Welcome to Crewture.

Which stands for Crew and Culture, and follows Crew supporter culture. Created around the Nordecke creation and used to follow the rise of the new supporters section which is now 9 years old.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Columbus Crew 2018 season preview

Santos and Artur I could see stepping up as leaders this season compared to last.

2017 Record: 16-12-6, 5th place in the Eastern Conference
Coach: Gregg Berhalter
Key Additions: FWD Gyasi Zardes (Los Angeles Galaxy), DEF Milton Valenzuela (Newell's Old Boys), MID Mike Grella (New York Red Bulls), MID Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), MID Eduardo Sosa (Zamora), GK Jon Kempin (Los Angeles Galaxy)
Key Departures: MID Justin Meram, FWD Ola Kamara

The Big Question: Who will replace the 31 Justin Meram, Ola Kamara goals in 2018?

A legitimate fear of Columbus Crew fans but unlikely anywhere close to the Crew fans biggest fear as this season goes on.

However, how easily Columbus dominated Atlanta United in the opener of the Carolina Challenge Cup, along with Columbus averaging 2.8 goals a game this preseason on the way to winning 4 out of 5 so far, perhaps they'll be okay?

I think rather surprisingly, pains me even to say.. Columbus may be quicker and have more ball skill in midfield currently with Santos, Artur, and Martinez surrounding Higuain.

In addition, Zardes is definitely quicker then Ola was and if he gets that final pass he's gone. He's shown he can finish (as much as preseason can show) so far in this system.

It's been debated if the high goal scoring for strikers, at least those with the capability to finish an opportunity, has more to do with Berhalter's system compared to what either Kamara has done in particular.

But, so far, what I find optimistic is Zardes barely had a sniff of the ball, was completely shut down against Atlanta United and Columbus still scored three goals.

In addition, Columbus likes to push up it's wing backs and that has definitely improved. In 2015, it was Harrison Afful and Waylon Francis. But, Francis declined a bit and his replacement or sharer of time, Jukka Raitala, was a bit of an odd choice at that position last year.
Wasn't particularly fast or could get up the field like Afful.

By playoffs, Hector Jimenez (who isn't even a left back) was the starting left back over both.

In comparison, Milton Valenzuela is the real deal.

Harrison Afful finally has someone comparable on the other wing. May help the offense more then anything. Both in ability to turn it into another gear and get up the field along with consistency in that position.

In addition, I think the departures allows some fresh blood to step up.

Players like Santos, Artur will be relied on more to lead compared to if things stayed the status quo. I think it's possible the Crew could end up better from it.

Area to keep an eye on: Defense and team cohesion, playing time, keeping everyone happy.

Gaston Sauro is returning to fitness which could be good for the defense. But, then that leads to Sauro, Mensah, Abubukar, Crognale, and Williams fighting over two positions.

I just want Berhalter this season to find TWO CENTER BACK STARTERS and stick with them. In 2017, one game it would be Mensah and Williams, the next Mensah and Abubukar, the next Mensah and Crognale.

Sure they are all talented but you can't build cohesion that way.

When Columbus picked a goalkeeper with their first round pick in the MLS SuperDraft I thought well that's strange. As that added Ben Lundgaard to Steffen, Kempin, and Ketterer. So, basically three guys fighting over no position since it's Zack Steffen's position.

I guess they are perhaps fighting for the Riverhounds goalkeeper position? My apologies Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC* goalkeeper position.

Considering how solid Cristian Martinez looked on the right side in the last game. I'm also sure Clark and Grella won't enjoy extended periods of time on the bench if that continues.

Just think Berhalter really stocks up on some positions and leaves some positions to one guy and says "let's hope that works."

Outcome: Second place

I'm of the opinion that unlike most Major League Soccer teams Columbus may have some added motivation to win any game this year from March to November.

I'm also of the opinion that losing Justin Meram and Ola Kamara will not be as detrimental as it first may have appeared.

If Berhalter picks a starting eleven in March instead of by August, Crew end up in second place.

