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Final

Where does the Crew's streak rank?

and the longest single-season streak in the league annals (the Galaxy mark stretched over two years).

But considering that over the nine-year history of Major League Soccer games have been ended under three distinct sets of rules, it's perhaps appropriate to examine those records under different criteria and the only one that is common to every year of MLS history -- those teams which put together the longest streaks of not trailing after 90 minutes of play.

In the first four years of MLS history, games that were tied at the end of 90 minutes went to the shootout, the winner of the post-match decider awarded one point and a shootout victory, while the losing team received none. Then in the four years before this season, matches tied at the end of 90 minutes went into a 10-minute golden goal extra-time period, where matches were counted as ties if drawn at the end of the additional period.

But if the current rules were applied over the entire nine-year history of the league -- all results stand after 90 minutes of regulation league play -- then suddenly a few other streaks move into reckoning.

The Crew's current mark would be surpassed by a 14-game run posted by the Chicago Fire from the last month of the 2000 season through the first two months of the 2001 campaign. The Fire went 14 games without ending the first 90 minutes behind, though they lost two games early in the '01 campaign on golden goals.

But the new leader would be the mark set by D.C. United. They began the 1997 season with 14 consecutive matches where they were not outscored over the first 90 minutes, winning nine in regulation time while going 2-3 in five shootouts. Add two regulation victories over the final two matches of the inaugural campaign, and United would be the new record holders with 16 matches unbeaten at the end of 90 minutes.

Not included in the record: A six-game run to the first MLS Cup championship, followed by two victories in the U.S. Open Cup to become the first U.S. team to capture a domestic double -- and the streak becomes a remarkable 24 games in all competitions without trailing at the end of 90 minutes.

The longest streaks of games in MLS history in which teams were not outscored in the first 90 minutes (eliminating shootouts and overtime):

16  D.C. United     17-Sep-1996 to 14-Jun-1997*
15  Los Angeles      7-Sep-1997 to 17-May-1998
14  Chicago         19-Aug-2000 to 26-May-2001*
13  Columbus         3-Jul-2004 to 18-Sep-2004   (current)
12  Los Angeles     13-Apr-1996 to 26-Jun-1996*
12  Colorado        16-Sep-1998 to 27-May-1999
12  Dallas          20-Mar-1999 to  5-Jun-1999
12  Los Angeles      9-Oct-1999 to 20-May-2000*
12  Kansas City     25-Mar-2000 to 27-May-2000*
12  Miami           21-Apr-2001 to  4-Jul-2001*
12  San Jose        28-Apr-2001 to  4-Jul-2001*

* Signifies those streaks added to list by eliminating shootouts and overtime.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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