The Columbus Crew captured the 2009 Supporters Shield on Thursday without even firing a shot. The Crew retained the Shield as the league’s best team because second place Chivas USA lost their game Thursday night and can no longer catch Columbus. The Crew is currently on top of the standings with 13 wins, 6 losses, and 10 ties, good for 49 points with one game remaining.
The Supporters Shield is given to the Major League Soccer team for the best record in the regular season. The Crew has now won it in 2004, 2008, and 2009. The team’s three wins are second only behind D.C. United’s four shields. Columbus is the only one of two teams to win the Shield back to back, United being the other.
The Supporters Shield was the team’s second major achievement of the week. Playing on Tuesday, the Crew tied Puerto Rico 1-1 in CONCACAF Champions League action to qualify for the Quarterfinals of the regional tournament. They are the only MLS team to move on to the next round of the competition. The Champions League will take the winter off. Columbus will play a two game series in March against another qualifying team.
The Crew finishes up the regular season by facing off against the New England Revolution on Sunday at Crew Stadium. The MLS Playoffs and the road to MLS Cup start the following week; matchups and times are still to be determined. The Crew will start the playoffs with a two game series and will have a home game the first week of November.