Crew-Toronto FC Preview

Columbus Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer has recorded four

consecutive shutouts, which doesn’t bode well for a Toronto FC team

that hasn’t won a match in the series.

Hesmer looks to extend his club-record streak and help keep

visiting Columbus unbeaten against Toronto on Saturday.

Hesmer made two saves for Columbus (2-1-2) in its 1-0 win

against Kansas City last Saturday, bringing his shutout streak to

373 minutes.

“It’s a team accomplishment,” Hesmer told the league’s official

website. “Sometimes the goalkeeper’s name goes behind the shutout

column, but really – from top to back – we’re doing an amazing job

defending.

“We’re organized. We’re communicating, and for a goalkeeper this

is a dream to sit in behind a group of guys like this.”

Robbie Rogers scored his second goal, equaling his total from

2010.

“It’s great to see Robbie getting goals,” Hesmer said. “He’s the

type of guy who once he goes for one or two, he could explode for

10.”

Hesmer scored the second goal by a goalkeeper in MLS history in

the last meeting against Toronto on Oct. 16, tying the game 2-all

in the last minute to keep the Crew unbeaten in the series.

They are 5-0-6 against Toronto and can maintain possession of

the Trillium Cup, which the teams play for each meeting.

While the shutout streak has helped Columbus earn points, it has

scored only four goals this season – tied for last in the Eastern

Conference. The Crew have played to two scoreless draws, and half

their goal total came in a 2-0 win against FC Dallas on April

1.

Toronto (1-2-3) hasn’t scored in two straight games, falling 3-0

last Saturday against D.C., and multiple starters are questionable

for this matchup due to injuries.

Forward Alan Gordon, tied for the team lead with two goals,

missed his second straight match with adductor tightness, and Alen

Stevanovic suffered the same injury against United. Defender Adrian

Cann played only 12 minutes before leaving with a pectoral

contusion.

Cann’s defensive partner, Ty Harden, is suspended.

Despite a four-match winless streak (0-1-3), coach Aron Winter

said he’s seen improvement.

“We are rebuilding,” Winter said. “The way that we were training

each game we were getting better, but (last Saturday) nothing was

going the way that we want.”

Toronto has allowed four goals in the first 15 minutes of the

game and nine in the first half, both most in the league.

“Every game that you play in MLS I think the most important

moment is the first 15 to 20 minutes … and we have to use the

home advantage, especially with the fans behind us, and it’s

something we didn’t do (against D.C.),” midfielder Julian De Guzman

said.

These team have played to a draw in each of the last four

meetings in Toronto.