Match Preview: Crew vs. Toronto FC

Toronto visit Crew for rescheduled Aug. 11 match

COLUMBUS CREW vs TORONTO FC
COLUMBUS CREW STADIUM, Columbus, Ohio
August 22, 2012 (WEEK 25, MLS Game #216)
7:30 pm ET (FS-OH; GolTV Can)

The Columbus Crew and Toronto FC will meet in their match rescheduled from 11 days ago when the clubs face off in the second installment of the Trillium Cup this season on Wednesday at Crew Stadium. The Crew come off a two-draw week last week, returning home off a 2-2 tie in Houston on Sunday. Toronto FC saw their winless run extended to four games at the weekend in a 1-0 home loss to Sporting Kansas City.

REFEREE: Sorin Stoica. AR1 (bench): Jason Cullum; AR2 (opposite): Kevin Kilinger; 4th: Hilario Grajeda
MLS Career: 5 games; FC/gm: 24.8; Y/gm: 3.8; R: 0; pens: 4

DOWNLOAD FULL GAME GUIDE HERE (PDF)

INJURY REPORT:

  • COLUMBUS CREW -- OUT: FW Tommy Heinemann (L knee surgery); GK William Hesmer (R hip surgery); MF Bernardo Anor (L knee ACL tear); DOUBTFUL: DF Rich Balchan (sports hernia rehab); QUESTIONABLE: MF Danny O'Rourke (L ankle sprain); DF Nenamja Vukovic (L ankle sprain)
  • TORONTO FC – OUT: GK Stefan Frei (L lower leg); FW Danny Koevermans (L knee ACL tear); DF Matt Stinson (R quadriceps strain); DF Jeremy Hall (L ankle sprain); MF Reggie Lambe (R knee MCL sprain)

INTERNATIONAL ABSENCES: none
SUSPENDED: none
WARNINGS:

  • SUSPENDED NEXT YELLOW CARD: TOR: Torsten Frings
  • SUSPENDED AFTER TWO YELLOW CARDS: CLB: Bernardo Anor, Chris Birchall, Tony Tchani, Sebastian Miranda, Dilly Duka … TOR: Richard Eckersley, Ryan Johnson, Reggie Lambe, Terry Dunfield, Ashtone Morgan, Doneil Henry, Eric Hassli

HEAD-TO-HEAD
ALL-TIME (14 meetings): Crew 6 wins, 22 goals … Toronto FC 1 wins, 15 goals … Ties 7
AT COLUMBUS (7 meetings): Crew 4 wins, 14 goals … Toronto FC 1 win, 9 goals … Ties 2
FUTURE MATCH: 10/28: Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC, 4 p.m. (TSN2/RDS2)
• The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Bernardo Anor’s goal gave the Crew a 1-0 victory March 31 at BMO Field.
• In 14 all-time meetings between the teams, Toronto FC have won just once -- a 4-2 win last Sept. 10 at Columbus Crew Stadium, snapping a 12-game winless run vs. Columbus.
• The Crew have never lost at BMO Field. The teams had played to five successive draws in Toronto before the first meeting this season.
• Coaches record: Paul Mariner vs. CLB: first game … Robert Warzycha vs. TOR: P8 W3 L1 D4

LAST MEETING (MLS)
3/31: CLB 1, TOR 0 (Anor 56)
• The Crew nearly took the lead just before halftime, when TFC center back Ty Harden was ruled to have fouled Olman Vargas near the end line in the 42nd minute. Milovan Mirosevic stepped up to take the spot kick, driving a shot low and to the left, but goalkeeper Milos Kocic dove to deflect it for a corner kick.
• Still, Columbus took the lead in the 56th minute when Bernardo Anor hammered home a shot from the center of the box after TFC couldn't clear their lines. Anor charged through the midfield and into the box after a turnover by Julian de Guzman. Defender Logan Emory attempted to clear the ball, but it deflected back to Anor, who drove a shot past Kocic.
• TORONTO FC (4-2-3-1): Milos Kocic - Richard Eckersley, Ty Harden, Logan Emory, Ashtone Morgan - Terry Dunfield (Eric Avila 61), Julian de Guzman (Junior Burgos 84) - Nick Soolsma (Luis Silva 46), Ryan Johnson, Joao Plata - Danny Koevermans.
• COLUMBUS CREW (4-1-3-2): Andy Gruenebaum - Sebastian Miranda (Josh Williams 79), Chad Marshall, Eric Gehrig, Shaun Francis - Kirk Urso - Eddie Gaven, Milovan Mirosevic, Bernardo Anor (Ethan Finlay 85) - Emilio Renteria (Aaron Schoenfeld 80), Olman Vargas.

COLUMBUS CREW
The Columbus Crew made it two draws from as many matches during the week, pegged back to a 2-2 result by the Houston Dynamo on Sunday evening at BBVA Compass Stadium. The Crew sit in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with 30 points from 22 games.

LAST MATCH

• The Dynamo took the lead in the 19th minute. Boniek Garcia found space down the right side and squared the ball into a streaking Brad Davis, who capped off a strong run with a scintillating blast from the top of the area.
• But the Crew pulled even in the 33rd minute. Dilly Duka found plenty of space down the right after playing a give-and-go with Eddie Gaven, and then cut the ball back to find the onrushing Cole Grossman, who curled it home first time for his first MLS goal.
• The visitors then moved ahead in the 61st minute. Jairo Arrieta and Federico Higuaín combined in midfield for a well-crafted layoff and ball over the top to send Gaven through on goal, where he made no mistake with the finish.
• Yet the Dynamo hit for the level eight minutes from the end. After Danny O’Rourke cleared a cross out of the box, Adam Moffat set up on his left foot and blasted a shot at Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, who failed to hold it properly and watched it trickle over his own line.
• Crew head coach Robert Warzycha made one change to the team that reached a 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy at Crew Stadium. Justin Meram came back into the team in place of Milovan Mirosevic.
• COLUMBUS CREW (4-2-3-1): Andy Gruenebaum - Sebastian Miranda, Carlos Mendes, Chad Marshall, Josh Williams - Cole Grossman (Danny O'Rourke 80), Chris Birchall - Justin Meram (Federico Higuain 46), Eddie Gaven, Dilly Duka (Ethan Finlay 75) - Jairo Arrieta.

