2007 Club by Club
The Columbus Crew's 2007 season was characterized by steady growth, through ups and downs, but will be remembered most as the one in which Argentine superstar Guillermo Barros Schelotto was signed.
Following a 1-4-5 start, two shrewd personnel moves by General Manager Mark McCullers and head coach Sigi Schmid, including one of the most significant in club history, got the season back on track. On April 19, the Black & Gold signed Schelotto, one of the most successful and beloved players in the history of famed Argentine club Boca Juniors to much fanfare. That deal, along with the acquisition of forward Alejandro Moreno via trade in early May, signaled a change in fortunes. With the improving attack and return from injury of defender Chad Marshall and goalkeeper William Hesmer to bolster the backline, the Crew went on a six-game unbeaten streak (4-0-2) and lost only three times in 13 games between June 16 and Sept. 2, vaulting it back into the playoff race and thrusting it directly into the fight for a lop spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
Tough limes would return down the stretch, however, as injuries and general misfortune combined to spoil the club's run of qualifying for the MLS playoffs. It did, however, finish strong with back-to-back 3-2 victories on the road over Eastern Conference leaders New England, an eventual MLS Cup finalist, and D.C. United, the Supporters' Shield winner.
The Crew's final record of 9-11-10 represented a marked improvement over 2006. It also improved in virtually every offensive statistical category, including scoring, with a nine-goal improvement (39-30) in two fewer games. Schelotto finished the season ranked fourth in MLS in assists and was named the club's MVP and to the MLS Best XI, while Moreno was the team's leading goal scorer and the league leader in fouls suffered for the third consecutive season.
The return lo form of perennial national team defender Frankie Hejduk from a serious knee injury that sidelined him for most of 2006 and the continued emergence of Eddie Gaven and newcomer Robbie Rogers were also bright spots during the campaign. The biggest news off the field came on Oct. 4, when the Crew and ICI Paints announced a landmark four-year partnership that positions the Glidden brand as the club's Presenting Partner, the most visible evidence of which is the prominent placement of the Glidden logo on the front of all Crew jerseys.
With a dynamic young nucleus returning to sport the club's new look in year three of the Sigi Schmid era, the future looks bright.