For one of the few times over the past three months, the Columbus Crew enter a match on a more positive note than their opponent.
The Crew (5-14-3, 18 points) have one win and three ties in 16 matches since April 13 but the most recent result was a dramatic 2-2 draw against the Fire at Chicago on Wednesday when newcomer Romario Williams scored in the 90th minute.
Columbus hopes that can be a springboard when it hosts the Montreal Impact, losers of three straight, at Mapfre Stadium on Saturday.
"Ties are good when you come from behind but they only really matter if we start gaining points if we win," Crew captain Wil Trapp said. "It's a big opportunity at home on Saturday. I think we can't rest on anything. We have to push."
The Crew are 11 points out of an Eastern Conference postseason spot with 12 matches left. Five are at home where the Crew are 0-4-1 in the past five games and 4-6-2 this season.
"We owe our fans a win. We have been getting far too many losses," Crew coach Caleb Porter said. "If we get a win on Saturday, now we start to put together a little bit of a run and we get some momentum."
Montreal (9-10-3, 30 points) is fifth in the East, a point above the playoff line and three points out of third.
"The mentality is fresh coming off a couple of tough weeks, but I think we're still in a position to take points this weekend and get ourselves back into a very good position in the table," Montreal goalkeeper and Ohio native Evan Bush said.
Curacao national team goalkeeper Eloy Room is expected to make his Crew debut after gaining international clearance following his signing on July 5. The Crew traded keeper Joe Bendik (0-5-1 this season) to Philadelphia on Friday.
The Crew also signed Moroccan midfielder Youness Mokhtar on Friday but he will not be available vs. Montreal.
--Field Level Media