MLS Cup: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew (Live Commentary)

MLS Cup: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew (Live Commentary)

MLS Cup

MLS Cup: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew (Live Commentary)

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After a dozen years of waiting, the long and difficult path to a championship match has finally found a destination for two of Major League Soccer's original teams. The New York Red Bulls and Columbus Crew will meet today in the 2008 MLS Cup Final (3:30pm, ABC/Telefutura), the first MLS Cup final for both teams.

I will be providing commentary throughout the day so feel free to follow along before, during and after the match. As always, feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions on the match in the comments section below.

Let's get started (Commentary after the jump):

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FINAL– Sigi Schmid becomes the first head coach to win MLS Cup titles with two different teams. He won in 2002 with the LA Galaxy and has now won with the Columbus Crew. 

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FINAL– Crew 3, Red Bulls 1. The best team in the league during the regular season caps off its dream season with an MLS Cup final victory. MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto orchestrates the victory.

For the Red Bulls, it was a gutsy and impressive performance, as they carried the better of the play in the first half, but mistakes and the Crew's quality eventually pushed the game in the Crew's favor. The Red Bulls can certainly hold their heads up because they played a better game than a lot of people thought they could play in this final.

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92nd minute– Ubiparipovic missed just wide on a nice sequence for the Red Bulls. That was probably their last gasp.

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91st minute– Schelotto leaves the match to a deserved ovation.

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90th minute– Three minutes of stoppage time.

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89th minute– Schelotto has shown today why he is the league MVP. His creativity set up all three goals.

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86th minute– Crew fans smell victory and have started their loudest song of the day.

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84th minute– Schelotto will be locking up MVP of this game to go along with league MVP.

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82nd minute- GOAL CREW. Frankie Hejduk finishes it off with a header, catching Cepero off his line. Great chip by Schelotto to find Hejduk. Crew 3, Red bulls 1.

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81st minute– Today's attendance is 27,000

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80th minute– Crew with a free kick on the left side.

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78th minute– The Red Bulls replace Sassano with Rojas. They needed that to help spark some creativity.

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75th minute– Red Bulls starting to look a little flat. The Crew could certainly take advantage. Will Sigi Schmid make a sub any time soon?

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74th minute– Crew with a nice sequence to spring Gaven but Mendes clears it. Clock is ticking.

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72nd minute– Sassano is hurt. You have to wonder if and when we will see Osorio make some subs. Jorge Rojas would be someone who could make some things happen.

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70th minute– Van Den Bergh's free kick is cleared out.

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69th minute– Jimenez is having a shocker, nearly makes a very costly mistake. You wonder if Osorio is thinking of yanking him. The only problem is andrew Boyens is too slow and Gabriel Cichero is too risky.

Dane Richards burns Padula again and draws a yellow on Padula.

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67th minute– Angel's kick is well over.

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65th minute– Red Bulls with a long distance free kick.

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63rd minute– Wolyniec once again does well to hold the ball and dish it off, but Richards can't hit a good short cross (or shot, which would have been the better decision).

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61st minute– One player who has been very quiet today is Robbie Rogers. The Red Bulls have taken him out of this game. Richards has owned that side of the field.

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58th minute– The Red Bulls are losing on the field but continue to win in the stands. The singing has been impressive.

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57th minute– Red Bulls get a counter run but Richards can't threaten the Crew with his chip shot. He needed to cross it in.

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55th minute– The Red Bulls have to be a bit stunned after equalizing to get back into this game only to give up a second goal so quickly. The Crew will press hard these next few minutes.

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54th minute– Marshall gets free after a slight push on Goldthwaite before making his run, and powers the header home. The Red Bulls were worried about Marshall and how they would stop him on set pieces. That is why.

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53rd minute- GOAL CREW. And it's Chad Marshall with the header off the corner. Crew 2, Red Bulls 1.

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50th minute– Dane Richards with a beautiful run to beat Padula and find Wolyniec, who finishes with a great touch. Things should get interesting now.. Red Bulls 1, Crew 1.

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49th minute- GOAL RED BULLS!!!! JOHN WOLYNIEC.

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48th minute– The Crew nearly catch the Red Bulls on the counterattack after a Red Bulls set piece. That hasn't happened before, has it?

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47th minute– Red Bulls awarded a dangerous free kick from the left flank.

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46th minute– We're back. No subs.

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HALFTIME– The Crew need to hold the ball better. They're getting bullied in midfield a bit. Carroll and Evans need to get more of the ball to slow things down and get some more passes to Schelotto and Moreno.

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HALFTIME– Will we see changes? I doubt it. Look for Richards to get more involved, but the biggest issue has been Jimenez, who has looked shaky today. 

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HALFTIME– Looks like some controversy on the Crew's goal. Replays seem to show the ball going out of bounds when Schelotto collected it and passed off to Moreno. Bad call or not, the Red Bulls had chances and didn't convert them and the Crew took its best chance well. 

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HALFTIME– Crew 1, Red Bulls 0. We thought it might be a game the Crew dominated and the Red bulls could potentially hold a lead on, but the roles have been reversed. New York has had the better of the play but Columbus took its chance well and Moreno finished. If you're the Red Bulls you can't be too upset with your first half. The Crew will take the lead, but need to play better in the second half to put this one away. 

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45th minute– Cepero saves a Moreno shot from distance. Not that much of a threat.

The Red Bulls are still trying to attack, but the goal has certainly energized the Crew.

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45th minute– Two minutes of stoppage time.