If he tinkers with keeping all five guys at some positions happy we end up back in fifth.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Game thoughts against Atlanta United in the Carolina Challenge Cup

*Milton Valenzuela is a much better left back then what we've had.

*I think oddly losing Kamara, Meram may make us better and more electric offensively. At least think it is a possibility?

*A transition at least allows some fresh blood up top. Allows opportunities for types like Martinez and Zardes. We were good but good/explosive enough?

*Yesterday wasn't Zardes most effective performance this preseason but the offense still tore it up, looked great so will take that as a strange positive

Zardes had a problem with being offsides and was on a bit of a different page. Yet with our final pass ability along with his speed and ability to also finish think that could be deadly.

If that was figured out yesterday the score is 6-1.

Regardless the offense still tore it up, looked great.

*Martinez not only scored a solid goal but his play kept the play on goal number one going. If he can keep that up might be a very nice season.

*Same damn defensive problems as usual. Was my main thought against J League and J League Amateur sides. But play in the back was rather strong yesterday. Mensah, Abubukar looked strong together and had big play moments defensively below.

Afful even looks great compared to last season.

More of that.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Columbus Crew after Adolfo Munoz

Apparently the Columbus Crew are interested in twenty year old Ecuadorian center forward Adolfo Munoz who plays for Ecuadorian side El Nacional.

According to Hector Zagal, a reporter out of Ecuadorian radio outlet Vigia FM, there is a $1 million bid on the table for Munoz with Columbus Crew SC a potential landing spot. With the fee, Columbus would acquire 70 percent the proceeds of any future sale of the player.
The twenty year old has 14 goals and 7 assists in 78 total appearances for El Nacional.

10 year celebration of MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew

I don't know what to think of this on the 2018 promotional schedule?

What will the celebration entail? Will it be all Columbus Crew 2008 players coming back? And perhaps pretending nothing is happening with the current Crew?

Or just a nice video and a cool magnet to the first 1,000 people that show up?

Since were already getting there.

Why not just invite the entire 2008 team to the Battle For Columbus premiere and the fans can celebrate the efforts of the 2008 group with the players?

While we (players, fans) possibly consider ignoring whatever Columbus Crew SC front office has in mind to celebrate before they hightail out of town.

Where I'm at mostly. Although every few minutes I think otherwise. 

Where are you at?

On the other hand, think it could be monumental if you have GBS, Hejduk, and company on the same field as 2008 and Precourt accidentally gives them a mic; They then take the moment to do a similar 2008 effort to plead for the Columbus Crew in 2018.

But by September 29th it may no longer matter?

Perhaps it shouldn't be in the conversation regardless.

Regardless we should celebrate what was an amazing 2008 in the best way possible.

Those players really gave a damn, gave their all, made Crew Stadium a fortress. 

It was also the year of the birth of the Nordecke.

The ending to that season boosted my morale personally and gave me hope as my father died from an accident on July 27th, 2008.

So have personal reasons to be thankful for that season. The end of that season kept me going mentally at twenty two.

Erickson was nice enough to reply. Which wasn't my plan. Just not sure what is the best?

No. That would lead to a more heated response.

I just want to wake up in an alternate reality.

Also can keep a few people off of the invitation list.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Q&A of Tonight's Supporters Summit

The Supporters Summit was tonight for Crew fans. As a portion of that there is a question and answer session with the Columbus Crew's President of Business Operations Andy Loughnane and the Crew's Head Coach Gregg Berhalter. That occurred again tonight as the fans decided not to change locations.

That portion is usually closed off to the press and the world for some reason. Supporters are not allowed to record, Nordecke leaders are not allowed to record but considering the situation well good luck with that. 

I was in Pennsylvania so feel free to blame me. 😅

I drive over three hours for this club/franchise. So does the guy next to me in the #SaveTheCrew movie from Erie. "Bad business metrics" and all.

