Columbus Crew 2013 MLS Playoff 4caster - Game 31

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, I update the Columbus Crew's playoff outlook based on their results and the those of their MLS Eastern Conference foes. This week the Crew went to Texas and messed with Frisco.

Current Playoff Outlook: This is Doable

Another Crew victory this past weekend keeps the Crew within striking distance of a playoff slot. Two of their final three games are at home, and their home & home against the Revolution is against a team that has won only one game in the last month. Breaking Bad and family fun cut my writing hours short this week; make sure you catch the podcast for the full scoop. But the Crew are storming into the post-season picture; if they win the last three games, they could potentially climb to 4th place in the East and host the Wild Card match.

Here's the view since June 30:

Pts2makeplayoffs_9

MLS East Standings

With their tie, Houston didn't join the upper echelon of the of the East this week. New York, Sporting KC and Montreal remain essentially un-catchable for the Crew. Chicago faces DC and Toronto in the next three weeks, and controls its own destiny against the Crew. The Crew's playoff hopes may dangle in the breeze on October 27, when the Fire face NYRB in a kickoff that starts one hour after the Crew's.

3-0-0 (50 pts) vs 2-0-1 (48 pts)

I still see a loss as torpedoing the Crew's chances of playoffs, as it would limit their maximum points to 47. The other two scenarios that remain are winning two and tying one or winning all three. The standings, sorted by PPG:

Standings_9

Eastrace_9

Here's my breakdown of the Crew's position in the MLS East playoff race:

Stat
#
Notes

Projected Pts To Win the East

55 The Red Bulls grabbed a tough point on the road, but that tie left the door open to Sporting Kansas City and Montreal. Still a three team race. Sporting's ROPPG is a bit deceiving, facing the red-hot Crew next week on the road.

Points to Clinch Playoffs

54 New York could have clinched their playoff berth by winning in Seattle. A tie next week at home vs New England would do the trick. A win in that game would be even better (for Crew fans).

Projected Pts To Make Playoffs (5th Place in MLS Eastern Conference)

48 48, but only because of rounding (47.6). This figure went up for the first time since mid-August.

Maximum Crew Points

50 What I love about this number; the schedule gets older, but this number stays the same age.
Projected Crew Points 45 1.32*34 = 45
Current Crew Points
41 Creepin'.

Projected Additional Points Needed for Playoffs

7 48 - 41 = 7

Example Record Needed for 7 Pts in 3 Games

2-0-1 With the Revs dropping two points this week and facing Montreal & New York before their two-game showcase showdown with the Crew, a tie on the road for the Crew in Gillette stadium may in fact no longer eliminate them. While only 3 points at home is palatable, a tie vs. Sporting next week and sweep of the Revs in October might be better in the standings.




Supporters' Shield

Seattle and New York's tie leaves this race up in the air.

  • Current Points are in black, Projected Points (PPG*34) are in blue, Potential Points are in gray.
  • ROPPG (Remaining Opponents' PPG) gives you an idea of each team's strength of schedule through the rest of the regular season.
  • Reminder of 2013's 1st three tiebreaker rules: 1) Most wins, 2) Goals for, 3) Goal differential.

Ss_9


Stat
Value
Notes
Projected Pts to Win Supporters Shield 58 New York second in PPG standings, and currently projects at 57 points.
Teams Still In Race A bunch; anyone want this thing? Middle-packers will drop out in next two weeks.
Key Remaining Games Portland plays Seattle & RSL in next three games.
Seattle will make up its game in hand on many teams on October 9.

Who Do I Root For This Week?

Date
Game
Root For
10/4 Chicago @ DC DC. With DC playing in the US Open Cup final three days prior, don't expect big things from one of the worst MLS clubs of all time.
10/4 Montreal @ Houston
Montreal. Houston faces the top three teams in the East before finishing at DC United.
10/5 New England @ New York Should the Revs drop points again Saturday, it would increase chances that a Crew-Revs tie (not strictly a win) on 10/19 would keep Crew in playoff hunt.
10/5 Toronto @ Philly Toronto. Getting sick of this.
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