The Columbus Crew's regular season-ending 1-1 tie with the Colorado Rapids not only extended their MLS-record unbeaten streak to 18 games, but also clinched the club's first Supporters Shield.
"Eighteen games unbeaten is remarkable, but I think nine [unbeaten in a row] on the road is even more remarkable, so the guys deserve a tremendous amount of credit," said Crew coach Greg Andrulis.
Andrulis, however, was not happy with the way the game began for his team.
"I thought we started slow, our ball movement wasn't what it needed to be and we got caught with it at our feet too much, but we were eventually able to pick things up a little bit," Andrulis said. "We wanted to play better but at the same time you have to keep it in context. We haven't had a lot of success out here [in Colorado] ... so it was good to get a result heading into the playoffs."
The Crew's opponent in the Eastern Conference semifinals will be the New England Revolution, who beat the Chicago Fire to earn the fourth seed.
"New England? New beginning," said forward Edson Buddle. "The playoffs are a fresh start, a new beginning, and we just have to take care of the first game."
Rookie midfielder Danny Szetela sees good things ahead for Columbus.
"[Tonight] we were just trying to go out and have a good performance and hopefully bring that in the playoffs. ... I think if we keep playing like we are we'll go all the way," Szetela said.
Geoffrey Urland is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Soccer or its clubs.