The Crew: a Dark Horse Going For the Gold

Columbus Crew may be a dark horse candidate to win MLS Cup
by Nino Torres   |   Wednesday, October 29, 2014

John Hefti Photography - Columbus Crew, Labor Strike, MLS, SoccerNewsday

The Columbus Crew danced with a partner nobody likes: Uncertainty. They clinched their playoff berth a week ago, however a victory over the Philadelphia Union was not a guarantee they didn’t have to go through the knockout round. This time they depended on what the Red bulls could do in Kansas City.  But Wright-Phillips delivered and put everything in place: The Crew was in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

After the 2-1 win over the Union, there was no big celebration in the locker room. The team didn’t have a good performance on the field and yet obtained the three points. No signs of over confidence, the mind set of the group is focus on something bigger than just reach the playoffs and Will Trapp put it like this:

“Right now for me I’m not getting nostalgic. It’s about playing well tomorrow, it’s about recovering tomorrow, It’s one step at a time. I’m not satisfied. I’m not content. I want more. I think that’s the way it is. I think sometime in the offseason I might look back and be happy with what we have achieved but right now we’re not done and that’s the way I feel.”

Right now The Crew is among the ten teams in the League that have a real shot at the title, and that’s exactly what they are shooting for.  They didn’t win 10 of their last 15 games just to show up at the big dance and leave before midnight. But do they have chance to win it all? Anything is possible at this stage.

Before we look at the potential opponent from the Western Conference let’s look first at the East. The immediate rival is New England, the hottest team of the second half in the Conference who in the last ten games only lost once against who? Yes, The Crew. They know how to isolate Nguyen, frustrate Jermaine Jones and stop Diego Fagúndez. The home field advantage is a huge factor in the series with Columbus riding a six consecutive winning streak at Crew Stadium.

But is not who they’ll face, is about how they do it. Out of the 52 goals The Crew scored this season, 41 came from their front court players. And it seems that they can finally rely in their center forward to put the ball in the back of the net. Jairo Arrieta scored in the last two games and is just getting started, at the right time and place. With the Costa Rican and Ethan Finlay in excellent form the final third gains not only speed but accuracy.

We are not saying they going to trash their opponents, but keep an eye on a team that is going to be tough to beat. They can go deep in the playoffs. This dark horse is going for the gold.

NEXT UP: November 1 — MLS Playoffs: Columbus Crew vs. New England Revolution, Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, Ohio. 4 p.m. EST, UDN, MLS Live, CSN-NE, TWCSC-OH.

Nino TORRES

Nationality:
Peru
College:
Universidad de Piura
Club Domestic:
Columbus Crew
Club Foreign:
MUFC
A natural born winger who landed in Buckeye country and is getting ready for 2018 by learning Russian, because he'll be there for the next World Cup. Spasibo! Currently in his fourth season covering The Crew.
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