Columbus Crew 2008
2008 Club by Club
Kansas City Wizards
New England Revolution
New York Red Bulls
Real Salt Lake
San Jose Earthquakes
The Crew's historic 2008 season was one of great excitement and fulfillment, as it earned its first MLS Cup Championship following a dominant regular season in which it went 17-7-6 and won the Supporters' Shield with a club-record 57 points. The Black & Gold also set new club marks for wins and goals in the post-shootout era (since 2000). The Crew became the first MLS team in six seasons to win the Supporters' Shield - MLS Cup double and qualified for the prestigious CONCACAF Champions League.
Argentine icon Guillermo Barros Schelotto once again powered the Crew attack, collecting seven goals and 19 assists in 27 games, leading the league in assists by a wide margin and setting a new Crew record for assists in a season and tying for the second most in a season in league history. His extraordinary performance was recognized when he became the first Crew player lo be named the MLS Most Valuable Player. Schelotto continued his brilliant play in the MLS Cup Playoffs, in which he registered six postseason assists, including a record three assists in MLS Cup 2008, and he was named MVP of the title match. But Schelotto was not alone in his efforts, as young stars Chad Marshall and Robbie Rogers had breakout seasons and head coach Sigi Schmid was named MLS Coach of the Year. The imposing Marshall was honored as the MLS Defender of the Year and selected to the MLS Best XI squad at season's end. He made an impact at the offensive end, as well, notching a career-high four goals during the regular season and two more in the playoffs - the game-winners in both the Eastern Conference Championship and MLS Cup.
Meanwhile, Rogers collected six goals and three assists while terrorizing Crew opponents up and down the left flank. Rogers' stellar ploy was recognized throughout the soccer community as he was named to the MLS All-Star First XI, the U.S. Olympic squad that competed in Beijing, China and was a MLS Best XI selection at season's end.
The 2008 season will also be remembered for the transformation of the atmosphere at Crew Stadium by the formation of the Nordecke in the stadium's northeast corner. Following the construction of the permanent stage in the stadium's north end, the Crew's three primary supporter groups banded together in the northeast corner. The energy and excitement that emanated from the new location became one of the stories of the season - both locally and league-wide. Their drumbeats, chants and unbridled enthusiasm became a hallmark of Crew Stadium and Crew players and coaches repeatedly cited the Nordecke as a significant factor in the team's success at home.
The dream season was capped with a 3-1 victory over New York in MLS Cup 2008 and the team returned to a raucous airport welcome and community celebration hosted by Gov. Ted Strickland at the Ohio Statehouse.