), here is a look back at the 2012 edition of the rivalry.
Bernardo Anor scored the match's lone goal as the Black & Gold topped Toronto FC 1-0. Eric Gehrig stood tall in central defense, making the start on short notice for an injured Danny O'Rourke to help the Crew to the shutout.
In his first start for the Black & Gold, Federico Higuaín provided the assist on Eddie Gaven's fourth minute tally to put the Crew ahead early before adding a goal for himself in the second half. Luis Silva scored in 72nd minute to get one back for Toronto, but it wasn't enough as the Black & Gold re-claimed the Trillium Cup.
Higuaín scored a pair of tallies to propel the Crew to a 2-1 victory at Crew Stadium to close out the 2012 season. The playmaker's penalty kick broke the deadlock in the 62nd minute to secure the three points for the Black & Gold.
It's never to late to scout the enemy.
Check out highlights from Toronto FC's 1-1 draw against Santos Laguna in CONCACAF Champions League last night: