Predicted XI: Toronto FC – Massive Report

Columbus Crew players and fans came back from last week’s tie against the San Jose Earthquakes with a bad taste in their mouths. The Black & Gold missed a clear chance to earn three points on the road after playing more than 60 minutes with a power play. Although the team played well for most of the game, poor discipline on set pieces and some questionable calls from the referee saw the crew walk away with a single point.

A week and a few mouthwashes later and that bad taste is starting to fade. The Black & Gold return to an icy pitch to host struggling Toronto FC, who have been sleepwalking through the first two weeks of the season. Columbus has a great opportunity to score three points at home, as TFC showed the team is more than capable of giving up goals in bunches.

The injury report has increased a bit since last week, as Sean Zawadzki (concussion) and Isaiah Parente (illness) join Kevin Molino (right knee), Josh Williams (left thigh) and Jake Morris (right foot) in as players unavailable for selection. However, basemen and first-choice Caleb Porter starting 11 remain healthy and available.

Here is the XI predicted by Massive Report for the 38th edition of the Trillium Cup:

There is only one change from last week’s match against the Earthquakes, as Gyasi Zardes is named up front. The United States international scored a vintage goal from Zardes against San Jose, making a nice straight run into space, somehow going unnoticed by the Earthquake defenders, and heading it home easily. Just as Porter rewarded Miguel Berry with the start last week after a scoring performance against the Vancouver Whitecaps, I expect Porter to do the same for Zardes this week.

Porter seems determined to play both Zardes and Berry without naming a definitive starting striker, and until that time comes (if that ever happens) I expect Porter to ride whoever is in best form at that time.

As noted above, despite returning to training this week (in a mostly limited capacity), Williams is out for at least one more game as he continues to recover from the quad injury he suffered. suffered during the pre-season. In this case, Miloš Degenek will once again be endorsed alongside Jonathan Mensah.

The Aussie will be looking to redeem himself against the Reds after a late and clumsy tackle in San Jose ended in a penalty awarded and converted by the Earthquakes. However, if you erase that poor tackle, Degenek has proven to be a worthy partner for Mensah as the centre-back is yet to concede a goal in open play.

That starting 11 should be enough to earn all three Black & Gold points and send Crew supporters home cold and happy.

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