The Trillium Cup is an annual, two-team rivalry between the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC (TFC) of Major League Soccer (MLS). The Trillium Cup is named after the trillium, which is both the official flower of the Canadian province of Ontario, and the official wildflower of the U.S. state of Ohio. The rivalries draw on the team's similarities: two teams are geographically near the Great Lakes that border the United States and Canada and both teams also play in soccer-specific stadium that have been built in the central city, as opposed to other MLS clubs that have built their stadium mainly in the suburbs. The cup is awarded to the team that wins the most points from the series at the season's end. In the event of a draw on points, the first tiebreak is determined by the away goals rule, then by the team with the largest overall goal differential at the conclusion of the match.
The Trillium Cup was instituted in 2008, the second season of Toronto FC's play in MLS. The inaugural game of the Trillium Cup was played on March 29, 2008 at Columbus Crew Stadium.
The initial rivalry between the Trillium teams was supported by the mayors of the respective cities. In 2008, MayorMichael B. Coleman of Columbus and Mayor David Miller of Toronto started a small wager on their respective team for the first installment of the Trillium Cup – the mayor of the losing team was required to wear the winning team's jersey.
The rivalry became more intense when TFC fans bought 2,500 tickets to the inaugural game at Columbus Crew Stadium, with buses organized for fans from Toronto heading to Columbus for the first game on March 29, 2008. The Crew won 2–0 over their new rival. The second and third meetings, at Toronto's BMO Field, were ties; 0–0 and 1–1, respectively. The Crew claimed the inaugural Trillium Cup with a 5:2 score on points earned.
In 2011, Toronto FC defeated Columbus 4–2, recording their first ever win against the Crew and securing their first Trillium Cup.