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Columbus Crew 2013 MLS Playoff 4caster - Game 21

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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 scored 1st, then completely blew it against their rival.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Current Playoff Outlook: Toronto-esque*

Here are the standings as of 7/28, sorted by PPG. In a must-win-but-absolutely-must-not-lose game, The Crew blew a late lead and demoted any hope of making the playoffs this year into 'anomaly' category. If you were a Project Manager in charge of this project, you'd have to ask for more time, money or resources; probably both time and money. The Crew have neither.

*Toronto FC has never made the MLS Playoffs.

Standings_7

Here's my breakdown of the Crew's bleak position in the race:

Stat

#

Notes

Projected Pts To Win Supporters Shield

59
The Supporters Shield race, and with it the right to host the MLS Cup, is looking like it's going to go right down to the wire.

Projected Pts To Win East

59
Montreal, Portland, RSL & SKC feel like they've separated themselves. I know RBNY isn't much farther back, but they're not consistent enough for me to consider them in the race. Those are all some COLD December venues.

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

51
The projected points this week matches what I estimated a few weeks ago. Pretty confident in 5th place being between 50-52 points.

Crew Projected Points

37

8th place. Still on track for first losing season since 2007.

Current Crew Points

23
In 14 of the Crew's previous 17 seasons, they had a better record after 21 games.

Projected Additional Points Needed for Playoffs

28
51 - 23 = 28

PPG Needed for 28 pts in 13 games

2.15

Win 3, Lose 1. Repeat 3 times. Sneak a tie in there.

Example Record Needed for 28 Pts in 13 Games

9-3-1

Now 4 games under .500, the Crew could struggle to achieve that this year. There are no scenarios in which the Crew could win less than 8 or lose more than 3 of the last 13 games and still earn 28 or more points.


Season Projection

I use this as a way to predict what a team's record will be at a given point in the season. For instance, this is the first step I take when figuring out how soon DC and Toronto (and sadly, now, the Crew) will be eliminated from the playoffs.

Remember, if a number is in white, it's real. If it's green, it's a projection.

Season_position_7

The Massive Report 4cast Challenge

So you've been reading this article, thinking to yourself, "Man, this guy is only somewhat right. If only he was completely correct, like myself." You want a shot at the title? Between now and August 2, send your predictions for:

  1. Points needed for MLS East Playoffs (5th place).
  2. Points the Crew will have at the end of the season.

Those who correctly predict either category will be mentioned... nay, PRAISED in my season wrap-up article in late October. An overall winner will be awarded the following fancy prizes:

  • 1 victory beverage at Hendoc's, courtesy of Massive Report
  • An appearance on the 10/28/13 Massive Report Podcast, in which you will be expected to explain why you are so awesome/smart/attractive
  • Overalls

Send your picks to me via Twitter @4castnate or email (natebeckman@gmail.com). 1 pick per person, must be present at Hendoc's to drink victory beverage. Void where prohibited. Must be 18 or older to win. Must be 21 or over to consume booze at Hendoc's. No, Massive Report will not buy you booze if you're underage; you'll get a Diet Coke or something. I'll make up a tiebreaker in October if it is needed.

For the record, I've already published my predictions for the season in previous blog articles:

  • 51 - Points needed for 5th place in MLS Eastern Conference
  • 36 - Points the Crew will have at end of 2013 season

Who Do I Root For This Week?

Sigh... Do I even need to keep including this section?

Date

Match

Root For

8/3 New York @ Sporting KC Sporting KC
8/3 Montreal @ DC United DC United
8/3 Chicago @ Philly If you think the Crew can catch Philly, root for Philly. Otherwise, root for a tie.
8/3 Toronto @ New England Toronto


Misery Loves Company

DC United - Historically Bad, Getting Worse
They are still the worst team in the league; I will include this statement every week it's true. As I indicated last week, DCU could make a run at being the worst team in MLS history. Their current PPG of .48 is basically even with that of current "title" holders, the 1999 Metrostars, who gained 15 points in 32 matches for a .47 PPG. If DC is going to avoid the all-time worst record, they'll need 6 points in their final 13 games. With two against Toronto and one vs. Chivas USA, you'd think they'll scrounge up 6 points.

Toronto FC
I won't rip the team this week, as they showed resolve in getting two late goals against the Crew. It looks like Ryan Nelsen will not be the first TFC coach fired in July; he still has a shot of being the first one fired in August.

Columbus Crew
The Crew are now on track to be eliminated at home vs Chicago on 9/21. Chris Rolfe is probably going to score 4 goals in that match, then burn down the Santa Maria.

DC United's Projected 2013 Points
16
Toronto FC's Projected 2013 Points
28
Projected Date DC United Eliminated From Playoffs
8/24 vs Toronto
Projected Date Toronto FC Eliminated From Playoffs
9/11 vs Chicago
Projected Date Columbus Crew Eliminated From Playoffs
9/21 vs Chicago
Date Toronto FC Fires Coach
Over/Under is Labour Day