Columbus Crew SC (13-11-9) returns to MAPFRE Stadium for its regular-season finale against Minnesota United FC (11-19-3) on Oct. 28 at 4:30 p.m. ET, as Crew SC vies for a spot in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.
Last Sunday, Columbus lost 2-1 to Orlando City SC after a match-sealing penalty kick in the 96th minute. Columbus was on the board first when midfielder Federico Higuain delivered a bending free kick over Orlando's three-man wall and just inside the near post. However, Orlando was awarded a penalty kick just minutes later following a handball inside the box. The stalemate was broken in second-half stoppage time when Orlando was awarded a second penalty kick for a foul inside the box.
Minnesota closed out their regular-season home schedule last Sunday, as the Loons suffered a 3-1 loss to the LA Galaxy. The Galaxy scored the first three goals of the match and Minnesota responded in the 54th minute with a goal of their own.
Last year, Columbus traveled to TCF Bank Stadium in Minnesota’s inaugural year and left with three points thanks to a second-half goal from Kekuta Manneh. Manneh received a pass near midfield from Wil Trapp and dribbled to his right before masterfully firing a shot left toward the far post.
Sunday’s match will be Columbus’ last chance to secure a playoff spot. Crew SC captain Trapp spoke to the importance of preparing for a Decision Day game.
“I think the paramount thing for us is understanding that everybody has to be trying to be the best teammate they can,” Trapp said.
“Coming together as a group collectively to push one another, to push forward in terms of trying to win a game and knowing that no matter what your role is, it’s important big or small.”
Columbus currently occupies sixth place in the Eastern Conference, two points ahead of seventh place Montreal Impact. Columbus can clinch a playoff spot with a victory over Minnesota or a Montreal loss OR draw at New England.
Final postseason seeding will be officially determined on Sunday evening as the Black & Gold conclude the regular season along with all other MLS clubs.