The Reds are back on the road as they take on Eastern Conference leaders Columbus Crew SC. Here are the Benjamin Moore three keys to the match.
High Pressure, Force Mistakes
Columbus is off to a fast start in 2017, and if TFC are to take anything away from this road fixture, they’ll need to make the home side uncomfortable.
Crew SC are a side that loves to have the ball with crafty players such as Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay, and Federico Higuain pulling the strings. The Reds will have to cut off service to those dangerous players by not allowing Columbus to play out of the back.
Toronto managed this brilliantly against Atlanta United FC last week at BMO Field, with Justin Morrow’s equalizing goal being a prime example of how effective said strategy can be. By not allowing Atlanta out of their own end, TFC eventually forced a mistake, and quickly converted that turnover into a goal seconds later. They’ll need more of that come Saturday night.
It Starts with Seba
After some good looks in the first few weeks of the season, Sebastian Giovinco got back to his goal-scoring ways last week to notch his first of the season. The Atomic Ant had his most effective match of the season, running at defenders and causing havoc for the Atlanta defense.
Toronto will need to get Seba on the ball with more regularity going forward much like they did last weekend, as Giovinco managed seven shots on goal—the Italian only had eight total for the season going into last weekend’s matchup.
Despite having the better of the play for nearly the entire 90 minutes against Atlanta, two mismanaged moments saw the visitors bag their two goals on the night. The Reds will have to shore things up at the back and ensure that the back three move together as a unit.
It’s unlikely that Columbus will try to employ the same long-ball tactics that TFC saw last weekend, but the likes of Ola Kamara will be difficult to deal with in the box, and switching off for even a moment could put Toronto in a hole.