TORONTO – Toronto FC head coach Greg Vanney would have liked a little bit more time to prepare for Saturday’s matchup against Columbus Crew SC.
Vanney’s club fell 2-0 to Columbus at BMO Field, which snapped a franchise-best four-game win streak. It was Toronto’s (15-14-4) second game in four days after clinching a playoff berth on Wednesday.
“I think they are a team that, ideally, you want a little time to prepare for just because they are very systematic in their moves and the way they move around the field,” Vanney said. “It’s ideal if you get a little time, a week, to prepare for them and make sure certain communication is clear.”
Ethan Finlay opened the scoring in the first half and Federico Higuain extended the lead in second half stoppage time as the Crew (14-11-8) clinched a berth in the MLS Cup playoffs.
Columbus forward Kei Kamara, who entered the game tied with Toronto’s Sebastian Giovinco for the Golden Boot lead as the league’s top goal-scorer, was assessed a yellow card in the 63rd minute for unsporting behaviour. Kamara and Giovinco are currently tied with 22 goals apiece, but the TFC striker holds the tiebreak with more assists (15).
Kamara’s yellow card will force him to miss Columbus’ regular season finale next weekend — all but giving the Golden Boot to Giovinco.
“I think the referee screwed me today, horrible calls, 100 of them on me,” said Kamara. “He could’ve given the cards to anybody but he gave it to me, he chose to end my season that way.”
Despite the yellow card, Kamara was quick to praise Giovinco for his play this season.
“Giovinco and I are opposites in every way, in every aspect of play, but that’s what makes this such a beautiful ending to the season because we were the only two players with this competition building.
“Hopefully he appreciates what I do because I certainly appreciate what he does.”
Higuain was able to chip a shot up and over Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik for his eighth goal of the season. Finlay put Gaston Sauro’s header past a sprawling Bendik for his 10th goal of the season in the 40th minute to give the Crew a 1-0 lead.
The Reds were unhappy with Finlay’s goal as they believed there should’ve been a foul called on the play.
“For me, Justin (Morrow) got bumped at about the exact same time he was trying to make a play on the ball, which disrupts his ability to make a play on the ball, which should be a foul,”
Toronto was without midfielder Jonathan Osorio, who was subbed out against the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday with a head injury after being hit in the ear by Herculez Gomez’s free kick. The 23-year-old Canadian is expected to be in the lineup for next Sunday’s regular season finale in Montreal against the Impact.
The news isn’t as good for defender Damian Perquis, who will be out at least a couple weeks with a hamstring pull.