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At the current juncture, there aren’t a lot of positive adjectives to describe the 2016 Crew SC season. How about frustrating? Star-crossed? Disappointing? To some extent, they all fit.So when the Crew went to Florida last weekend, battled through heat...

Soccer: Victory gave Crew SC players needed morale boost

At the current juncture, there aren’t a lot of positive adjectives to describe the 2016 Crew SC season. How about frustrating? Star-crossed? Disappointing? To some extent, they all fit.So when the Crew went to Florida last weekend, battled through heat...

Soccer: Victory gave Crew SC players needed morale boost

At the current juncture, there aren’t a lot of positive adjectives to describe the 2016 Crew SC season. How about frustrating? Star-crossed? Disappointing? To some extent, they all fit.

So when the Crew went to Florida last weekend, battled through heat and humidity on turf and came out with an exciting 4-1 victory against an Orlando City team it’s trying to climb past in the chase for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, another word came to the forefront.

Wasn’t that game actually — dare we say it — fun?

“It was a step in the right direction, right?” said midfielder Ethan Finlay, who had a goal and two assists in the win. “We needed that result, but we’re going to need more, obviously, going forward. We don’t want to overreact or think we’re unstoppable by any means, but there were a lot of positives.”

Today, the Crew can improve its chances of reaching the postseason in a home game against New England, which holds a seven-point lead on the ninth-place Crew for that last playoff spot but has played two more games. Anything less than a Crew win turns a long shot into almost an impossibility.

Coach Gregg Berhalter said the win over Orlando City gave at least a momentary endorsement to what the staff has been preaching all season.

“It becomes difficult when I sit here and tell you guys that we’re not that bad, we’re not playing that bad and (we’re) not getting the results,” he said. “That becomes the challenge of it. It’s almost hard for me to even say, even if I believe it, because it sounds like an excuse. It sounds like we’re happy with where we are and that’s not the case. A game like Saturday in a small way validates what we’ve been saying: Listen, we can play. We’re a dangerous team.”

Finlay pointed to the metrics the Crew uses to judge itself aside from points earned — possession and chances created among them — and how it has been successful in each category all season.

According to WhoScored.com, the Crew is second in possession (54.0 percent). The fact that wins haven’t followed has added to the frustration. With six wins and 29 points earned, the Crew needs three wins and four points in its final six games to avoid setting franchise lows.

Which helped to make one night’s success all the more joyous.

“If you take a look at our season and just where we are in the standings, to see a collective performance like that from the whole team, it’s really good,” midfielder Dilly Duka said. “If you’r e a fan, it’s good to see your team is still fighting and still has good chemistry and still has a good locker room because a lot of teams in that position in the standings coming into the last stretch of games, you’ve seen teams give up.”

ajardy@dispatch.com

@AdamJardy

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