MLS Playoffs 2013: Revolution Reach Critical Juncture

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

After landing a crucial away win in Montreal last week, the New England Revolution are suddenly at the crux point of their playoff race. With two matches remaining against the same club, they need to take hold of their own destiny to ensure qualification.

The New England Revolution have experienced some considerable setbacks in their quest for the postseason. First it was a drab 1-1 draw against Houston at home. Then it was a heartbreaking, referee-induced 2-2 draw in New York, dropping two points with literally the last kick of the game. Thanks to other results, they suddenly found themselves on the outside looking in.

An improbable 1-0 win in Montreal this past weekend has the Revs right back in it. Though they currently sit in seventh place, they're just one point back from three other clubs (Chicago, Philadelphia, and Montreal) and three behind Houston, who sit in third. Other results can, in fact, knock New England out regardless of their own performances in the next two weeks, but the Revs give themselves the best chance to clinch a spot by winning out.

In fact, here's a look at the scenarios that could play out for the Revs this weekend. They can't clinch by winning Saturday night's match against the Columbus Crew, but they can be eliminated with a loss or draw.

New England will be eliminated IF:

  • They lose to Columbus on Saturday, AND

ANY TWO OF THE FOLLOWING:

  • Houston wins or draws with New York on Saturday, AND/OR
  • Chicago wins vs. Toronto on Saturday, AND/OR
  • There is a winner in Montreal vs. Philadelphia

OR IF

  • New England ties with Columbus on Saturday, AND
  • Houston beats New York on Saturday, AND
  • Montreal beats Philadelphia on Saturday, AND
  • Chicago beats Toronto on Saturday

As you can see, there aren't too many favorable matchups for the Revs in terms of their closest playoff rivals. Houston has a tough test against New York; realistically, though, Houston probably isn't one of New England's concerns. Montreal and Philly are duking it out with each other, and a result for either team hurts the Revs, as it catapults that team further up the standings than the Revs can actually get. Chicago has a gimme against Toronto, and, of course, Columbus is visiting New England.

The conclusions from this are clear: it's simply not an option for the Revs to lose to the Crew this weekend.

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