clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Columbus Crew Need To Rebound to Get to Playoffs

It was a tough loss on Saturday, but the Crew are looking forward not backward.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday's Columbus Crew 2-1 loss to the New England Revolution was not what the Black and Gold anticipated.

"We have to take this one in stride," central midfielder Wil Trapp said this week.

"We wanted to win the game, we had chances to win the game, and they didn't create that much, which is a little disappointing on our side but we still hold our own destiny in our hands."

Despite playing on the road in poor conditions and playing a man down for the final 20 minutes while chasing the game, the Crew outshot New England 16-11 - including a 7-6 advantage in shots on goal - and won the possession battle with 53.9% of the ball.

Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter called it a weird game, saying he felt good because his team created chances and dominated a quality opponent on the road, but said watching the tape of the match was difficult because the team didn't play their normal game.

"It's tough," he said when asked if he will use much from this game going forward. "I'm debating it actually, how much to throw away and bury it... When you're watching it on video, it just looks crazy."

As it stands now, the Crew resides in the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 43 points. Toronto FC sit three points back of the Black and Gold with a game in hand. If they win that contest, they will leap frog Columbus due to a higher win total (12) on the year.

In their final three games, the Crew face two teams in which they are competing for a playoff slot. Their next opponent is the Philadelphia Union, who are one point behind Toronto and fighting for their playoff lives, on the road followed by another away game against the New York Red Bulls, who are one point about the Black and Gold, followed by a home finale with the Union.

In a tight East, Trapp believes anyone has a shot in any given game.

"I think you just look at the Eastern Conference this year, it's just been back and forth," he said.

"Every team has beaten every team. That gives us confidence. We play Philly twice, we still have New York, which is another big game. We've just got to get results."

At least a point on the road last week would have given the team a big boost heading into the final three games. The players and coaches began calling each contest a final with 10 games remaining in the season. Does taking nothing from the Revolution game for the first time since early August make the final three games any bigger finals? Berhalter does not believe so.

"I don't think the next couple of games mean more than last game. Last game meant a hell of a lot and we really wanted to win it," he said.

Trapp agrees with his head coach, but admitted there is an unease the longer the team goes without locking up a playoff spot.

"I think the less secure you are with, only a few games left, you're going to feel a little bit more on edge. Like each game is that much more important but they're all important games," he said Monday. "I think the ‘every game's a final' still rings true."

At this point in the year, the formula is simple for the Black and Gold: win the remaining games and they're in. Otherwise, the club must rely on other results to go their way. That is not something Trapp and his teammates are willing to do.

"Get wins, get points."