Crew retain Trillium Cup with victory vs. TFC

FedericoHiguain3ColumbusCrew-TorontoFC (ColumbusCrew)

By DANIEL KARELL and KEVIN KOCZWARA

For the second straight season, the Columbus Crew have wound up with the Trillium Cup.

The annual trophy competed for by Toronto FC (4-12-8, 20 pts.) and the Crew (8-11-5, 29 pts.) stayed with the American club after Columbus beat Toronto on Saturday, with Crew forward Federico Higuain scoring a brace in a 2-0 victory at Crew Stadium. Toronto has only won the cup once in its six year history.

The win gave gave the Crew back-to-back wins for the first time this season. And it’s no coincidence that Higuain had a major part in both wins, scoring four goals in two games.

The Argentine opened the game up in the 19th minute after putting home a rebound after Bernard Añor saw his attempt on goal saved by Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik, who did well to stop Añor’s first chance. But Bendik had no chance to stop Higuain’s rebound.

Higuain, who enjoyed plenty of space and was Columbus’ creative fulcrum in the match, added an audacious chip to his growing list of Goals of the Week candidates. Bendik found himself a few steps off his goal-line when Higuain chipped the the Toronto keeper, giving the Crew a 2-0 lead. The goal was the Argentinians’ ninth of the season, tying him for the team lead with Dominic Oduro.

Columbus wouldn’t give up their lead and let Toronto get in any sort of attacking rhythm. The Reds only managed two shots on net all night.

On a positive note for Toronto, newly acquired forward Maximiliano Urruti made his debut for the Reds in the final 25 minutes of the match, but the Argentine was unable to help Toronto get on the scoresheet.

The win was Robert Warzycha’s 70th while in charge of the Crew, tying him with Tom Fitzgerald for most all-time among Columbus coaches.

The Crew moved within two points of the Chicago Fire in the Eastern Conference standings and seven points behind the Houston Dyanmo for the final playoff spot. Toronto remains in ninth place with the loss, seven points ahead of last-place D.C. United.

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9 Responses to Crew retain Trillium Cup with victory vs. TFC

  1. Gnarls says:

    Is the Trillium Cup just an MLS creation, or is there some history there?

    • Kevin Koczwara says:

      Apparently, and this took some research, Trillium is the state flower of Ohio and the official flower of the Provence of Ontario, where Toronto is located. The cup started in 2008 when the mayors of the two cities made a bet/wager on the game. That’s about it.

    • martin says:

      Every cup has a beginning.

  2. Roman Lewandowski says:

    With a name like Koczwara, you must be Polish.

  3. MLSfan says:

    Toronto has bigger rivalries with Montreal and Vancouver.

  4. KEEP says:

    Also, I think Toronto was the first team to bring fans by the thousands to away games, starting in Columbus.

  5. Nathan says:

    It’s a throw away trophy. The Trillium name was a fan choice after the MLS created the rivalry because TFC was brought into the league without a geographical or national counterpart. The MLS had a contest to name it and the lucky winner may or may not have got anything from it.

    As a Crew fan, I just like getting 3 points for once. What ticks me off is that it takes injuries and losing a realistic shot at the playoffs for Warzycha (the most predictable coach in the league) to make a tactical change. The result? Two good wins in a row and a tremendous set of braces for Higuain. I look forward to him being coached by anyone other the Warzycha next season.

  6. automata says:

    The rivalry began prior to the cup when Toronto brought down around 3,000 or so supporters their first season or two for the games in Columbus, at a time when attendance was down in Columbus, essentially took over the stadium. I was there, it definitely felt tha way. Then the FOs/League decided to “legitimize” with the cup and forced name. Honestly, it probably helped initiate the growth of the Crew’s supporters sections, not as much as the stage going in forced the diff groups to sit together, but it was definitely a wake up call. I’m alright with the Trillium Cup now because Toronto is always so bad. Usually provides a nice a lift to the team’s morale during the season once Columbus wins it.