Columbus Crew 2009
2009 Club by Club
Kansas City Wizards
New England Revolution
New York Red Bulls
Real Salt Lake
San Jose Earthquakes
With new head coach Robert Warzycha at the helm, the Crew successfully navigated a hectic season by winning its second consecutive Supporters’ Shield and advancing to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
After a sluggish start – the Crew finally got its first win in the eighth game vs. K.C. on May 9 to put the finishing touches on Crew Stadium’s 10th Anniversary celebration – the Black & Gold crested and sat atop the MLS standings for weeks, suffering only one loss between April 5 and Aug. 30.
Following a 2-1 setback at Dallas June 20, which ended a nine-game unbeaten streak, the Crew would not lose again for more than two months, compiling a 6-0-2 mark that included three consecutive shutouts heading into mid-August and Champions League play.
Despite numerous injuries (including Guillermo Baros Schelotto missing almost two months with a hamstring strain), national team call-ups and suspensions, Warzycha kept the team rolling by giving some of the role players opportunities.
A 2-0 home victory over the Puerto Rico Islanders on Aug. 18 kicked off the Crew’s first foray into the Champions League, and the six-match group stage, and a 1-1 tie at Puerto Rico secured advancement into the competition’s quarterfinal round. In between, Columbus also became the first MLS club to win at Saprissa of Costa Rica’s Estadio Ricardo Saprissa (known as “The Monster’s Cave”).
The Crew extended its league-record unbeaten streak to 22 games on Sept. 26, with a 2-0 win over LA and ultimately finished the the season with a 13-7-10 record and league-best 49 points, to clinch the third Supporters’ Shield in club history.
Unfortunately, the Black & Gold ran into a red-hot Real Salt Lake squad – which went on to win MLS Cup – in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, where its own dream of repeating as MLS Cup champions ended.
The Crew established a new club record for fewest goals allowed in a season, with 31, and Chad Marshall was named MLS Defender of the Year and Best XI for the second straight season.