Underdog Crew SC play Toronto once more for berth to MLS Cup final


MLS PLAYOFFS

Columbus Crew SC vs. Toronto FC

What: Eastern Conference finals, second leg

When: Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)

Where: Toronto

Format: After a 0-0 draw in the first leg, this match will decide who plays for the MLS Cup.

About Columbus: The Crew, the East’s No. 5 seed, are clearly the underdogs. However, in this format where away goals count double, they likely won’t be shy about pressing the action. A draw — excluding a 0-0 outcome — would send Columbus on to the finals. Ola Kamara (19 goals), Justin Meram (14 goals, 8 assists) and Federico Higuain (9 goals, 16 assists) are the Crew’s main scoring threats.

About Toronto: The conference’s top seed will welcome back its big guns after they missed the first leg Forward Jozy Altidore, a standout for the U.S. national team, and Italian midfielder Sebastian Giovinco have combined for 31 goals this season. “They’re two of the best strikers in the entire league,” teammate Steven Beitashour, a fullback, told reporters. “It’s a whole different game with them involved.”

Season series: Toronto leads 2-1-1, winning 2-1 on the road May 10 and 5-0 at home May 26. Columbus won 2-1 at home April 15.

Western finals: No. 4 Houston Dynamo at No. Seattle Sounders, second leg at 9:30 p.m. Thursday (ESPN). Seattle won 2-0 in Houston in the opening leg.

— Kevin Lyttle



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