Came across the following audio and since the Columbus Crew never asked me (came up with the name) or any Crew supporters if they could trademark the Nordecke name really no one follows rules and I've never been to a Supporters Summit so never agreed to this.

So here you go.

By the way the Nordecke name...

Should be owned by the Nordecke leaders, not by the Columbus Crew.

The Supporters Summit should not be run under front office Columbus Crew rules. Supporters should run it and invite whichever players, the head coach, and front office staff if they want to.

What are they going to do decline? Well that won't be great for their image. Would perhaps be a much better event with music, Columbus speakers and entertainment as well. So the players, coaches, and front office probably would not want to decline.

Because let's be honest when the fans take control they DO BETTER then our front office. Shouldn't be hard to jazz up this event a little.

You see how well PSV does at getting businesses compared to their fans? How good they are at running a team as a go to, fun entertainment business for Columbus compared to when the fans take over and sell out the playoffs? Should it be a surprise that some chairs are the most excitement they can provide?

I bet that event could be a lot more fun, in a nicer hall, and a lot more productive if the Crew were open to more productivity. Oh and open to the press since the SUPPORTERS would all of a sudden run the SUPPORTERS SUMMIT.

And Loughnane's complaining about attendance... Too bad we can't reach the heights of Dallas, Colorado, Chicago, New England, and Kansas City in the past. 😅

Saturday, February 10, 2018

#SaveTheCrew shows up in AFC Wimbledon program today

When AFC Wimbledon fans showed up today for the game against Northampton Town at Kingsmeadow...

They got their hands on a matchday program and saw a story about the Columbus Crew and the #SaveTheCrew movement along with it's relation to AFC Wimbledon. 

The guys behind this, Ray Armfield on the AFC Wimbledon end and the #SaveTheCrew leaders on the Columbus Crew end picked the correct story. 

Brian Everett who is both a AFC Wimbledon and Columbus Crew fan hit the right note. Incredibly well done. 

Might have to look into a membership at Dons Trust (you can as well) as enjoyed the help and enthusiasm of Ray. In addition, found myself rooting for AFC Wimbledon when watching AFC Wimbledon vs. MK Dons about a month ago online.

I have a tough time watching anything if I don't care about either team.

I've never been one for supporting a big European club. The biggest I've ever followed was supporting Tottenham when I was over there in England in 2005 and they were terrible.

I'm not a Manchester United or Chelsea guy. But, I could be a AFC Wimbledon guy.

Further will never doubt the effectiveness of Twitter.

Friday, February 9, 2018

The pros and cons from Columbus play last night vs. Consadole Sapporo

Gyasi Zardes looked good scoring the brace in the Columbus Crew's 3-2 defeat last night. Appears Gregg Berhalter can, if a player is athletic and has some ability to finish, get them to score at striker. That was positive. 

I thought new signings Eduardo Sosa and Milton Valenzuela had positive moments.

Rookie Luis Argudo (who the Crew selected in Round 3, their fourth player picked) had some really strong moments. Only rookie to see the field and almost scored.
Ricardo Clark put in nice work in the first half and gained a PK. 

Overall, Crew should've won (had better overall chances) but some bad decisions in the back sort of derailed that. 
Yet it's preseason on a terrible turf field so will have a few.

University of Hawaii has a 4,500 capacity soccer stadium with grass, Waipi‘o Peninsula Soccer Stadium

I'm sure that everyone at Aloha Stadium last night could fit in there.

Waipi'o Peninsula Soccer Stadium

Because a stadium is bigger it's not always the best choice.

The Crew had a little trouble tracking runners, see that especially on goals two and three. Sapporo players having to run farther on a couple occasions but getting their first. But Consadole Sapporo are farther along in preseason so not exactly surprising.

Regardless, should've been 3-3.
As this wasn't offsides and perhaps a make up call for the soft penalty kick earlier.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Issah Abass would be a solid attempt to fill a hole at left winger

If the Columbus Crew acquire Issah Abass it's a solid acquisition in every sense of the word it would appear.

