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Crew tops Fire, clinches MLS Cup berth


An ugly first half had the Columbus Crew looking like another Supporters Shield winner that would fall short of an MLS Cup title. An inspired second half reminded us how the Crew finished the regular season with the best record in the league.

Second-half goals from Chad Marshall and Eddie Gaven helped Columbus erase a 1-0 halftime deficit and give the Crew a 2-1 victory in the Eastern Conference final at Crew Stadium on Thursday night. The win sends Columbus to its first MLS Cup final, where the Crew will face the winner of Saturday’s Western Conference final between Real Salt Lake and the New York Red Bulls.

What did you think of the match? Did you think it lived up to the hype? Disappointed to see the Fire play so poorly in the second half? Think Eddie Gaven was diving a little? Surprised to see Cuauhtemoc Blanco disappear in the second half? Can you see either RSL or the Red Bulls beating the Crew in the MLS Cup final?

Share your thoughts on the Crew’s Eastern Conference final victory in the comments section below.


  1. Really nice trophy. Looked like the pot from your mother’s old tea set. It was so bush!!!! (no pun intended)

    Good game- glad to see the 2008 champion will get the chance to win the post season tournement too.

    Chicago could be the best team next year if they can replace Blanco with a quality play maker. He looks to be out of gas on his career about now. The rest of the team, if they can keep it together, could be something special. Imagine a Morales type with the rest of that squad.

    The Crew vs. RSL would be a really open,exciting final.

  2. I’ve always wondered why don’t The Crew take the New Kids on the Block off their logo and put Schelotto, Rogers and Iro on their. Iro just for the mohawk. But they should put their 3 best or well liked or known players in place of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch on their logo.

  3. One, I am a crew fan. Two I am friends with Busch. What you saw was not exactly how it went down. Jon acknowledged Sigi with a thanks and a head nod when Sigi congratulated him…He did not take Sigi’s handshake though, and Sigi told JON to F off first. That is when Jon retorted back. How many of us would shake the hand of a guy who waived you, and then said some not so nice things in the press. Buschy did what most of us would not have the guts to do, he gave his well wishes to the players, and other coaches, just not the dude who fired him. That being said, the Crew are the better team, and deserve this. All of this silly Busch stuff is clouding a fantastic game, and our first trip to the finals.

  4. Blanco disappeared for 2/3rds of the whole season. Thursdays performance by him was not sub-par… it was what we have had from him all year. I’m sooooooo glad that he is coming back for another year (not).

  5. TBrodie – yes this means that its DCU, CLB, Hou, and RSL/RBNJ in the CL next year….

    Superliga is CLB, Hou, Fire & CUSA/NE (tied in points and record, wonder who gets the regular season wins)….

    this is nice, b/c at 2 of the teams in both CL and Superliga are not going to deplete their teams in both tournys…. we have Hou and Clb representing in both, and deservingly so…. but the other spots are held by 4 different teams…

  6. Imitation Alexi – While Alexi made some amazingly stupid moves, that was not one of his.

    As a fan of both the Crew (second) & the Fire (first) I thought that the Crew outplayed the Fire last night and deservedly won. Hamlet made some odd attempts to kick things in gear, but at the end it was apparent that he should have subbed Papa for Blanco quite a bit earlier. I’m quite glad one of my teams is in the Cup, and should win it. I’m rooting for RSL to be RBNY as I think they would represent the West (how can NY?) and just like their team better (Angel aside).

  7. Hey, this means that the Dynamo backs into the 2009-2010 CONCACAF Champions League as the Supporters’ Shield runner-up. Last spot goes to winner of RSL-Red Bulls.

  8. Bunko Pete – if mapp were to actually play with the intensity of any other player then he could in fact be a top player in the mls…. but he doesnt…

    mapp is lazy… he doesnt play defense… he doesnt go in on 50/50’s… occassionally he plays quality, but alot of the time he dribbles when he shouldnt and passes when he should take his man on….

