MLS Cup Gameday: Columbus Crew-New York Red Bulls at Home Depot Center

There’s a sense of destiny for the Crew.

There’s hope of an upset for the Red Bulls.

Both will share the stage today at 12:30 p.m. on ABC from Carson as the drama unfolds.

Me, I’m just hoping for goals.

There’s hope: the Crew ranked in the top three this season in goals scored and allowed; the Red Bulls have the third-worst defensive record of any team to reach an MLS Cup and conceded 48 goals this season, 12th most among the league’s 14 teams.

But New York also have Juan Pablo Angel, who has scored 33 goals over the last two years; that’s more than any other player.

Is Red Bull Coach Juan Carlos Osorio expecting a lot of goals, too?

“No. This is a one-off (game). This is the final, so you cannot just go ahead and play forward and try to score too many goals and leave your back line exposed.”

Crew Coach Sigi Schmid hedged:

“I think you’re going to see a game where there is going to be chances. I can’t ever promise goals because goals don’t always result from chances, ask Salt Lake, ask Houston.”

The central figure for the Crew is Argentine MLS MVP Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who does his homework, Schmid said, which has allowed him to thrive in a league where other big-name foreign players have failed:

“When he came to our team in our league he already knew what was going on. He knew how our system worked, he knew who the best teams were, he knew some of the players that were in the league. … He studies the game, he’s knowledgeable and he knows about it and as a result of that he respects it, and once you respect it you approach it in a good manner and with a good attitude.”

Missed earlier posts leading up to the game?

*Here’s a few words from New York Red Bull attacking midfield threat Dane Richards; and here’s the perspective of his Crew counterpart, Robbie Rogers of Rolling Hills Estates.

*Three Crew players were named to the MLS Best XI.

*And former Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid is hoping for a happy ending.

So we’ll give Schmid the final word: “To become the first coach to win the title with two different teams would be very rewarding,” he said.

I’ll be back with more later from Home Depot Center. Enjoy the game.

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