The Columbus Crew are in a big transition. After falling well behind the pace in the MLS playoff race, the team dismissed long time Crew head coach Robert Warzycha on Labor Day and named Technical Director Brian Bliss the interim head coach. Warzycha had been the head coach since 2009 and the team had slowly lost ground to the rest of the league. The Crew had slumped to an 8-13-5 record and 8th place in the Eastern Conference this year before he was dismissed. The change marked the end of an era as Warzycha had been with the team since midway through the inaugural season of 1996 playing or coaching in all 18 seasons of the team's history. Bliss took over immediately and had two days to prepare for his first game in charge, a home match against the Houston Dynamo. The Crew looked re-energized against a fatigued opponent, winning 2-0. However by Saturday, that energy dissipated and the team lost it's seventh road game in a row, falling 3-0 against Eastern Conference powerhouse Sporting Kansas City. Looking toward the stretch run, the Crew have six games left. They still can make the playoffs, but face very long odds. They are five points behind the New England Revolution for the last playoff spot, but there are two other teams ahead of them. They would have to jump past the Chicago Fire and the Dynamo in the last six games to make the postseason. Essentially each game is a must win. With playoff hopes fleeting, the Crew will also be keeping an eye on next season. After a disappointing season, the team will look to bring in new faces in the off season. These games serve as an audition of sorts for players looking to make next year's team. Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay, Tyson Wahl and Eric Gehrig have featured with Bliss's appointment as coach after being relegated to the bench the past couple months. Each are finally getting chance to show they belong on this team. Bliss is also getting his shot again. He was the interim coach for Sporting Kansas City in 2006, but was passed over for the position. He is one of the options to get the Crew job on a permanent basis and finally gets a chance to show what he can do. The team is looking to name a coach by the end of the season in late October. The road to the playoffs continues against the Eastern Conference leading Montreal Impact on Saturday afternoon. They will one key reinforcement. Offensive leader and team captain Federico Higuain is expected to return to the lineup after serving a two game suspension and missing another due to injury. The Crew's road woes are well established and they will need to cut down on the errors that have plagued them away from home. They gave up a 7th minute goal against Kansas City last week and a late first half goal in Salt Lake City three weeks ago. Each led to more pressure on the defense before the floodgates opened. An early goal to take the pressure off the defense will be vital. Columbus hasn't led on the road since July and the last win was in late May. The Crew need a goal to at least have a shot at winning. That would be the only way to keep the playoff dream on life support.