    Mapp played with intensity for a couple games this season and was a beast… it occured when DH benched him for a couple games…. when he’s on his game he’s quite quality, but those games are few and far between…. id much rather Marco get the start over Mapp…. and rolfe is no midfielder (despite how well he played this year… he’s a forward)…

  9. BrianK – not saying that at all… simply saying that his attitude had nothing to do with the cut… if it did, then it CLB brought it out in him, b/c he’s been nothing but a leader on the field and in the locker room for the fire….

    if what DS said is accurate, my guess is Sigi wasnt going to take a chance on busch recovering completely…. no player likes to be counted out, im sure there was attitude then…

    but the fact remains that this whole incedent was based primarily on poor timing…. if Sigi would have waited till December to congradulate him and try to mend the issues there, then all could have been averted… but going up to a player who doesnt like you and saying “congrats on a great year” right after he loses the biggest game of his season is not great timing….

    fact remains is all the people claiming how “classless” busch was have no idea what occured except what sigi said to the cameras…. you have no idea of intent.. you have no idea of the emotions stirring… fact remains is #7 was still dumb…

  10. Brett,

    Why criticize Hamlett for always starting Mapp?

    Mapp is in my own humble opinion, the one American pro with the best technical skills. I understand he doesn’t always play with the same grit or urgency that he should. But between him and Rolfe, you’ve got the most talented tandem of attacking youngsters in the MLS.

  11. Seeing all these professional team celebrate advancing to the final is pathetic. And seeing Heyduck and the Crew kissing that miniature cup as they jump around in their “Champions” T-shirts was absolutely hilarious. I know it is done in every US sport but someone has to tell these guys “You have NOT won ANYTHING yet!”

    Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine. Conference championships are worthless and everyone knows it. Just once, I’d like to see the entire team realize this and go straight to the locker room. Celebrate after the MLS Cup…when you’ve truly accomplished something.

  12. Brett – You must be correct. A players acidic attitude would never factor into a coaches decition to keep or cut a player.

    As with a guy like Frank Hejduk, who by all accounts is a great dressing room guy vs. a guy like Jeff Cunningham who known for being a dressing room cancer.

    Maybe Sigi spotted something in “Bushy”, injured knee and all an thought it time to move in another direction. (But you would know better than Schmid. He only has 25+ years of coaching experience.) And its not like Busch didn’t immediately show it when cut from Columbus!!

    But anyway,…I am finished with this. Great job Sigi. It is a joy watching the Crew! Great job Jon Busch. You had a fantastic season and are deserved GK Of the Year!

  13. DS – you people have no idea how Sigi’s “congradulations” was meant… it could easily be taken in as gloating over a player who’s been sour about Sigi… i am not saying it’s one way or the other, but you have no idea of Sigi’s intent… you simply have his version of it… you have not heard Busch’s side….

    and about the commenting on it later part… he just lost the confrence finals, i would be shocked if he even wanted to comment on anything… he’s clearly sour towards Sigi… it simply was poor timing to try to mend their relationship….

  14. Raghu:

    yes, CommonWealth often shows games, especially the weekend morning ones during brunch. I also recommend Marx in Mt. Pleasant for anything before ten on a weekend night (they even sponsor a rec league team a friend plays for) Bedrock on Columbia will usually let you use a TV is you ask nicely (I was there last night)

  15. Hey anyone know if the Crew all took an oath not shave until the Cup? Some of them pull it off, but poor Brian Carroll looks like an eighth grader.

  16. This was just the type of game we as proud fans of our league need to have aired on ESPN. Great atmosphere, loud supporters for both squads, good stadium (other than that dreadful stage). Congrats to the Crew but to the Fire also for a great season. I only hope the remainder of this season is just as entertaining and exciting.

  17. Jon Busch had two bad knees when Schmid let him go – great to see he’s recovered his form, but few teams were ready to take a shot on a 5’10 guy with two repaired ACLs. Of course none of us know how diplomatic Schmid was in releasing Busch, but you’re a fool to argue that Busch’s response yesterday was even remotely justified. Busch responded like an a$$ last night, and there’s nothing ‘classy’ about refusing to comment on it later.

  18. I don’t care about Columbus (where is that anyway?) but I’m glad Blanco was on the losing team, that guy is a prime example of what gives soccer a bad name. He flops, falls and acts like a baby it’s incredible that a guy with that amount of talent resorts to cheap theatrics send him back home before he infects the rest of the league.


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