The Columbus Crew, a popular preseason favorite in the Eastern Conference, were the only team in the East to fail to make the playoffs. They were eliminated a day before their final match when D.C. United earned a point in a draw against the Kansas City Wizards.
They closed out the season on a high note by thrashing the playoff-bound Chicago 6-2. The Fire rested many of their regulars for the match.
Brian McBride and Edson Buddle each registered two goals and an assist while Jeff Cunningham and Freddy Garcia had a goal and two assists apiece for the Crew (10-12-8, 38 points), whose six second-half goals were one more than the previous record.
The Crew announced the winners of their team awards Oct. 29 at its annual awards luncheon held in the Huntington Club at Crew Stadium.
They are as follows: Ross Paule, Honda Most Valuable Player; Eric Denton, Defender of the Year; Brian McBride, Scoring Champion; McBride, Huntington Man of the Year; Mike Clark, U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year; Edson Buddle, Comeback Player of the Year; Brian Maisonneuve, Crew Coaches Award; Frankie Hejduk, Crew Chiefs Hardest Working Man of the Year; and McBride and Diego Walsh, Pepsi Goals of the Year.