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Crew The Surprise Pacesetter
Columbus Dispatch, August 18th, 2008 1PM



The Columbus Crew entered "unfamiliar territory" after weekend play and its home win over FC Dallas, writes Shawn Mitchell, topping both the eastern and the overall rankings. But Coach Sigi Schmid is not thinking about titles yet, he just wants to make the playoffs.

"I'm not all that focused on first, second or third," Schmid said. "I'm just focused on points. I want to get more points. I want that little asterisk next to the name 'Columbus' that says 'clinched playoff spot'." Columbus has 34 points from 20 games, having totaled 37 in 30 games last season when they missed the playoffs by four points.

When preseason forecasts were made, few tipped the Crew to finish as the league's top team. Then again, its playoff cushion is only six points, and it could still be any four of the seven Eastern Conference teams that qualify for the postseason. In the west, things are even tighter, with just four points separating Dallas in third and San Jose in last place.


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