Abass is 19. Scores a goal every three games at winger in Europe. 

Sure it's Slovenia. Not exactly the first league you think of in Europe.

But, not a bad level if you consider Slovenia is a country that finds itself in a World Cup about every eight years.

Think it could be debated in comparison to some Scandinavian leagues it's a similar level or possibly better. 

Think the same could be debated with the Polish Ekstraklasa. 

Norway's last World Cup was twenty years ago. Countries like Slovenia, Poland do a lot better.

Transfermarkt says Abbas's main position is right wing. That would be strange since Columbus spent a transfer record last year on a right winger?

But his highlights in this, after the first highlight, seem to be mostly at left wing.

Crew are not paying that much for a backup. If they get Abbas I would put some hard money that he will be Meram's replacement.

They wont have Eduardo Sosa on the payroll as Higuain's replacement and Abass as Pedro Santos's number two.

In addition, it's very possible that in the near future all of our international places will be taken up with Ghanaian players. 

Black Stars SC.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

How big are the snags in Precourt's Austin plans?

Let's do this Austin!
It's not going well (or very streamlined) in Anthony Precourt's and his cronies attempted move to Austin, Texas.

Their expected five building sites for a Major League Soccer stadium is already down to two.

And I think that number is about to go down to one.

But all you need is one. 

Despite all press, even overseas press, being like "Dude fughetaboutit, olvídalo."

In addition, the decision has been delayed for three more months (from February 15th to May 15th) until Austin will I guess have to decide on a location. Erm.. if they have to.

As a result that location won't likely be ready for soccer by 2019 or 2020 unless Precourt has also hired Harry Houdini.

But may not be much of an issue for Precourt Sports Ventures as they can play in University of Texas's Myers Stadium (on left) in 2019 which is already a venue for soccer and track and has a 20,000 capacity. Link.

Looks like a Mad Max version of Mapfre Stadium. 

But, I'm sure Don Garber can show up in 2019 and call it "a beacon of hope for soccer and for Austin" and their new side Austin Football Craft.

An agreement has already been reached to do such according to some reports. Link.

So how big are the snags?

With all the bad press.. The solid offers from Fischer/Columbus Partnership, Brewdog & etc..

Along with the lack of solid interest from both Austin soccer fans to take the first American soccer team away from its city and to make the first American soccer stadium abandoned, as well as the overall city to have a soccer team in general at the current time.

Makes you wonder why they're still foraging through like a band of drunk pirates?

I just imagine Don Garber calling Precourt daily with pep talks.

Well I just want to tell you guys it's time to hit the eject button.

Because Columbus Crew fans won't quit. 

Keep going ahead and best of luck with anyone wanting to do business with you in the future.

Trying to be helpful as this fight isn't a winner for you.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Columbus, Major League Soccer goes after younger South Americans

The Columbus Crew have acquired twenty-one year old Eduardo Sosa from Venezuela; and then the Crew followed that up with acquiring nineteen year old Milton Valenzuela from Argentina this offseason.
So far, this is the list of the South American players that came to MLS this winter.
Franco Escobar (Atlanta United, 22 years old)
Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United, 18 years old)
Milton Valenzuela (Columbus Crew SC, 19 years old)
Rodrigo Pachecho (Los Angeles FC, 21 years old)
Emiliano Amor (Sporting Kansas City, 22 years old)
Stefano Pinho (Orlando City, 27 years old)
Jeisson Vargas (Montréal Impact, 20 years old)
Cristian Penilla (New England Revolution, 26 years old)
Jesus Medina (New York City FC, 20 years old)
Josue Colman (Orlando City, 19 years old)
Andy Polo (Portland Timbers, 23 years old)
Diego Rossi (Los Angeles FC, 19 years old)
Yeferson Quintana (San Jose Earthquakes, 21 years old)

Friday, February 2, 2018

Columbus Crew sign Ricardo Clark for midfield competition

Columbus Crew were one of the youngest teams in Major League Soccer last year.

