VIDEO: Zardes and the Crew run past Toronto to open MLS season

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John E. Sokolowski
The former LA Galaxy forward scored on his debut for Columbus, helping his side past the defending champions in the 2018 league opener

The 2018 MLS season got off to a flying start, with the defending MLS Cup champion, and Goal's unanimous pick for the 2018 Supporters' Shield, beaten 2-0 at home by the Columbus Crew

For the Crew the win was a bit of revenge against the club that knocked them out of the 2017 MLS Cup playoffs in the Eastern Conference finals. 

In that two-legged tie the Crew failed to find a way past Toronto's defense and eventually lost out 1-0. 

In Saturday's match, the opener for the 23rd season of MLS, the Crew broke the deadlock just before the break. 

Federico Higuain scored the first goal of the season in the league, catching a cross on the half-volley and powering it past Alex Bono. 

Columbus came out of the break still on the front foot, and just after the restart the Crew got a goal from new-signing Zardes. 

Pedro Santos played a splitting ball and the pace of the former LA Galaxy forward was more than Toronto's defense could deal with. 

The 26-year-old raced onto the through-ball and took it on first time inside the near post, doubling the visiting side's lead. 

Toronto had chances to get back into the match, with Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore both coming close, but the Crew stayed strong and held on for an impressive victory to open the season. 

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