2017 MLS Canadian teams playoffs results
|November 29||Columbus @ Toronto||TBD||TBD|
|November 21||Toronto @ Columbus||TBD||TBD|
|November 5||New York Red Bulls @ Toronto||NY Red Bulls||1-0|
|November 2||Vancouver @ Seattle||Seattle||2-0|
|October 30||Toronto @ New York Red Bulls||Toronto||2-1|
|October 29||Seattle @ Vancouver||Tie||0-0|
|October 25||San Jose @ Vancouver||Vancouver||5-0|
Toronto FC might feel like the team has an arm or two tied behind their back in the opening leg of the 2017 MLS East final in Columbus.
Jozy Altidore received a red card for an infraction off the field that, according to the Toronto FC people, was based on an incident where New York Red Bulls captain Sacha Kljestan wasn't supposed to be. Toronto FC appealed the decision and lost.
"The burden of proof for us was to unequivocally prove that what we think and what we understand to have happened did happen," said Toronto coach Greg Vanney. "We weren't able to do that conclusively with the video because there's still little gaps in the video."
I'm definitely not the biggest fan of this sport but from a casual fan standpoint, the whole incident is bizarre. An official follows the players up the tunnel in case something happens. Kliestan had knocked down Altidore on the field. Kliestan may or may not have been in the wrong place. The Red Bulls behaviour was absolutely shameful to any organised sport, and there doesn't seem to be any pushback to their actions.
The hope is that Toronto FC can recover from these actions, but the impression is that if the Red Bulls had come to play soccer that afternoon in Toronto, both Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco would be playing in Columbus tonight.
Giovinco, who has half of the 2 Toronto FC goals so far in the 2017 MLS playoffs, got a second yellow card on November 5 and will not play in the game in Columbus.
Tosaint Ricketts and Victor Vazquez, who has the other Reds 2017 playoff goal, will be key people to step up for Toronto FC.
Columbus has played inspired soccer to this point, getting past a hot Atlanta United in the knockout round and a strong NYC FC team in the East semifinal. The team and fans are also rallying behind since the Crew's owner has threatened to move the team to Austin, TX.
The teams haven't played since May 26. The Reds went 1-1 in the Ohio capital with a convincing 5-0 win at BMO Field on May 26. In that large home shutout, the Reds were without Giovinco (injury) and Altidore (suspension).
Toronto FC-Columbus times and networks
|Date||Site||Time||U.S. TV||Cdn TV|
|November 21||@ Columbus||8 pm||ESPN||TSN, TVAS|
|November 29||@ Toronto||7:20 pm||FS1||TSN, TVAS|
The Trillium Cup is an extension of the rivalry between the Reds and the Crew. The teams compete for the Cup based on goals scored in the regular MLS games between the squads. The trillium is the official flower of Ontario and the official wildflower of Ohio.
Columbus dominated the rivalry early on since 2008 while Toronto FC has won the Cup 3 of the last 4 seasons.
This time, the teams are competing for the right to play for a more impressive Cup.
If Toronto FC pulls off the win, the Reds would host either the Houston Dynamo or the Seattle Sounders. The Reds would host the 2017 MLS Cup for having a better record. The winner of the Supporters Shield is the team with the most points in the whole league.
Twitter capture: @torontofc