COLUMBUS, Ohio - The first-place Crew will look to run their team-record unbeaten streak to 15 games when the Black & Gold host the Chicago Fire in the home finale on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Crew Stadium. The Crew are unbeaten in theirlast 14 games (7-0-7) after a 1-0 win over D.C. United last Saturday at Crew Stadium.
The Crew (11-5-10, 43 pts.) lead the MetroStars (11-10-6, 40 pts.) by four points for first place in the Eastern Conference, and have played one fewer game than the rest of the East. Columbus has four games remaining and the rest of the East just three.
Saturday's game can be heard in English on The New Eagle, 103.9, or online through TheCrew.com and MLSNet.com. The game can also be heard in Spanish on AM-1550 WXOL.
Tickets for Crew home games can be acquired at the Crew Stadium Box Office, at any area Kroger Ticket Master outlet, via phone at 614-431-3600 or on line at TheCrew.com.
COLUMBUS CREW vs. Chicago Fire
Saturday, Oct. 2 - 7:30 p.m. (ET) at Crew Stadium
Crew Radio: The New Eagle, 103.9 (English); AM-1550 WXOL (Spanish)
Crew Webcast: TheCrew.com and MLSNet.com (English)
PLAYOFF TICKETS ARE ON SALE AS CREW CLINCHE HOME FIELD IN FIRST ROUND, CAN WIN FIRST CONFERENCE TITLE WITH A WIN SATURDAY AND METROSTARS LOSS
Last week the Crew became the first team to clinch a playoff spot, their seventh appearance in nine seasons, and this week they became the first to clinch home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs after defeating D.C. United 1-0 on Saturday.
Crew playoff tickets are now on sale as Columbus will host game two of the Eastern Conference semifinals on either Oct. 30 or 31. The conference semis are two-game, home-and-home, total-goal series with game one at the lower seeded team on either Oct. 23 or 24. If the teams are tied in total goals at the end of game two, a 30-minute overtime will be played (no sudden death). If the teams are still tied, the series will be decided by penalty kicks. The conference final is one game at the higher seeded team, with the same overtime and penalty kick procedure as the conference semis. MLS Cup is on Nov. 14 at 3:30 p.m. at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with the same overtime and penalty kick guidelines.
The Crew's magic number to win their first-ever conference title is six points, through any combination of Crew points gained and MetroStars points lost. The Crew (43 pts.) leads the MetroStars (39 pts.) by four points with four games remaining, while the Metros have just three games left. A win on Saturday vs. Chicago would give the Crew 46 points, while a MetroStars loss would leave the Metros maximum points available at 45.
CREW STRETCHE TEAM-RECORD UNBEATEN STREAK TO 14 GAMES, CAN TIE THE LONGEST UNBEATEN STREAK IN MLS HISTORY ON SATURDAY
After the 1-0 win vs. D.C. United on Saturday, the Crew stretched their team record unbeaten streak to 14 consecutive games (7-0-7). The 14-game streak is the second longest in MLS history, trailing only a 15-game run by Los Angeles over the course of the 1997 and 1998 seasons (shootouts included). The 14-game run is the longest unbeaten streak in one season. Los Angeles won their last six games of 1997 and their first nine of 1998. The previous Crew record of nine (7-0-2) was set on 7/4 to 8/19, 2001. Columbus also had a seven-game (4-0-3) unbeaten streak earlier in the year from 5/1 to 6/12 that ranks as the third longest unbeaten streak in team history.
GAMES REMAINING FOR THE EASTERN CONFERENCE (GAMES LEFT)
CREW (4): vs. Chicago (10/2), at Chicago (10/6), at MetroStars (10/9), at Colorado (10/16)
METROSTARS (3): vs. D.C. (10/2), vs. Columbus (10/9), at D.C. (10/17)
D.C. UNITED (3): at MetroStars (10/2), vs. New England (10/9), vs. MetroStars (10/17)
CHICAGO (3): at Columbus (10/2), vs. Columbus (10/6), at New England (10/16)
NEW ENGLAND (3): vs. Dallas (10/2), at D.C. (10/9), vs. Chicago (10/16)