Houston, TX – There are plenty of playoff implications involved in Saturday's match between the Montreal Impact and Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium.
For Montreal it's simple. Anything less than a win at Houston will mathematically eliminate the club from playoff contention.
The Dynamo currently holds the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but sits only one point clear of Columbus, making Saturday's match vital for both sides.
Montreal has endured a frustrating few weeks, with the Impact earning only one point from its last three games and coming off of a 0-0 draw at home against Sporting Kansas City.
And while Montreal has struggled, head coach Jesse Marsch and his team have watched as other results have not gone their way.
"We're almost in a state, I think, of expecting the results to not go our way just because they haven't," Marsch told reporters on Monday.
The boss certainly sounds frustrated, but Montreal captain Davy Arnaud is viewing Saturday's game as one that could see his team put some pressure on the sides currently holding playoff positions.
"At the end of the day, we're still not out of it," Arnaud said. "If we can go to Houston on Saturday and win, and make them think about it a little bit, make Columbus think about it a little bit on Sunday, there's still going to be a little chance for us."
However, Montreal must first beat a Houston side that hasn't lost at home in 23 straight league matches, the second-longest streak in MLS history.
The Dynamo hasn't been in great form as the club won for just the second time in eight games last time out.
Houston is bidding to become the third side in as many years to go unbeaten at home. And after the 2-0 win over New England last weekend, defender Bobby Boswell knows his team controls its playoff destiny.
"We are in a position where we can control our own destiny if we take care of business," said Boswell. "We are going to put pressure on ourselves to win and, hopefully, they go our way."