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Short Scouting Report: Columbus Crew

Columbus: Home of the Furry.
Columbus: Home of the Furry.

It's not a good time for the playoffs to start for the Columbus Crew. They have been slumping, they just lost their goalkeeper and they're facing a team that has scored 11 goals in their last five games against some of the best teams in the league, the Colorado Rapids.

Looking at their season overall, it's hard to not call it a successful season, minus the fact that they didn't win their third Supporters Shield in a row - something that would have been an MLS record - and only managed to come in second place in a very weak Eastern conference that only produced two of eight playoff teams. Their defense is fairly good, allowing only 34 goals in the season - that would be good for 7th place in the West in GA, so take that as you will - but after losing their goalkeeper Will Hesmer it might not be as good as you'd think.

The Crew's usually fiery offense led by Guillermo Barros Schelotto - best in the East with 40 goals overall - has slumped as well in recent games with only seven goals in their last five and recent shutouts against the Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders and others. They even required a goal from their now injured goalkeeper Hesmer in order to draw with Toronto FC.

The 2008 MLS Cup Champions will need some luck and a second wind in their upcoming playoff games. What they do have going for them is that at the very least have the talent to do it.