It may not feel like it given the way the season has gone and the small chance at the MLS Cup playoffs, but Columbus Crew SC is one of the hottest teams in Major League Soccer. With only one loss in the last 10 matches, the Crew has similar recent form with Los Angeles Football Club and New York City FC, two of the best teams in MLS.
On Saturday afternoon, the Black & Gold hope to keep the hot streak going and cling to the team’s slight playoff hopes against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Like in Columbus, it has not been a great 2019 season for the Whitecaps, who sit at the bottom of the Western Conference and are already eliminated from the playoffs. With a 7-15-9 record, Vancouver is just four points behind the Crew in the overall standings.
Can the Black & Gold get it done on the road again after a thrilling 3-1 victory against Atlanta United away from home last week? Let’s see what our staff thinks.
Was Saturday’s win for the Crew simply luck or something more? Beating the defending MLS Cup Champion on their turf in convincing fashion makes me believe that Columbus has something to prove with these last three games.
After such a massive victory, it’s hard for me to pick against the team these last few games. To me, the most daunting part about an away matchup against the Vancouver Whitecaps is the road trip. With a week’s rest, despite the near 2,500-mile trip, the Black & Gold will come back to Columbus with a second consecutive victory.
Columbus Crew SC 3 Vancouver Whitecaps 1
Columbus has a great chance to build off of the Atlanta win as the team faces the worst team in the West. The Vancouver Whitecaps had a tough season, dealing with a number of injuries and a struggling offensive output. The Whitecaps have only picked up 10 points in their last 13 MLS matches. The Black & Gold need to continue their good form and finish the season strong. Players are going to be fighting for their spots for next year and I expect them to bring back all three points from Vancouver.
Columbus Crew 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 0
It certainly hasn’t been the season head coach Marc Dos Santos had in mind, as Vancouver is next to last in the Western Conference standings. The Whitecaps have looked disjointed and uncertain much of the 2019 campaign. Though they are coming off a win last week versus the Houston Dynamo, Columbus has a real chance to earn another positive road result. The Whitecaps are a miserable 5-6-4 at home, while the Crew has been quite successful on the road in recent months. Of their last six road matches, the Black & Gold are 3-1-2. Columbus has an extremely slim chance at making the playoffs, so it is safe to say Caleb Porter’s boys will come out with a nothing-to-lose attitude in an attempt to squeeze out all three points.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 0
Columbus Crew SC kept its slim chances of making it to the MLS Cup playoffs alive with impressive results over the last weeks and the Black & Gold will need another one against the Whitecaps to remain dreaming. The task ahead is still a tough one, but the Crew could certainly have a more challenging opponent than the Canadians, the second-worst team in the league at this point and one of just two to be already eliminated from playoff contention.
If the Black & Gold manage to keep playing as they did in the last matches, especially against Atlanta, another win should be coming to Ohio and against a team with no aspirations, that should be the case.
Columbus Crew 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 1
Columbus fans might be looking past the matchup with Vancouver this Saturday. Maybe because it is a random 5 p.m. ET kickoff. Maybe because Vancouver is already eliminated from the playoffs. Or maybe because they are looking ahead to the home finale against the Philadelphia Union. Regardless, the fans can look wherever they like, but the Crew better focus on the Whitecaps.
Vancouver might be eliminated from the playoffs but the team could still play spoiler for the Crew, the LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake’s playoff hopes. Columbus needs to win and have a little luck if the team wants to remain in the playoff hunt for another week. But if the Crew really want to keep its chances alive, the team needs to replicate the scoring efforts from the trip to Atlanta United. With wins and then goal differential being the first two tiebreakers for the playoffs, the Crew is playing with zero wiggle room. The bright side, Columbus should be able to handle the Whitecaps with ease if the team can score like it did against Atlanta. The downside, it seems to be too little, too late.
Columbus Crew 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 0
Do not count Columbus out just yet. Although you probably could, don’t. After an impressive 3-1 win over the defending MLS Cup champions Atlanta United, the Black & Gold are still in contention to make the playoffs. Though it is the slightest margin, it’s still a possibility. On Saturday night night, the Crew takes on the Vancouver Whitecaps. This game is a must-win if the Black & Gold want to close the gap on the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. With the momentum of sweeping Atlanta during the regular season, Columbus is coming into this match with confidence. If that keeps up, the Crew can easily win this game.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 1
How do you see this game playing out? Let us know in the comment section blow.