Friendly confines could help Crew push

BY foxsports • October 14, 2011

The Columbus Crew could be entering the right place to end a four-game road slide.

The Crew are unbeaten in their last five visits to Gillette Stadium, where they will try to continue their playoff push against the league-worst New England Revolution on Saturday night.

Columbus (12-12-8) is currently in position to reach the postseason in the crowded race. There's a possibility the Crew can clinch this weekend, though they also could secure a playoff spot by winning their final two matches.

"It's all about us," midfielder Eddie Gaven told the Crew's official website. "We have our destiny in our own hands, so to speak. It's not like we need help from other teams to make the playoffs."

The Crew have been outscored 11-3 in losing their last four road games, but they are 3-0-2 in their last five visits to New England (5-15-12). They earned a 3-1 home win over the Revolution on Aug. 13.

"Nothing's going to change what we want to do," coach Robert Warzycha said. "We're trying to get as many points as we can."

Columbus will be trying to hand New England a fifth straight loss. The Revolution fell 2-1 to San Jose last Saturday, and the 53 goals they have allowed are the league's second-highest total.

"It's kind of been the same story for most of the season," coach Steve Nicol said. "We've done the same things. We've made chances, not taken them and then given up bad goals and we end up losing games."

The Revolution are playing their final home game. They must win their final two games to finish with more points than the 32 they amassed last year when they missed the playoffs for the first time since 2002.

"First things first, we wanna show our appreciation for the fans this year in sticking with us," midfielder Chris Tierney said. "It would be great to get some goals for them, and also to win the game. Columbus has still got a lot to play for so they're going to be coming hard."

The Crew were stumbling down the stretch before ending a six-game winless run with a 2-1 victory over D.C. United on Oct. 2 in their last contest. They are hopeful that a strong finish will give them momentum going into the postseason.

"Right now it's just to get into the playoffs," Gaven said. "Once you're there, we've seen the last two years pretty much anything can happen."

The Crew will welcome back defender Chad Marshall, who sat out against D.C. with a sprained ankle. Midfielder Robbie Rogers is questionable with a hamstring strain.

New England eliminated Kansas City with a 1-0 victory last season in its home finale. The Revolution, however, insist that hurting Columbus is not their motivation.

"We're not in the business of trying to put anyone else out when we're not in," Tierney said. "That's not going to be in our minds. We just wanna show well and play well and play like we can."

 


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