Yes, the Columbus Crew has already clinched a postseason spot, but there’s still plenty to play for Saturday night when the club hosts CF Montréal on MLS Decision Day at Lower.com Field.
Three Things To Know
4 – As mentioned earlier, Saturday is the conclusion of the 2023 MLS regular season, and every Eastern Conference club is kicking off at the same time. As for the Crew, the home side will be playing to cement home-field advantage through at least the first round of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Here’s a look at where things stand:
3. Philadelphia Union – 55 points
4. Columbus Crew – 54 points
5. New England Revolution – 52 points
A Crew win ensures the team finishes at least fourth in the Eastern Conference. Things can get interesting if the Union don’t win at the New England Revolution. Speaking of the Revs…the Crew holds the tiebreaker (wins), so as long as the Black & Gold earn at least a point against CF Montréal, they’ll have home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. Head coach Wilfried Nancy has made it pretty clear he’s not interested in scoreboard watching. That’s fine – but people in The Nordecke will definitely have that PHI-NE match streaming on their phones. (Shout out to anyone tuning into a radio broadcast, too!)
8 – CF Montréal won’t be an easy opponent. The Canadian side is fighting to keep its postseason dreams alive and essentially needs to win in Columbus. Sitting eighth, Montréal is currently in a play-in game spot, but it has 41 points. There are four teams with 40 points. With five teams jockeying for two spots, the pressure will be immense – and hopefully something that the Crew can exploit to secure home-field advantage in the first round. Montréal won its last match – 4-1 against the Portland Timbers – but had been on a seven-game winless streak prior to that game.
9 – Decision Day comes at a strange time, as we just had a two-week break since the Crew’s last match: a 1-1 draw at Atlanta United FC. But the brief pause shouldn’t take away from the remarkable season from the Crew’s No. 9. Cucho Hernández has been lethal this year, leading the club in both goals and assists. His 15 goals put him third-best in the league, while his 11 assists are tied for 10th best. The September MLS Player of the Month has been in his best form lately, which will be crucial to the team’s postseason aspirations.
When They Last Met
The Crew pummeled Montréal, 4-2, on Sept. 2 at Stade Saputo. The highlight was Cucho scoring the club’s first hat trick since 2018, as the Colombian registered goals with both feet and his noggin. Montréal won the last meeting in the Ohio capital, but that club’s coach is now on the Columbus sidelines for good.
Who: Columbus Crew hosts CF Montréal
When: Saturday, Oct. 21 at 6 p.m.
Where: Lower.com Field
Tickets: Send Them Out In Style
How to Watch: MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app
How to Listen: 97.1 HD3/The Fan Stream, La Mega 103.1 FM
Current Standings: Columbus Crew – Fourth in Eastern Conference; CF Montréal – Eighth in Eastern Conference
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