columbus crew MLS CUP champion 2008 The Philip F. Anschutz Trophy presentation
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Crew beats Red Bulls 3-1 in MLS Cup
By KEN PETERS, AP Sports Writer
12 hours, 2 minutes ago
CARSON, Calif. (AP)âMidfield maestro Guillermo Barros Schelotto collected some more hefty bling. Coach Sigi Schmid got a sense of redemption.
The 35-year-old Schelotto, a longtime star in his native Argentina, assisted on all the Columbus Crews goals in Sundays 3-1 MLS Cup victory over the New York Red Bulls. Afterward, he received the games MVP award to go with the regular-season MVP trophy he was presented earlier in the week.
Schmid hoisted the Cup in the home stadium of the Los Angeles Galaxy, a team that axed him in 2004, two years after he guided the club to the MLS championship.
Its a very emotional moment for me, winning this game here in L.A. in front of family and friends. And, to be quite honest, the town that I was fired in, Schmid said.
Alejandro Moreno scored in the first half for Columbus and, after New Yorks John Wolyniec tied it 1-1 in the 51st minute, Chad Marshall put the Crew back in front two minutes later. Frankie Hejduk added an insurance goal.
We played a very good second half, Schelotto said through a translator. The first half was a bit more difficult. We were lucky to get that second goal off a corner kick. After that, I believe we were much better than the other team.
That rapid response to New Yorks tying goal was deflating for the Red Bulls, Wolyniec said.
The timing of the second goal was disappointing, he said. We were on a high from tying the game and its tough to come back.
New York coach Juan Carlos Osorio thought the Red Bulls outplayed the Crew in the first 45 minutes.
We should have been one up instead of one down, he said.
Then there was a defensive lapse on Marshalls header off Schelottos corner kick, which Osorio called too easy.
In between, we gave a good account of ourselves, he added.
Schelotto, who led the league with 19 assists during the regular season, set up Morenos goal with a heads-up play near the sideline, Marshalls with a bending corner kick, and Hejduks with a soft lob.
Schmid said Schelotto even played fine defense.
Hes always helping the team, the coach said.
An example was the play leading to the Crews first goal, when Schelotto stole the ball from Dave van den Bergh just as it was about to go over the right sideline and tapped it to Moreno. Moreno sprinted into a dribble as defender Diego Jimenez scurried back, but Moreno outraced him and, when goalie Denny Cepero had to commit, Moreno kicked the ball across the mouth and it rolled into the net just inside the left post.
He (Schelotto) has such great instincts, Schmid said. The ball that was going out of bounds there, hes got the presence to know to react to the play quickly. Its those decisive moments that turn games.
Both Columbus and New York were original members of the MLS when it began in 1996, and both were playing in the league championship game for the first time.
They took quite different paths to the showdown. The Crew finished with a 17-7-6 record that was the best during the regular season, while the Red Bulls went 10-11-9 and were the lowest-seeded team in the postseason.
Hejduk, a member of the Tampa Bay Mutiny in the MLS inaugural season, was appearing in his first league title match. He closed the scoring in the 82nd minute.
To be honest, I cant wait to have a beer, hang out and party with my friends, the 34-year-old Hejduk said in the interview room. Its a little bit surreal right now.
Wolyniec scored on a bang-bang play in the box. Dane Richards dribbled through defenders Brad Evans and Gino Padula just outside the box, popped the ball in and Wolyniec redirected it into the goal with his left foot.
The Crews season-crowning championship completed an impressive turnaround from last year, when they went 9-11-10.