Monday, August 29, 2016

2016 Crew to face brutal end

Columbus has nine games remaining in their 2016 season. That is, of course, unless they make the playoffs. They won't, but you can keep believing. But you shouldn't though. You should be looking to see how the team gets ready for next year. I don't need to tell you that, though. You're a regular reader of this site. You're smart. And attractive. Well, at least to me.

Speaking of attractive. Let's worry about that part of the Crew game and what their fans are watching for the rest of the season and put asside the "playoff push."

Here's a game by game look at the remaining games for Crew SC with key information on what drives an MLS result.

Location : Team : Time : Opponent Motivation : Result that **won't** happen

1. Away : LA : Sep 3 Sat, 10:30 PM : Moderate : Win
A lot of things working against Columbus in this one. In fact, it looks impossible. Just the time of the game has me putting this one down as a Loss. East teams playing late out West have just a couple wins in the last two years. Even earning a draw is difficult on a normal evening out west. 10:30 PM? Not happening. This game will not be pretty.

2. Home : Vancouver : Sep 10 Sat, 6:00 PM : Meh : Loss
The Whitecaps are garbage this year and are currently in really, really bad form. This will not be a pretty game, but Columbus has a chance to get some pretty goals.

3. Away : Orlando : Sep 17 Sat, 7:30 PM : High : Win
This will be a key game for both teams. Orlando (at this point) will be more in the playoff hunt than Columbus, but the hope will still be there. I'm picking a loss or draw here. Tricky surface, likely hot and a motivated evenly matched Orlando. Ugly game on an ugly surface.

4. Home : New England : Sep 25 Sun, 7:00 PM : None : Loss
No way Crew lose this one, right? I mean, I don't think so. This game could be big for the simple fact that a loss will end the Crew season. This one will be a bummer of a reminder of what happened to the season.

Let's take a break here for a second. I've got Columbus dropping points in two games for sure and picking up in two. Not bad for this season. Problem is, they need points in all of these. Wins in at least two. It's possible, though. Next up? Well, here's where the wheels fall off the schedule. Brace yo self, it's about to get MLS-y...

5. Away : DC United : Sep 28 Wed, 7:30 PM : High : Win
Columbus jumps into the last five facing four away from home and a Sunday, Wednesday, Saturday game week. DC will be ready to go for this midweek matchup. The only thing helping the Crew in this one could be the league trying to keep Columbus in it. Verdict? DC midweek game. Nasty looking. And I bet it rains.

6. Home : Chicago : Sat, 7:30 PM : None, Win/Loss
This one is a draw so hard, I can feel it already. Columbus is short on bodies, Chicago is short on motivation but has talent enough to score whatever they need to. It's a draw, it's a draw, it's a draw. And it's likely 0-0.

7. 8. 9... *SPLAT*
Here's where the season ends. A bye week. Columbus will not play again until October 13th. A Thursday. A FRIGGIN' THURSDAY. The game will be at 7. Chicago. For whatever reason, Columbus can't do diddly squat up there. And a midweek match? My theory is travel plays a huge part in Crew results up there. It's gotten mental. Either way. Columbus will not have enough going into the last two...

...which are also away to good teams (to 8. New York Red Bulls and 9. NYCFC).

Motivation will play a big part of how Crew SC go into the last three away games. It's hard to see them riding high, especially after the schedule gets really wacky for them. But maybe that fits this year's team. Maybe that's what it will be remembered for.

From the MLS final in Columbus to a wacky-ass MLS scheduling end. Fitting. Sorta.

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