Columbus (6-9-5) at Toronto (2-10-8), 2 p.m. Toronto FC and the Columbus Crew renew acquaintances in the next edition of the Trillium Cup on Saturday as the clubs clash at BMO Field.
The home side enters Saturday's tilt in need of three points as the Reds are riding a six-match winless streak following last week's listless scoreless draw with the New York.
Chances were few and far between for both clubs last week as Toronto goalkeeper Joe Bendik made just one save to keep the clean sheet, while New York 'keeper Luis Robles made three saves for the shutout.
The result also extends another shocking streak for TFC as the club has not won a match at BMO Field in over year. Their last win at BMO came on July 18, 2012 when they defeated the Colorado Rapids by a 2-1 count.
Toronto does have one home win to their credit this season, but it came at Rogers Center in the second week of the season, a surprising 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City.
Additionally, Toronto FC were shut out at the attacking end for a third consecutive match. They have now gone 336 minutes without scoring a goal, the sixth-longest drought in MLS this season
"We're not going to push any panic buttons over one or two weeks," TFC head coach Ryan Nelsen said. "Unfortunately, guys who can put the ball in the net don't grow on trees. You can go out there and take a risk on certain players, but that is what has happened here in the past."
Columbus, meanwhile, stumbled to a 2-0 loss to the New England Revolution at Crew Stadium last weekend.
It was a tight match for 90 minutes between the sides, but a pair of late defensive lapses by the Crew in stoppage time cost them three points.
A minute into stoppage time, Lee Nguyen sent a corner to the back post where Jose Goncalves headed home between the legs of Crew goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum, and Three minutes later, the Crew turned it over in their own end and Nguyen slid a pass to Diego Fagundez, who then sealed the win with a firm strike from inside the area.
The setback sent the Crew to their fifth loss in their last seven matches, and their fourth defeat in 10 home games this season.
"I would say it's bad results, I wouldn't say it's bad games," said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. "If you look at the games we played most of the time we outplayed the teams that we play here. The likes of New York, maybe Colorado was the toughest game. But if you think about the other games, whether it's Montreal, or the other games, I think we played pretty good.
"We created a lot of chances before but didn't score any goals," Warzycha continued. "Obviously we had quality chances when we played in the previous formation but [in this formation] we didn't allow the opposition to create as many chances as they used to. In the game tonight they didn't create too much until they scored a goal."
In 17 all-time meetings between the sides, Columbus holds a 9-1-7 advantage, including a 1-0 victory against TFC on May 18.