Our football match prediction:
Toronto did not make a flying start to the season, but the Canadian outfit have been impressive in MLS of late. The Reds are on a four-game winning run in the league and thanks to a hard-fought victory over Seattle Sounders they climbed to top position in the Eastern Conference. Toronto are regarded as hot favourites to win Thursday’s football match against Columbus Crew and it has to be noted that they are eyeing their third away triumph of the season. Columbus Crew did well to beat New England (2-0) at the weekend, with the likes of Kamara and Higuain scoring for the team. Gregg Berhalter’s team sit in fourth position in the standings ahead of the visit of Toronto and a win over the Canadians could see them climb to first place in the Eastern Conference. The Reds have been in a thrilling form of late, but they are not regarded as good travelers and we predict that the two teams will share the spoils at MAPFRE Stadium.
Highlighted Player (Jukka Raitala):
Columbus Crew full back Jukka Raitala was born in Kerava, Finland on September 15, 1988. Raitala started his senior career at Klubi-04 and after making 22 league appearances for the club, he moved to HJK in 2007. After ending his spell with Helsinki, the Finland international signed a loan deal with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. During his spell with die Kraichgauer he appeared for the reserve team as well and in 2011 he was loaned again, this time out to Osasuna. On August 28, 2011 he made his Primera Division debut with los Rojillos playing as a left back against Atletico Madrid. Raitala played for the likes of Heerenveen, FC Vestsjaelland, Aalborg and Sogndal in the past as well he signed for Columbus Crew for the 2017 season. The Columbus defender made his Finland debut on February 4, 2009 in a friendly against Japan. It has to be noted that he represented Finland at the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in 2009.
Highlighted Team (Toronto FC):
Toronto are a club based in Canada, but they have been competing in Major League Soccer since 2007. Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment own both the soccer club and National Hockey League’s Toronto Maple Leafs. BMO Field is the club’s home ground and the capacity of the stadium is 30.000. The Canadian outfit impressed in the 2016 MLS Cup and they faced Seattle Sounders in the title game at BMO Field. However, the Canadians were more than unfortunate not to lift the silverware as they were beaten by the Sounders on penalties. Speaking of the Canadian Championship, Toronto FC won their fifth domestic title in 2016, with the team beating Vancouver Whitecaps in the final of the tournament. Montreal Impact are considered the club’s biggest rivals and there have always been fireworks in meetings between the two Canadian sides. Toronto FC’s home kit is red and it is no surprise they are nicknamed the Reds. It has to be noted that the club was founded back in 2005.