What’s next for the Crew after clinching MLS playoff spot? ‘We’re not satisfied’


Wilfried Nancy’s goals for his first season with the Crew included reaching 14 wins and making the playoffs. He told his players soon after meeting them that was their “first objective.”

“After that, it is to be limitless,” Nancy said, having just led the Crew to their 14th win and a postseason berth with five games left in the regular season. 

Midfielder Yaw Yeboah said he and his teammates quickly bought into this mentality because they knew there was a chance to “achieve something great” beyond just securing the team’s first spot in the playoffs since winning the MLS Cup in 2020. 

“For us, ‘good enough’ is not good enough,” Yeboah said. 

What Wilfried Nancy means by the Crew playing ‘limitless’ soccer

Nancy remembers his first two weeks in Columbus. 

The Crew’s new coach aimed to test the limits of his roster, introducing his players to what he called “chaotic practice” to force mistakes and force a new perspective on the pitch through discomfort. 

And as practices continued, Nancy saw a team slowly start to figure things out. 

“For me, it was the trigger that we can do something great,” Nancy said. “Playoff or no playoff, I don’t know, but we can do something great because they were able to adjust themselves.” 

The Crew showed just such an ability to adjust Wednesday. 

Coming off a 4-3 loss to Orlando City SC in which they allowed three goals in the final 20 minutes, the Crew secured their ninth clean sheet of 2023 against Chicago Fire FC with a slow, possession-based offensive look that would strike only when the opportunity arose. Each goal came off the foot of Cucho Hernandez, who recorded his second hat trick of the season.