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Toronto hopes to avenge only loss vs. Columbus
Toronto FC has been on a tear since losing at Columbus Crew SC on April 15, tying a club record with four consecutive wins.
Toronto (5-1-4) returns to Mapfre Stadium in Columbus on Wednesday trying to avenge the only loss of the season for the MLS points leader (19).
"We're getting some momentum," Toronto midfielder Jay Chapman said. "As you can see in this league, once you get some momentum and some wins under your belt things kind of keep going from there."
Toronto has put together its run despite an arduous schedule that has it playing for the third time in eight days.
As such, coach Greg Vanney didn't take starters Sebastian Giovinco, Victor Vazquez, Steven Beitashour and Eriq Zavaleta to Seattle last Saturday. They should be available against the Crew (5-4-1).
"Many of those guys will be called upon," Vanney said.
Even with an altered lineup, Toronto defeated Seattle 1-0 in a rematch of the 2016 MLS Cup won by the Sounders.
The win over Seattle prompted Vanney to proclaim that Toronto is the deepest team in MLS history.
"I really think so," he said. "Between the experienced guys that we have, those who start and those who are available for us, along with the young players who are hungry and eager, I think this group from top to bottom pushes each other every day to be better both individually and collectively."
Jozy Altidore scored the lone goal vs. Seattle as he did against Columbus last month when the Crew rallied for the 2-1 win behind goals by Ola Kamara and Justin Meram.
Altidore is tied for third in MLS with six goals. Giovinco has five goals while Meram has four goals to go along with four assists.
Columbus ended a two-game losing streak with a thorough 2-0 win vs. New England on Saturday in the second of a three-game homestand.
Crew SC coach Gregg Berhalter, who will not be on the sideline because he was ejected Saturday for disputing a call, knows his team must match Toronto's confidence level.
"They had a good result at Seattle," he said. "They were able to rest some players and they are going to come in here fired up. I think games against Toronto are extremely difficult, extremely hard games and I expect it will be no different in this case."
Updated May 9, 2017