The playoff dream is all but dead and Crew SC didn't play a minute today. The scope of the challenge was brought into focus with the initial release of American Soccer Analysts playoff odds. On the field, the result between Orlando and Montreal could not have been a worse outcome for the Black and Gold.
Two sites running simulations have put numbers to just how tall the task facing Columbus. Sports Club Stats put Columbus at a 5.6% chance of making the playoffs after the loss to the Galaxy using their Monte Carlo simulations. Today, American Soccer Analysts released their first playoff odds post of 2016. The ASA crew, using the Dixon-Coles model has Crew SC at even a longer shot at 4.9%.
All the math was calculated before Orlando made Crew SC's job harder with a win over the Montreal Impact. The win pushed OCSC into the sixth and final playoff spot at 34 points. Columbus is now eight points behind with eight to play. They do have a game in hand, but they also have to pass Chicago, New England, D.C. United, and Orlando to make the playoffs. There is a reason why the statistical models have settled in at 1 in 20 chances.
The team, and Gregg Berhalter, have repeatedly said they are focusing on making the playoffs, but given the challenges, the harsh reality of a lost season appears to be all but official. It bears watching how the team and coaches handle the season winding down. Berhalter appears ready to make big changes in the offseason and the end of season stretch may be the final chance to impress the staff.