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43rd minute– Moreno has been a handful for the red Bulls defense and Jimenez just got turned by Schelotto for a dangerous free kick on the right wing.

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41st minute– Van Den Bergh tries one from distance and it is just over the crossbar by a foot.

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41st minute– It took a while but we're hearing the Crew fans now.

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40th minute– Red Bulls earn a corner on a good build-up.

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37th minute– The Crew look more dangerous now and are going for blood. Will they expose themselves to a counter?

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35th minute– Jimenez got beat pretty badly on the goal, but Cepero was in position to get a hand on it.

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34th minute– How will the Red Bulls respond? The Red Bulls dominate the first 30 minutes and get burned on a counter. Can they keep their composure?

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31st minute- GOAL CREW!! Alejandro Moreno scores on a counter started by Schelotto. Moreno beats Jimenez before beating Cepero to the far post. Crew 1, Red Bulls 0

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30th minute– SHOT Angel, comes oh so close. Richards with some nice work in the box and his pass finds Angel but angel can't keep the shot down.

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29th minute– Angel heads the corner clear. Red Bulls counter quickly but O'Rourke gets back in time to cut off a dangerous Angel run.

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28th minute– Crew earns a corner. Here comes the corner threat. Chad Marshall will be key.

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28th minute– Padula is back on the field.

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27th minute– The Crew with their first good chance, an Eddie Gaven shot from distance that doesn't trouble Danny Cepero.

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26th minute– Padula walks off slowly. Maybe he won't come out.

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25th minute– We have a break in play as Gino Padula is attended to. He has a left leg injury and may have to come out.

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23rd minute– Richards with a dangerous cross in that nobody finds, what a chance. Red Bulls have the Crew on their heels.

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21st minute– Wolyniec is causing problems for the Crew. He's too strong for O'Rourke and has made himself available for plenty of passes. Don't be surprised to see Wolyniec either score or have an assist today given the advantage he is showing.

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19th minute– Goldthwaite sends a header just wide. Good corner and decent chance.

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18th minute– Red Bulls with another corner as the Crew struggle to get a hold of this game.

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16th minute– The Red Bulls on the attack again as a Van Den Bergh cross causes some problems. Angel has been very active and dropping back to help start attacks. He's almost playing as a playmaker at this point.

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14th minute– Wolyniec with the best chance of the game so far, sends a shot over the top from 20. Red Bulls have had the better of the play early on.

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11th minute– Juan Pablo Angel is roaming around a lot, looking for a spot. The Crew keep passing him off and you wonder if Angel will find a seam.

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11th minute– Another wasted corner by the Red Bulls.

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10th minute– The Red Bulls with a good spell of possession, no chance at the end, but they're knocking it around well.

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7th minute– The corner leads to nothing.

Crew still looking for a chance early on, as are the REd Bulls.

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6th minute– The Red Bulls with their first quality passing sequence, which leads to a corner kick.

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5th minute– The Crew get an offside call on the free kick.

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5th minute– The first yellow card of the game goes to Chris Leitch for a foul on Robbie Rogers. Tough tackle that one. A message being sent perhaps?

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3rd minute– The Red Bulls fans are bringing it in the singing department. On the field, it's still early as the teams feel each other out.

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2nd minute– Who am I kidding? We'll probably get a methodical first 15 to 20 minutes.

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1st minute– We're off.

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PRE-GAME– The key for the Red Bulls will be to start fast. Don't look for them to play defensively early on. They want an early goal and will, at least at first, open things up. The Crew will certainly look to do the same. An early goal would be gold for either team.

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PRE-GAME– The  anthem has been sung and we are close to getting under way. The fan groups for both teams are in full voice and, despite a late-arriving crowd, we've got some energy going on at Home Depot Center.

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PRE-GAME– The teams are entering the field.

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PRE-GAME– with most Crew and Red Bulls fans either attending this game in person or watching with groups, I'm trying to figure out how many readers will be following along today. If you will be following the commentary please let me know.

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PRE-GAME– I've been told the game will kick off at 3:50pm for those of you wondering.

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PRE-GAME– Not sure if it's an omen but the Red Bulls skydiver who just landed on the field missed the center circle while the Crew skydiver landed much better.

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PRE-GAME– The Crew lineup is what we expected to see, with O'Rourke getting the nod over Iro (not really a chance the rookie was going to start). A match-up to watch will be the O'Rourke-Wolyniec battle. Wolyniec has the size and strength to cause problems for the undersized O'Rourke.

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PRE-GAME- Ubiparipovic is back in the lineup after coming out early against Real Salt Lake. He is healthy and he and Luke Sassano will have a lot of work to do in trying to keep up with the Crew playmaking tandem of Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Brad Evans.

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PRE-GAME- Here are the lineups:

RED BULLS

———————Angel——–Wolyniec—————

Van Den Bergh———Ubiparipovic————Richards

—————————-Sassano————————-

Goldthwaite—–Jimenez——–Mendes———-Leitch

—————————–Cepero————————–

BENCH– Patterson-Sewell, Boyens, Cichero, Kandji, Magee, Pietravallo, Rojas

CREW

————————-Moreno—————————–

————————————-Schelotto—————

Rogers—————–Evans————————Gaven

————————Carroll——————————-

Padula——O'Rourke—–Marshall—————-Hejduk

———————–Hesmer——————————-

BENCH– Gruenebaum, Ekpo, Hendrickson, Iro, Lenhart, Miglioranzi, Noonan

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