Sunday, November 23, 2008

Deserving winners

It's not often we see dominance from start to finish in Major League Soccer. In the league's early days, we saw some Supporters' Shield winners walk away with the league title - four of the first seven MLS Cup champions won MLS Cup - but not since the 2002 LA Galaxy have we seen the best team in the regular season win the league title.

Columbus was the best team this season. Sure, at times New England held that moniker. Chicago was also dominant at times. Houston was no slouch either. But in terms of consistency, effectiveness on defense, mastery on offense, there was no better team.

The postseason awards spoke to that. Sigi Schmid won Coach of the Year, Guillermo Barros Schelotto won Most Valuable Player, Chad Marshall won Defender of the Year and three Crew players (Barros Schelotto, Marshall and Robbie Rogers) were on the MLS Best XI.

The Crew carried that success over to the postseason and dispatched Kansas City, Chicago and New York with precision and effectiveness.

Where does this team rank among the all-time greats? Well, it's too early to have that discussion. But if and when it's time, the Crew will have plenty of ammo on their side as they'll try and stake their claim as a superior side that will be remembered for some time to come.

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