Columbus Crew SC’s postseason hopes are directly affected by the Club’s result against Minnesota United FC on Oct. 28, as a win sees Crew SC into the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs for the second straight season.
However, from a supporter’s perspective, it’s not necessarily the only match the Black & Gold faithful will be keeping their eyes on.
With that in mind, let’s examine the other Decision Day matches that can affect Crew SC’s postseason hopes and potential seeding.
Breakdown: No. 7 Montreal Impact at No. 8 New England Revolution
For Crew SC, a Montreal loss OR draw sees Columbus into the MLS Cup Playoffs, while Montreal can only qualify with a win AND a draw OR loss from Crew SC.
Per FiveThirtyEight.com, Montreal holds a 29 percent probability of defeating New England at Foxboro, Mass.
The Impact have been on a run as of late, going 4-1-1 in their last six matches and coming off two consecutive shutout victories. Against New England, however, it’s been a stalemate in 2018, as Montreal fell 4-0 at Foxboro, Mass. on April 6 before defeating New England 4-2 at Stade Saputo on May 5.
As for New England’s recent form, the Revs are stumbling into the regular-season finale with losses in three of their last four matches and just one win in their last six.
Recent history has favored New England though, the Revs have come out victorious in four of the last five match-ups, with two of those wins coming at Foxboro.
Meanwhile, Montreal enters with a 3-11-2 record on the road compared to New England’s 7-4-5 home record. The Revs rank tied for 21st League-wide in home goals (27) while Montreal ranks 20th in road goals (16), averaging one goal per match.
In terms of respective defensive road trends, the Impact have conceded the fifth-most road goals (36), while New England has allowed 20 goals at home, tied for 11th in the League.
Breakdown: No. 5 D.C. United at No. 10 Chicago Fire
For Crew SC, this match-up affects Columbus’ potential seeding. Should Crew SC defeat Minnesota and D.C. lose to Chicago, Columbus would land as low as five in the Eastern Conference standings.
Per FiveThirtyEight.com, D.C. United holds a 31 percent chance of winning at Bridgeview, Ill. on Sunday.
These two met on Oct. 7 at Audi Field, as D.C. came out on top, 2-1. United is on a five-match win streak while Chicago is coming off two consecutive losses as part of a 1-3-1 stretch in its last five matches.
D.C. has not played on the road since Sept. 8 and is one of three MLS teams to only have one win on the road (1-9-6). However, United has totaled 23 goals in 16 road matches - tied for the sixth-most in MLS - while conceding nearly two goals per road tilt.
Chicago is 2-1-1 at home since August and 6-7-3 overall on the year. The Fire have scored the fifth-lowest number of home goals (28) while conceding the sixth-most at home (25).
In the past three match-ups between these two sides, Chicago has won twice, including a road win at RFK Stadium in 2017.
Breakdown: No. 4 Philadelphia Union at No. 5 New York City FC
Should Columbus defeat Minnesota and D.C. United lose to Chicago, Columbus supporters will be looking for a New York City FC win over the Philadelphia Union, as Crew SC would then leap into fourth place in the East and host a Knockout Round match against the fifth seed.
Per FiveThirtyEight.com, NYCFC holds a 60 percent probability of winning at Yankee Stadium.
NYCFC is one of two teams in MLS to have only one home loss this season (11-1-4). Overall, City has been difficult on both sides of the ball at home, conceding a League-low nine goals as part of eight shutouts and a League-high 83.64 save percentage.
Philadelphia is 6-7-3 on the road and last defeated NYCFC, 2-0, in Chesterton, Pa. on Aug. 18. The Union are coming off a 1-0 loss to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday and are 3-2-1 in their last six while NYCFC is 1-3-2 in its last six, having lost consecutive road games to D.C. United and Minnesota United.
In all, it is safe to say there will be no shortage of excitement on Decision Day.
Crew SC kicks off against Minnesota at 4:30 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium, and fans attending the match are encouraged to arrive early.