The New York Red Bulls were defeated by the Columbus Crew, 3-1, in the MLS Cup on Sunday at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. The match brings to a close the franchise's most successful season in its 13-year history as they reached the title match for the first time. Over 5,000 Red Bulls fans were on hand to witness the match. The Red Bulls will travel back to New York Monday and their schedule for the next few days will be announced in the near future.
In Sunday's MLS Cup, Columbus got on the scoreboard first, in the 31st minute, when Alejandro Moreno latched onto a Guillermo Barros Schelotto pass and sent a 12-yard shot from the right side past the outstretched arms of a diving Danny Cepero. It was the only goal of the first half.
The Red Bulls leveled the match just six minutes into the second half when forward John Wolyniec finished a perfect pass from Dane Richards with an outstretched left foot and re-directed the ball into the net past William Hesmer from inside the 6-yard box. For Wolyniec it was his second goal of the 2008 MLS Cup Playoffs. But Columbus went back on top just two minutes later when Schelotto curled a corner kick into the area and Chad Marshall headed it home through traffic for a 2-1 Crew lead. Columbus defender Frankie Hejduk finished the scoring in the 82nd minute when he nodded a Schelotto chip into the box past Cepero. Schelotto finished the match with three assists.
The New York Red Bulls had a Cinderella-like run to the MLS Cup. In the opening round of the playoffs, the Red Bulls knocked out the two-time defending MLS Cup Champion Houston Dynamo on November 9, winning the two-game aggregate series, 4-1. Then, the Red Bulls travelled to Salt Lake City and captured the Western Conference title with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake on November 15.
By reaching the MLS Cup game, the Red Bulls have qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League for the first time in franchise history. Inclusion in this prestigious International Tournament will add several matches to the Red Bulls' 2009 schedule. The winner of the competition qualifies for the FIFA Club World Cup. The CONCACAF Champions League is comprised of clubs from Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, Belize, as well as three clubs from the Caribbean Zone, which includes countries such as Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Trinidad and Tobago.
New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew
November 23, 2008 -- Home Depot Center
Red Bulls 0 - 1 -- 1
Columbus 1- 2 -- 3
Columbus - Alejandro Moreno (Guillermo Barros Schelotto), 31st minute
RBNY - John Wolyniec 2 (Dane Richards), 51st minute
Columbus - Chad Marshall (Schelotto), 53rd minute.
Columbus - Frankie Hejduk (Schelotto, Eddie Gaven), 82nd minute.
Columbus Crew -- William Hesmer, Frankie Hejduk, Chad Marshall, Danny O'Rourke, Gino Padula, Eddie Gaven (Steven Lenhart, 93'+), Brian Carroll, Brad Evans, Robbie Rogers, Guillermo Barros Schelotto (Andy Iro, 91'+), Alejandro Moreno.
Substitutes Not Used: Andy Gruenenaum, Emmanuel Ekpo, Ezra Hendrickson, Stefani Miglioranzi, Pat Noonan.
New York Red Bulls -- Danny Cepero, Carlos Mendes, Chris Leitch, Kevin Goldthwaite, Diego Jimenez, Dane Richards, Luke Sassano (Jorge Rojas, 78'), Sinisa Ubiparipovic, Dave van den Bergh, John Wolyniec (Macoumba Kanji, 82'), Juan Pablo Angel.
Substitutes Not Used: Caleb Patterson-Sewell, Andrew Boyens, Gabriel Cichero, Mike Magee, Juan Pietravallo.
RBNY -- Chris Leitch (caution; reckless tackle) 4th minute
Columbus - Gino Padula (caution, reckless tackle) 68th minute
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey, Kermit Quisenberry
4th official: Mark Geiger
Weather: Cloudy and 68 degrees
Time of Game: 1:52