By, Kyle Gibson
Saturday’s 2-1 loss to New England leaves The Columbus Crew hanging just on the edge of playoff qualification with three games left in the regular season.
Crew fans are in for a few worrisome weeks as Gregg Berhalter’s boys sit in the fifth and final Eastern Conference spot at 43 points. Toronto is hanging slightly behind at 40 points, while Philadelphia has 39.
The script writers at MLS really had fun with the Crew’s end of season schedule. The team will play Philadelphia twice and New York as well (the Red Bulls are one spot ahead of Columbus with 44 points.)
There are a few scenarios to look at here. If Columbus can earn all draws in its last three games, it would nullify the Union, but also leave the door wide open for Toronto. Greg Vanney’s team has a full four games left, compared to three for the Crew.
In their only previous meeting of the season, the Crew beat the Union 2-1, but that was early in the season. The Union has improved since then and is a better side. The Red Bulls and the Crew have played twice this season, drawing once 1-1 in Columbus and the Red Bulls won the second game 2-1 in New York.
It’s a rough road ahead that is coming to a quick end in a season that has been equal parts lovely, dark and deep, but as a wise man once said, there are promises to keep, and miles to go before the Columbus Crew can sleep.