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The Columbus Crew's Playoff Ascent Under Coach Nancy: A Quest for MLS Cup Glory

As the Crew brace themselves for Decision Day on October 21, they're determined to clinch a coveted top-four spot in the Eastern Conference, a feat that would grant them the precious advantage of home-field support.

In their inaugural season under the tutelage of head coach Wilfried Nancy, the Columbus Crew have made a triumphant return to the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Their playoff berth, secured in dramatic fashion on Matchday 33, has ignited hopes of a potential second MLS Cup title in just four years, following their impressive conquest of the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy in 2020.

As the Crew brace themselves for Decision Day on October 21, they're determined to clinch a coveted top-four spot in the Eastern Conference, a feat that would grant them the precious advantage of home-field support.

The lynchpin of Columbus' offensive machinery is none other than the prolific striker Cucho Hernández. With a stellar record of 13 goals and 11 assists this season, the club's record signing has emerged as a dark-horse contender in the Golden Boot race presented by Audi, and an intriguing prospect in the Landon Donovan MLS MVP race.

In addition to Hernández, the Crew boast an array of attacking talents including Christian Ramirez, Alexandru Matan, and Diego Rossi, the latter stepping into the role vacated by Lucas Zelarayán, who made a midseason transfer to the Saudi Pro League.

Beyond their formidable attacking arsenal, Columbus relies heavily on the expertise of key players like US international midfielders Aidan Morris and Julian Gressel, alongside the indomitable box-to-box midfielder Darlington Nagbe.

The road to the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs culminates with the MLS Cup presented by Audi, slated for December 9, while the playoffs kick off on October 25-26 with thrilling Wild Card matches. Fans can catch all the action on MLS Season Pass, available on Apple TV.

In this high-stakes playoff format, teams seeded 1-7 in each conference qualify for the Round One Best-of-3 series, while those ranked 8-9 in each conference secure their spots in the intense Wild Card matches. The Columbus Crew, buoyed by their resurgence and stellar roster, are poised to make waves as they embark on their playoff journey.

Nicole McCray

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

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