John Herdman insists that Toronto FC’s defeat to Orlando City must be a turning point in their MLS campaign ahead of facing in-form Columbus Crew this weekend.

Toronto had taken an early lead through Derrick Etienne but were compounded to a fifth straight defeat that leaves them in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, two points behind Nashville SC.

Head coach Herdman acknowledged his side’s poor recent form, and ensured conversations would be had with his players and staff to ensure they return to winning ways sooner, rather than later.

“This has to be a turning point for the club tonight,” Herdman said. “I said that to the players after the game, ‘It has to be the turning point.’

“There's going to be some hard conversations in the next two days starting with all of us looking at ourselves in the mirror for that 20-minute period.

“What happened there? And why is it happening? Why do we fall into that trap game after game after game?”

However, they will have to do so against a Columbus side in a rich vein of form having earned a third straight triumph with their 2-0 win over Nashville last time out.

The Crew currently occupy third place in the Eastern Conference and are one of three sides chasing runaway leaders FC Cincinnati and Inter Miami.

Head coach Wilfried Nancy commended his team’s recent displays and said he intends to do everything possible to keep that feel-good feeling in the camp before welcoming Toronto to the Field.

“I'm going to talk about the present moment because it's a fact: They are really good,” Nancy said of his side.

“They are really good. We are going to try to do everything to help them to stay like this because

for me, it's a key point. It's a key point about the way we want to play.”


Columbus Crew – Cucho Hernandez

There is arguably no one better in the MLS right now than Cucho Hernandez as he kept up his impressive recent form for the Crew.

Since returning from injury, the Colombian has registered six goals and four assists in his last five matches, with his most recent coming in their 2-0 win over Nashville as he set up Christian Ramirez to open the scoring at the Field.

Toronto FC – Federico Bernardeschi

Federico Bernardeschi continues to be an attacking force for Toronto, and he will be needed on top form if his side are to halt their current five-game winless run.

The Italian has been involved in 14 goals in his last 10 MLS matches (eight goals, six assists), including an assist against Orlando City last time out.


Columbus are expected to emerge victorious, with Nancy’s side winning 76.7% of Opta’s data-led simulations heading into the encounter.

The Crew have an impressive home record, losing one of their last 30 home matches in all competitions dating back to May 2023 (W20 D9). In that streak, 12 of those victories have been by a margin of two or more goals.

Columbus also boast an impressive record over their opponents and are unbeaten in their last five league matches against Toronto. Before this run, Columbus had won just two of their previous 14 meetings with Toronto dating back to 2016.

Toronto, however, will be out to cause an upset. Their current five-game losing run is the seventh losing streak of five or more matches since the start of the 2021 season.


Columbus Crew – 76.7%

Draw – 13.9%

Toronto FC – 9.4%