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USA Today

PLAYOFF PICTURE | Crucial point keeps Crew SC in fourth, above Atlanta

COLUMBUS – The Black & Gold’s point on the road in their 2-2 tie with Vancouver Whitecaps FC kept them in fourth place in Major League Soccer’s Eastern Conference and just above Atlanta United FC. Week 28 of MLS play held high stakes for the race in the east.

Columbus (13-12-5, 44 points) has a 91 percent chance to reach the MLS playoffs, according to ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight.

1. Toronto FC - qualified

The east-leading Reds (17-3-8, 59 points) entered week 28 of play having already clinched a playoff berth, the first MLS team to do so. Toronto has a 99 percent chance to win the Supporter’s Shield and will tangle with the LA Galaxy late Saturday night.

2. New York City FC

Sitting in second place, New York City (15-8-5, 50 points) holds a 99 percent chance to make the playoffs and a 63 percent chance to get a first-round bye. NYCFC currently leads the Colorado Rapids 1-0 at halftime.

3. Chicago Fire

The third place Fire (13-9-6, 45 points) currently have a 99 percent chance of making the playoffs and a 13 percent chance of earning a first-round bye. Chicago currently leads D.C. United 2-0.

5. Atlanta United FC

Fifth-place Atlanta (12-8-7, 43 points) has a 99 percent chance to make the playoffs and a 13 percent chance to receive a first-round bye. Saturday afternoon saw them play to a 3-3 tie with Orlando City SC and remain behind Crew SC in the standings.

6. New York Red Bulls

On the edge in sixth place, the Red Bulls (12-10-5, 41 points) own a 96 percent chance to make the playoffs and a five percent chance at a first-round bye. New York will face the Philadelphia Union on Sunday.

7. Montreal Impact

On the outside looking in, the Montreal Impact (10-12-6, 36 points) own a 4% chance to make the playoffs after losing to Minnesota United FC by a score of 3-2 on Saturday.

With home games against Eastern Conference foes such as the New York Red Bulls on September 23 and D.C. United on September 30 leaving vital points up for grabs, Crew SC is charging closer to chasing the 2017 MLS Cup.

Columbus closes the regular season on the road at Orlando City SC on October 15 and at New York City FC on October 22. 

Columbus Crew SC will return home on Saturday, September 23 for a match against the New York Red Bulls at 7:30 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium. The Black & Gold will remain at home in the push for the playoffs when they play D.C. United on Saturday, September 30 at 7:30 p.m. ET.