When you’re a borderline team, every single match and every single point counts.
It’s going to be quite the run-in for the Impact over the next six games. No authentic home games of course, but at least four of the last six are at a venue they should be feeling more familiar with in Red Bull Arena. And one of the two away games takes place at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, so travel at least is minimized - no plane rides required.
But will they make it?
Usually we ask that question with half a dozen play-off places up for grabs, and generally answer with an optimistic ‘definitely/maybe’. This blighted year there are ten spots available and we’re still, ‘definitely/maybe’.
If the current top four look assured of post-season football and FC Cincinnati and DC United too far behind to be considered serious contenders, then there are really eight clubs competing for the other four spots in the East.
Montreal has yet to meet DC United and must not slip up in the regular season’s final round against its poorest side. It is the only game they will play outside of New York in the run-in.
The Impact then must stay above Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville and Inter Miami, and you wonder if the recent signing of Gonzalo Higuain at the latter will have the same effect as Rooney had on DC United a couple of years ago.
Of course the teams above the Impact, the two New York clubs and New England, this evening’s opponent, could be caught too.
Montreal must reach sixth position if they are to avoid the Play-In round and subsequently a Play-off quarter-final against either one of the top two finishers in the Conference, currently Toronto FC and Philadelphia Union.
As things stand currently with Montreal occupying eighth spot, they would play the ninth team in the Play-In round, Chicago Fire, at Red Bull Arena.
So elsewhere in the East tonight, Montreal will be looking for a few favours. It would be nice should...
FC Cincinnati defeat the Crew...
Orlando see off NYCFC...
TFC do a job on the Red Bulls (with apologies to our landlords)...
Houston get one over on Nashville, and...
The Loons blow away the Fire.
As for Inter-Miami and Atlanta, if things end all-square in that one, it might selfishly suit Impact best.
Do you think IMFC will reach the play-offs for the first time since 2016?
If so, how far can they go in post-season football?
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How far do you think Montreal can go in the play-offs, if they get there?
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They will not make the play-offs
They will lose in the first Play-In round.
They will lose in the Play-off quarter-final
They will lose in the Play-off semi-final
They will lose in the Eastern Conference play-off final
They will win the Conference play-off final and lose in MLS Cup Final
They will win MLS Cup 2020