Columbus Crew 3 Red Bulls 1 MLS Cup Final

November 24, 2008 | Filed Under: USA BOX, World Box Update 
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Alejandro Moreno opened the scoring in the 31st minute, slotting a tight-angled shot past Red Bulls goalkeeper Danny Cepero. New York equalized early in the second half through John Wolyniec, but Chad Marshall’s header from a Schelotto corner kick restored the Crew’s lead 87 seconds later. Schelotto then earned his MLS Cup record third assist in the 82nd minute, with is direct pass allowing Frankie Hejduk to cap the scoring.Schelotto was named the MLS Cup Most Valuable Player for his record-setting performance, becoming the third player in league history to win league MVP honors as well as in the MLS Cup Final.35-year-old Schelotto, a long-time star in his native Argentina, assisted on all the Columbus Crew‘s goals in Sunday’s 3-1 MLS Cup victory over the New York Red Bulls. Afterward, he received the game’s 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.

“It’s 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 York’s 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 York’s 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 it’s 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 Marshall’s header off Schelotto’s 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 Moreno’s goal with a heads-up play near the sideline, Marshall’s with a bending corner kick, and Hejduk’s with a soft lob.

Schmid said Schelotto even played fine defence.”He’s always helping the team,” the coach said.An example was the play leading to the Crew’s 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, he’s got the presence to know to react to the play quickly. It’s those decisive moments that turn games.”


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