Sunday, November 23, 2008

MLS Cup 2008

The Cinderella story of the New York Red Bulls and their magical run ended today. After dominating the first 20 minutes, New York had nothing to show for its efforts, and Alejandro Moreno put Columbus on the board with a 31st minute goal against the run of the play. The angle of the shot was terrible, and Red Bulls 'keeper Danny Cepero really should have done better with the effort.

New York's Dane Richards diced up the Columbus defense in the 51st minute before slotting a beautiful ball into John Wolyniec for a tap-in, making it 1-1. Columbus scored almost immediately, however, with Chad Marshall heading home a Guillermo Barros Schelotto corner kick.

The goal was the eventual game-winner, and completely knocked New York out of its funk. Juan Pablo Angel could not seem to find the ball, and was completely taken out of the game. He was forced to drop deep into the midfield and still could not make things happen. The frustration was very evident on his face.

Perhaps the nicest highlight of the game was the third and final goal, with Schelotto playing in a perfect, deft chip from the 18-yard box that just made it over the heads of Red Bulls defenders for Frankie Hedjuk to head into the back of the net in the 82nd minute.

Really, the better team won on the evening. Columbus was by far the most consistent team throughout the season, and played remarkably throughout the playoffs. Really, it was a season of destiny for Columbus, whose 57 points were far and above most of the rest of the league. Schelotto has proved his worth now that he has won the MVP award for the regular season and MLS Cup, and provided one of the nicest goals of the season for MLS. Voter re-count on the Sierra Mist Goal of the Year? I think so. What a great way to end another solid season of Major League Soccer.