Gregg Berhalter
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Eight matches, eight finals: MLS Cup Playoffs fate in Crew's hands

"We have eight games left, so that’s eight more finals that we need to play -- like it is our last game."

That was the sentiment shared by Sporting Director and Head Coach Gregg Berhalter following a road loss to the last-place Montreal Impact on Saturday as the Crew battles to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2011. Thanks to a 2-0 D.C. United win over the New York Red Bulls, the Black & Gold remain in playoff position, tied on 33 points with Toronto FC and two points ahead of sixth-place New York.

However, the Crew knows it cannot rely on other teams to falter in a tighlty contested Eastern Conference. Instead, Columbus' fate lies in its own hands -- with seven out of its eight remaining opponents coming from the East. What's more, the Crew's final eight foes have a combined 43-70-37 record, and none of the teams boast a winning percentage over .500. Only the Revolution holds a higher place in the standings, thanks to its win Wednesday against Sporting Kansas City. New England is also the only side on the Crew's remaining schedule with a higher points-per-match average (1.38) than Columbus (1.27).

REMAINING OPPONENTS

TEAM W L D
New England Revolution (36 pts.) 11 12 3
Philadelphia Union (33 pts.) 8 9 9
New York Red Bulls (31 pts.) 7 8 10
Houston Dynamo (28 pts.) 8 13 4
Chivas USA (24 pts.)* 6 13 6
Montreal Impact (20 pts) 5 15 5

*Western Conference opponent

In addition to facing six different opponents over an eight-match span, the Crew plays against the Revolution and the Union twice with a match versus each coming at home and another on the road. The double-fixtures against New England and Philadelphia -- having beaten each club once already in 2014 -- build even more importance with both teams fighting for postseason life just like the Crew. 

Though the schedule may be in the Black & Gold's favor, the parity in MLS -- as the Impact showed on Saturday -- is sure to make the final eight matches in the Crew's postseason quest all the more interesting.

September
M Tu W Th F Sa Su
1 2 3 4 5 6
8 9 10 11 12 14
15 16 17 18 19 21
22 23 24 25 26 28
29 30          
October
M Tu W Th F Sa Su
    1 2 3 5
6 7 8 9 10 12
13 14 15 16 17 19
20 21 22 23 24 25
27 28 29 30 31    

 

*Highlighted dates denote home matches. Click date for ticket information.


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