The Columbus Crew can take a big step toward securing their playoff positioning when they host flailing Toronto FC on Saturday.
Coming off a thorough and emotional 3-0 win over Ohio rival and MLS leader FC Cincinnati, the Crew (11-7-6, 39 points) look to avoid a letdown against a Toronto club that has lost nine straight matches in all competitions (seven MLS, two Leagues Cup).
Crew coach Wilfried Nancy said staying focused is part of the maturation process for his players.
“If they want to reach the goals the goals they want to reach, you have to go through it,” he said. “We are facing a team that is struggling at the moment but they want to win. It’s all about us trying to be great about all the concepts we put in place.
“It’s not going to be an easy game because there are no easy games in MLS.”
The Crew are fifth in the Eastern Conference, one spot below home-field advantage.
Beating Toronto is crucial to their hopes because the Crew are 9-1-3 at home but only 2-6-3 on the road. After Saturday, they are away for six of the final nine matches.
Toronto (3-12-10, 19 points), winless in 10 MLS matches (0-7-3), saw some positives in a 3-2 loss to Montreal in its last match. Federico Bernardeschi scored twice, ending TFC’s streak of six consecutive goalless matches since the firing of Bob Bradley.
Still, the postseason aspirations are fading. The Reds are 13 points behind Montreal and Chicago for the final spot with nine matches left, one fewer than either of those teams.
Also, surging Inter Miami is one point behind Toronto.
“It’s not the season we wanted, but this is the reality,” Bernardeschi said. “We need to work, we need to keep going, all together like a team work hard. In my experience, the best solution is to work hard and stop thinking about outside, focus on the team, focus on work, and you exit the tough moment.”
—Field Level Media
Original source here
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