Well, the Crew proved us all wrong. They slayed so many of their postseason ghosts and they even managed to show there’s some life in that market, yet. They are truly worth champions of the Eastern Conference and are rightly considered favorites in next week’s cup final.
I want to take a moment and give Sigi Schmid credit specifically. He truly is one of the best coaches in the history of MLS. He rebuilt this team from worse than nothing and made them finalists. He did it without a designated player and while getting contributions from previously unknown folks like Will Hesmer and Steven Lenhart.
What struck me most about last night was how well his team adjusted after halftime. I dunno what Sigi did or said in that tiny little home dressing room they have there, but it was clearly genius. The Crew looked lost and nervous for the first 45 minutes. But after halftime, it was the Crew who maintained composure and took advantage of two complete marking meltdowns by the Fire to tie and then take the lead. Some teams and coaches (TOMMY, THIS MEANS YOU!) seem unable to affect any change in their team at halftime. Last night we saw Schmid do exactly the opposite.
Allow me to finish on a traditional note – haranguing the Crew fans. The traitor chants and booing directed at Brian McBride were completely classless and uncalled for. It makes you look petty and stupid. He singlehandedly kept soccer alive in Columbus, when its stupid management would’ve otherwise killed it off. No matter how many goals he scores against you, Crew fans forever owe McBride and his contributions on and off the field for that club.
Also, same goes for you Buschie. You ought to know better.