Crew Crushes New York Red Bulls

A graduate of Rubidoux High School scored the go-ahead goal Sunday as the Columbus Crew won Major League Soccer's championship today with a 3-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls at The Home Depot Center.

The team from Columbus took the lead for good in the 53rd minute, when defender Chad Marshall, formerly of Rubidoux, heading in a corner kick from Argentine midfielder Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who was named as the most valuable player of MLS Cup 2008 for his assists on all three Crew goals.

New York had tied the score two minutes earlier as John Wolyniec poked in a pass from Dane Richards.

The Crew added an insurance goal in the 82nd minute as defender Frankie Hejduk headed in a pass from Schelotto. Eddie Gaven was also credited with an assist.

Columbus opened the scoring in the 31st minute as Alejandro Moreno scored his first playoff goal in his 19th playoff game on a play when Schelotto kept the ball in bounds, then passed to Moreno.

Columbus led in shots 11-8 and 6-1 in shots on goal. Red Bulls rookie goalkeeper Danny Cepero made three saves, all in the first half, in his sixth game with the team. Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer did not make a save.

The game was played before a capacity crowd of 27,000 at The Home Depot Center on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills in Carson.

Schelotto was named as the league's most valuable player Thursday.

Both teams were making their first appearances in the MLS Cup. Columbus had a league-best 17-7-6 regular-season record, defeated the Kansas City Wizards, 3-1, in a two-game total goals series in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, and the Chicago Fire, 2-1, in the Eastern Conference Final.

New York was the final team to qualify for the playoffs, with its 10-11- 9 record giving it a wild-card berth. The Red Bulls upset the two-time defending champion Houston Dynamo, 4-1, in a two-game total goals series in the Western Conference Semifinals, and Real Salt Lake, 1-0, in the Western Conference Final.

New York was placed into the Western Conference for the playoffs because it had a better record than Colorado, the Western Conference's fourth-place team.
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