Impact still very much in the playoffs race
The loss in Columbus last Saturday was definitely not the ideal outcome for the Montreal Impact as the club looks to make the playoffs in its inaugural MLS season.
HIGHLIGHTS: NE beats Crew
The Impact currently sits in 7th spot in the Eastern Conference with 39 points in 29 games played. D.C. United is in 6th with 41 points in 27 games played and the Columbus Crew is holding the final playoff spot with 42 points in 27 games played, tied with Houston.
A win last Saturday would have swapped the Crew and the Impact in the standings, but still would have left Jesse Marsch’s squad with a lot of work to do.
There is still a mathematical chance that the Impact qualifies for the playoffs.
With five games left on the calendar, there are 15 points left up for grabs. As it currently sits, the third fourth and fifth spots in the standings are being fought between five teams, separated by just five points. The Impact plays two of the teams currently ahead of them in the standings, Chicago (3rd place, 44 points) on September 15 in the Windy City, and the Houston Dynamo on October 6, in Texas.
And those teams ahead of the Impact go head to head a number of times in the final stretch. D.C United plays Columbus and Chicago. The Crew also faces the Fire. These matchups guarantee that teams ahead of the Impact will be losing points along the way.
Houston may be in the best position as it faces only two teams currently in a playoff spot, Kansas City and Real Salt Lake, over its final seven games, with only the Impact as opponents in playoff range.
So yes, it won’t be easy. But remember, a month ago the Impact was near the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
The bump in Columbus should not slow down support for the Impact either as now, more than ever, the players will need to feel La Garde behind them.