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Playoff clinching scenarios for Columbus Crew SC

The Black & Gold can lock up a return to the playoff Saturday if the following happens.

MLS: MLS Cup Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s be honest, nobody associated with Columbus Crew SC enjoyed watching the 2016 MLS Cup playoffs from home. Especially after the Black & Gold had such high expectations entering the season due to an MLS Cup run the year prior.

Well, the good news is it looks like no one will be forced to watch from home in 2017.

Following Wednesday night’s results around Major League Soccer, FiveThirtyEight gives Crew SC just under a 99 percent chance of making the postseason for the third time in four years under head coach Gregg Berhalter. For those that aren’t great with math, that’s pretty close to a lock.

In fact, Columbus can clinch a berth in the postseason, joining Toronto FC, New York City FC, Atlanta United and the Chicago Fire — all Eastern Conference teams — in the playoffs, by a few scenarios:

  • If Crew SC defeat D.C. United in Saturday night’s regular season home finale, the Black and & Gold qualify.
  • If Crew SC draw and the Montreal Impact lose or tie, the Black & Gold qualify.
  • If Crew SC loses and the Impact lose or tie and the New England Revolution lose or tie, the Black & Gold qualify.

Montreal travels to the Colorado Rapids Saturday night (9 p.m. ET) while the Revolution host Atlanta (7:30 p.m. ET).

If Columbus can clinch Saturday, the final two regular season games, at Orlando City SC and at New York City, become only be about seeding.

Crew SC and United, who was officially eliminated from postseason contention on Wednesday, kickoff at 7:30 p.m. ET at MAPFRE Stadium where the Black & Gold are 11-3-2 this season.