A Football Team In Ohio Finally Wins A Championship, Too Bad It Was An MLS Team
Columbus had the MLS coach of the year in Sigi Schmid, the MLS Defensive player of the year in Chad Marshall, and the MLS MVP of the year in Guillermo Schelotto. Will Hesmer, the Crew goalie, had been on fire with 10 shutouts entering the game. And another plus, the Crew were 13-1-3 when Gino Padula is in the line up.
New York had a 23-year old goalie who hasn’t even graduated from Pennsylvania yet. But with out Danny Ceperos they wouldn’t have made it to the finals. In his last six starts, he played to a 3-1-1 record.
In order to get to the MLS Cup, Columbus had to beat the Kansas City Wizards in the quarterfinals and the Chicago Fire in the semifinals. For the Red Bulls, they had to defeat the Houston Dynamo in the Quarterfinals and Real Salt Lake in the semifinals.
In the first half, it was the Red Bulls dominating the scoring chances, but they couldn’t finish. In the 4th minute of play Chris Leitch received a yellow card on a late and hard tackle on Robbie Rogers. The Crew got a free kick but couldn’t produce a goal.
New York got an early corner kick in the 7th minute but the ball was punched away and any shot at scoring was gone.
During the 28th minute Dane Richards of New York beat three defenders and crossed it to Angel, but he shot over the net. That was the best chance in the first half for the Red Bulls.
It remained scoreless until the 31st minute when Guillermo Schelotto had great awareness to keep the ball in play and pass it up to Moreno, who kicked the ball far side to beat goalie Danny Ceperos for the 1-0 Crew lead. New York was now down for the first time in the entire playoffs.
The second half brought a fast start for both teams. In the 47th minute, Angel drew a foul and the free kick, but once again they could not produce a goal. In the 51st minute the Red Bulls finally broke through with a goal. Dane Richards made a nice pass to John Woylniec and he poked into the back of the net to tie the game 1-1.
Literally two minutes later, in the 52nd minute, Chad Marshall broke the tie off a corner kick from Guillermo Schelotto. It was Schelotto’s second assist of the game. But then in the 66th minute, a hand ball by Schelotto gave New York a free kick, but they could not convert for a goal.
In the 82nd minute Hejduk put the game away with a header assisted by Schelotto once again.
The Columbus Crew won the MLS Cup 3-1 for the first time in team history. Guillermo Schelotto, the MLS MVP, also clinched the MLS Cup MVP with an assist on all three of the Columbus Crew goals.