Columbus, OH – Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Trillium Cup has not piqued the interest of many outside of Toronto and Columbus in recent years due to the struggles of Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew.
But both sides approach their meeting at Crew Stadium on Saturday in fine form, increasing the anticipation as they battle for local rivalry silverware.
Columbus enters the contest with an unblemished record, taking a maximum amount of nine points from its first three games.
The Crew won't attempt to fix something that is not broken, and the approach this season has been to look inward and not on the opponent. That focus will not change with Saturday's clash against TFC looming.
"It's another game," midfielder Wil Trapp told a correspondent from the Crew's official website. "Every game, we're going to come out and try to play our style. That's what we've been doing all year and focusing on ourselves and not so much the opponent."
Saturday's Trillium Cup clash will require both sides to adapt to a midweek international match. Both teams had players called up to the United States' friendly match with Mexico on Wednesday, and Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter expects defender Michael Parkhurst to shine on the heels of a fine performance against El Tri.
"Part of international soccer players is they realize that's the schedule: they play on Wednesday, play on Saturday," Berhalter explained. "There are guys all around the world doing it every week. We expect him to come back tired, but in good condition to play. "
Toronto, meanwhile, will welcome Michael Bradley back to the fold after the midfielder enjoyed a superb outing against Mexico. The former Roma player played in a more advanced role and earned rave reviews for the performance.
"Bradley looked as if he was the best player in the world," Mexico boss Miguel Herrera said.
Toronto will need Bradley to step up if the club hopes to bounce back from a disappointing defeat last time out.
The Reds began the campaign with back-to-back wins, but they were given a reality check last weekend when they suffered a 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake.
They also will be without Jermain Defoe and Steven Caldwell, giving the visitors a tough test against an in-form opponent.