TEAM NEWS
• The Crew started a stretch of three weeks with two games per week with a pair of draws. The sequence continues with home matches vs. Toronto and New England this week.

• “We are not content with a point. We felt we should have six for sure. We feel like we let these games get away from us,” said midfielder Eddie Gaven. “I also feel like we played all right at times so we can take some of the things we did well and build off that. If we keep playing with this kind of energy and spirit we will start to win more.”
• Said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha: “We are in a situation where we have to win the games. It’s too bad we lost two points today.”
• Designated Player Federico Higuain made his MLS debut, coming on as a halftime substitute. He made an immediate impact, collecting an assist on the Crew’s second goal.
• “From those 45 minutes, it’s pretty obvious he can play,” midfielder Cole Grossman said. “When you have a guy who can combine like that and has really good vision, it adds another dimension. Hopefully, we can learn to play with him and his strengths.”
• Said Higuain: “My first game went very well. I felt very comfortable on the field. Unfortunately, I was sad that we didn’t get the three points, which is what we came here for, but we are going in the right direction and this is the work that we need to do to starting getting some wins. “
• Gaven scored a goal and added an assist in the same game for the second time this season (also May 26 vs. Chicago). In the four games where Gaven has scored a goal, he’s been involved in multiple goals in three (scoring a pair April 21 vs. Houston).
• Grossman scored the first goal of his MLS career, in his ninth career league appearance. It was his second goal as a professional – his first came in a U.S. Open Cup loss to the Richmond Kickers last year.
• “Cole played great for us. He was all over the field tonight. He’s been playing great ever since he’s been in there to be honest with you,” said Gaven. “For him to get his first goal, I’m sure it means the world to him and it was huge for us to be able to go into half with the game 1-1. Definitely very happy for him and hopefully he keeps on playing well for us.”

TORONTO FC
Toronto FC saw their winless streak extended to four games, falling 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday evening at BMO Field. TFC are in 10th place in the Eastern Conference, with 20 points from 24 games.

LAST MATCH

• The game's lone goal came in the 83rd minute. SKC's Graham Zusi tapped a dangerous free kick into the path of Kei Kamara and his shot deflected off the defensive wall and the fingertips of goalkeeper Milos Kocic before settling in the back of the net.
• TFC head coach Paul Mariner made five changes to the team that played to a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers at BMO Field. Doneil Henry and Darren O'Dea came into the back four for Ty Harden and Adrian Cann, and Terry Dunfield, Andrew Wiedeman and Ryan Johnson also came into the side for Reggie Lambe, Aaron Maund and Eric Avila.
• TORONTO FC (4-4-2): Milos Kocic - Doneil Henry (Logan Emory 36), Darren O'Dea, Richard Eckersley, Ashtone Morgan - Luis Silva, Torsten Frings, Terry Dunfield, Andrew Wiedeman (Quincy Amarikwa 86) - Ryan Johnson, Eric Hassli.

TEAM NEWS
• Toronto FC saw their winless streak extended to four games, their longest since Paul Mariner took over as head coach and the club’s longest since losing their first nine league matches to start the season.
• “I’m looking at all sorts of stuff from my vantage point. I mean, Milos [Kocic] had made some great saves in the game, everyone wants to point the finger I suppose but you got to look at the overall 90 minutes,” said Mariner. “It was a bit of a nothing match to be perfectly frank, a bit of a stalemate and then all of a sudden they get a goal.

 

 

• Toronto FC have now allowed 10 goals in the final quarter-hour of games, third-most in MLS, behind Montréal (13) and Portland (11). It was the second consecutive match where TFC have allowed the decisive goal in the final 15 minutes, after the draw with Portland at midweek; TFC have conceded three game-tying and three game-winning goals after the 76th.
• "I'm only here four days and I'm sick to death of talking about it,” Darren O’Dea said. “ … I think you don’t need to play well in football matches, it doesn’t need to be pretty but you need to come away with something. Now we are going to fix this problem with the players and get together and stick together and get to the next one.”
• Just three days after playing for Ireland against Serbia in an international, O’Dea made his Toronto FC and MLS debut, playing the full match in central defense.
• Doneil Henry made his full Canadian debut as well, coming on at halftime of the draw with Trinidad & Tobago. But Henry was forced to come off with a knee injury before the first half was over Saturday.
• “It’s been a problem for a little while now,” Henry said. Added Mariner: “He’s not doing so good. He wasn’t himself [Saturday] … didn’t have the zip in him. I thought it was the Canadian trip at midweek, but it’s a bit more serious.”
• With the introduction of Logan Emory, Ashtone Morgan moved from left back to right back, with Emory filling in on the left.
• “It’s always disappointing. You [have to] restructure the back four in an instant  [if]the left goes down, to be fair,” said Mariner. “I thought about bringing Dicoy [Williams] on, I really did but then I thought I don’t really want to disrupt Darren and Richard [Eckersley] because I thought they did very well, they coped very well.”