The Crew will look to run their team and MLS record unbeaten streak to 18 games when the Black & Gold go on the road to take on the Colorado Rapids in the regular season finale on Saturday at 9 p.m. at Invesco Field at Mile High. Columbus is unbeaten in its last 17 games (8-0-9) after its 1-1 tie at the MetroStars last Saturday.
A win on Saturday in Colorado would also give the Crew the Supporters' Shield for the best overall record in MLS. Columbus can also win the Supporters' Shield with a tie depending on the outcome of Kansas City's game on Saturday. The Crew lead K.C. by two points (48-46) for the top point total in the league.
The Crew (12-5-12, 48 pts.) clinched their first-ever regular season Eastern Conference title last Wednesday with a 1-0 road win in Chicago, and can end the regular season unbeaten in 18 with a win or tie on Saturday.
Saturday's game will be televised on UPN Columbus and can also be heard in English on Eagle, 103.9, or online through TheCrew.com and MLSNet.com.
COLUMBUS CREW at Colorado Rapids
Saturday, Oct. 16 - 9 p.m. (ET) at INVESCO Field at Mile High
Crew television: UPN Columbus; Crew Radio: The New Eagle, 103.9 (English)
Crew Webcast: TheCrew.com and MLSNet.com (English)
CREW PLAYOFF TICKETS ARE ON SALE, FIRST HOME PLAYOFF GAME IS ON OCT. 31
The Crew will host game two of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. in a nationally televised game on ESPN2.
Tickets for Crew home playoff games can be acquired at the Crew Stadium Box Office, at any area Kroger Ticket Master outlet, via phone at 614-431-3600 or on line at TheCrew.com. Crew season ticket holders have Game One of the playoffs in their ticket packages.
Game one of the Eastern Conference semifinals will be played on Oct. 22 or 23. The opponent has yet to be determined, but it will be either Chicago or New England, the fourth-seed in the East. Chicago currently leads New England by three points for the fourth and final playoff spot in the East and the two teams meet on Saturday in New England. A win by New England, who would win the season series tiebreaker over Chicago, would put the Revolution in the playoffs to face the Crew.
The conference semifinals are two-game, home-and-home, total-goal series. If the teams are tied in total goals at the end of game two, a 30-minute overtime will be played (no sudden death). If the teams are still tied, the series will be decided by a penalty-kick tiebreaker.
If the Crew advance to the Eastern Conference Final, it will be one game, and the Crew will host on Nov. 6 at 7:30 p.m. at Crew Stadium. The same overtime and penalty-kick procedure as the conference semifinals will be in place.
MLS Cup is scheduled for Nov. 14 at 3:30 p.m. (ET) at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., with the same overtime and penalty-kick format. The final will be televised live on ABC.
WASHINGTON JOINS CREW ON TUESDAY
Former Crew star and recent acquisition Dante Washington will join the Crew on Tuesday.
CREW CAPTURE THEIR FIRST EASTERN CONFERENCE REGULAR SEASON TITLE,
SECURE HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE THROUGHOUT PLAYOFFS
An Edson Buddle goal in The Crew's 1-0 win over Chicago last Wednesday gave Columbus its first-ever Eastern Conference regular season title and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Buddle hammered home a free kick goal in the 59th minute for the win. The Crew will be making their seventh playoff appearance in nine seasons. The closest Columbus had previously come to winning a conference title was in 2002 when the Crew tied New England for first place with 38 points but lost the season tiebreaker.
CREW RUN RECORD UNBEATEN STREAK TO 17, SET NEW ROAD UNBEATEN STREAK AT EIGHT
After their 1-1 tie at the MetroStars last Saturday, the Crew stretched their MLS record unbeaten streak to 17 consecutive games (8-0-9). The previous mark of 15 was set by Los Angeles over the course of the 1997 and 1998 seasons (shootouts included). Los Angeles won their last six games of 1997 and their first nine of 1998. The 17-game run is also the longest unbeaten streak in one season, shattering the old mark of 12. The Crew last lost in a league game on June 26, a 2-1 loss in Columbus. The previous Crew record was nine (7-0-2), set from 7/4 to 8/19, 2001. Columbus also had a seven-game (4-0-3) unbeaten streak earlier in the year from 5/1 to 6/12 that ranks as the third longest streak in team history.
With their 1-1 tie at the MetroStars last Saturday, the Crew also set a new MLS record for consecutive road games without a loss at eight. The previous record was seven, which had been done by D.C. (1999), Los Angeles (1997-98), New England (2002-03) and San Jose (2003), as well as the current Crew.
CREW STADIUM'S HUNTINGTON CLUB TO SHOW U.S. QUALIFIER ON WEDNESDAY
Crew Stadium's Huntington Club will televise the USA vs. Panama World Cup qualifying match on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free with beverages available for purchase.
The U.S. qualifier on Wednesday is the final game before the national team makes its way to Columbus on Nov. 17 for the final match of semifinal round qualifying for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. will take on Jamaica at Crew Stadium at 7:30 p.m. (ET).
Tickets for the match in Columbus are currently on sale and are priced from $35 (endlines) to $85 (VIP club seats). Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets (including all Kroger's stores) in Ohio and the surrounding states and by phone at 614-431-3600. Tickets are also available at the Crew Stadium box office and on-line at ussoccer.com, ticketmaster.com, crewstadium.com and thecrew.com.
HEJDUK PLAYS FULL 90 IN 2-0 U.S. WIN, SCOTT AND COSTA RICA WIN 5-0
The U.S. men's national team downed El Salvador 2-0 last Saturday to improve to 2-0-2 in semifinal round qualifying play. The Crew's Frankie Hejduk played the full 90 minutes for the U.S. as they remained in first place in Group A. The top two teams out of the four will advance to the final round of qualifying that begins next year. Tony Sanneh did not play.
Costa Rica kept their qualifying hopes alive with a 5-0 win over Guatemala in Costa Rica. Erick Scott and Costa Rica are 2-2-0 with six points and are currently tied for second-place in Group B with Honduras. Guatemala leads the group with seven points. Costa Rica plays in Canada on Wednesday.