It wasn’t a very pretty Saturday night in Columbus if you were at Crew Stadium. Though the Columbus Crew have made an aspiring run the past few weeks since being taken over b interim head coach Brian Bliss, the boys in Black & Gold needed to pull off a win or at the very least a tie against Sporting KC to keep the hopeful playoff talks alive.
The need for points became even more dire after Houston and Chicago nabbed wins and New England tied with New York. However, the guys couldn’t pull it off, adding yet another page to the roller coaster season we’ve seen from them this year. I will not regale you with the gory details: the Crew went down early and despite the push of offense latter in the second half, they were unable to get anything into the KC net.
Odds are by this point you’ve already watched or read about the finer details and, like me, are holding on to that last hope. You know what I’m talking about. Though the Crew sit in eighth place now after this dismal weekend, there is still that glimmer that the roller coaster has one more hill to climb. And it very well could, but unfortunately, it is out of the team’s hands now.
How? Well, while a handful of other Eastern Conference teams have games next week, Columbus Crew will be sitting idle with a bi-week. It’s probably the most frustrating thing in the world at this point, the fact that the biggest part of their fate in the playoffs is out of their hands.
Bliss has hope though, which is something.
“We know we need help somewhere along the line, but we’ve got to help ourselves. If we get six points, I’m not even sure that does it. I don’t know. We have to play like we’re still in it and go at it,” he said after the match. “If we’re looking at the standings and there’s still a mathematical chance, there’s no reason why you should throw in the towel.”
And he’s right. There may be a fool’s hope that the Columbus Crew will see the playoffs, but even if there is a slightest chance, the team has to go for it. The mentality of pushing for those final six points HAS to be what pushes this team forward. And though it seems silly, I hope they try their hardest not to think of the playoffs.
Yeah, I said it. I hope the Columbus Crew forget about the playoffs and play their final two games with their focus on those points. Does that sound ridiculous because of course they are going to think about the playoffs? Maybe. But I think if they can push the post season out of their minds as far as they can, they could get those six points. It seems that might be the mentality of the players now.
Midfielder Tony Tchani said that the locker room was sad after the match, and succinctly outlined what has to happen in the next two matches.
“We have to [win them both],” he said. “We have to go to New England [on Oct. 19] and try to win no matter what. Even if we don’t make it to the playoffs, we have to finish strong.”
That’s exactly what I’m thinking. For a while now, I’ve been thinking the Crew will just miss the playoffs this year. And it’s been a pretty rough and tumble season, so while I’ll be disappointed, I will not deny that I’ve been pretty prepared for it. The point of finishing strong whether they get in or not sets the tone for next season. While nothing has been said of who the new coach for the team will be, it could very well be Bliss. And if he can keep the team strong and focused for the last two games, I think (though I’m not exactly sold on the idea of him as coach yet) that will be a good point in his and the team’s favor.
The final two regular season games for the Crew will be against the New England Revolution. I don’t really get it either, but that’s the way the cookie has crumbled. I think the Crew can do it, but it won’t be easy. Waiting is the hardest part. Especially when you’re relying on others to seal your fate.