Therefore I do not see the signing of a 34 year old Major League Soccer veteran with 337 games and 13 seasons under his belt as a bad trend. 

In fact, I would recommend keeping the MLS veterans coming.

The more players that know how to win in MLS and can teach that to our younger roster the better.

Our team last year could take the #SaveTheCrew motivation and that led to a brilliant display at home in the playoffs against NYCFC. But needed something more to extend that motivation to a MLS Cup winning run past that point.

I think Berhalter is in a similar mindset, that's why your seeing signings like Grella and now Clark.

“I see him wanting to get on the field and I think what it does is it pushes the whole entire group,” Berhalter said. “I think collectively they’re gonna be pushing their level and pushing each other to get on the field and that’s always a good thing to have on your squad is competition for game time. By adding a veteran, by adding a guy where you know what he can do, I think it’s certainly going to keep those positions competitive.”
Clark is the oldest player on the Crew’s roster but has a recent history of durability, having played more than 2,000 minutes in five consecutive seasons with the Houston Dynamo. Last season, he made 26 starts for the Western Conference finalist Dynamo and was fifth on the roster with 2,252 minutes.
“It shows he’s still able to compete at a very high level despite his age,” Berhalter said. “I think the attractive thing about Ricardo is he has a history of winning, he knows this league really well and he’s a competitor, so those are three things that are always good to have in your group. We think he’s gonna play a valuable role in our team this year.”

Monday, January 29, 2018

FC Columbus Unofficial Logo Poll

These are just the ones I've seen using the new #FCColumbus hashtag on Twitter.

If more solid ones come up tomorrow I'll add them to the list.

Each one of these looks to be an upgrade in my opinion. 

Just may help to put them all together next to each other.

Justin Meram headed to Orlando City for more allocation money, so what is our striker target?

The above image is painful.

Justin Meram has grown up throughout his entire 20's playing soccer for the Columbus Crew. 

As a result, Meram prefers not being around for a possible implosion of his club franchise.

Don't blame him. As a fan, this process has been about as enjoyable as weekly funeral processions.

Yet I'm getting slightly more hopeful for once.

So, what did we get for Meram?

Therefore overall from this deal and the Ola Kamara deal we have the following to spend this year.

$700,000 dollars in general allocation money and $300,000 in targeted allocation money.

Columbus also gets an international spot next year from OCSC. Which doesn't help us this year. 

We also receive $450,000 dollars in TAM in 2019 that hopefully we get a chance to um use.

Left back should be improved with Milton Valenzuela. Justin Meram's position should be adequately covered perhaps by Gyasi Zardes and Eduardo Sosa.

Therefore, we could perhaps still be above average if we could just get a striker. Easy right

So possible targets?

Stefanos Athanasiadis was mentioned at the end of December about weighing a possible move to Major League Soccer but no specific team was mentioned..
Since the end of December there has been no other mention.

Likely because Stefanos started playing again for Maccabi Haifa. He was benched all of December.

Yet Stefanos, nicknamed "Klaus", had an important penalty kick in early January in the Gavia Hamedina Cup for Maccabi Haifa vs. Hapoel Tel Aviv that led to a win.

Since then he has started four out five games in January so his concern about moving on may have drifted away.

Related image
Image result for stefanos athanasiadis

But a guy that is a character, not afraid to use his Instagram and other social media (had a video of his mother in December complaining about his move to Israel before he started playing again), also has scored a good chunk of goals in Greece with PAOK. 

The type of player I would want for a replacement striker. 

Yet because of Sosa and Valenzuela we are currently at eight out of eight international players again. An international striker would make nine.

So, perhaps someone like Rubio Rubin?

The scary thing for me is that Rubin hasn't done much scoring in Europe for FC Utrecht, Silkeborg, or Stabaek.

In 55 appearances in Europe he has 3 goals. 

Yet he's only 21 and would be a preferred option over a striker line of only Adam Jahn. 

He's currently weighing an offer from MLS with four teams interested. Link.