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 supporters section which is now 10 years old.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

6/30/09: Crew Crap Out Of Open Cup Against Rochester

Greunebaum watches off to the side as Raging Rhinos reserve keeper Tim Melia makes the only save in penalties. (Pic from: Rhinossoccer.com)

U.S. Open Cup: Rochester Rhinos 1, Columbus Crew 1 (Rhinos win 5-3 on PK's)

I'm not a happy man right now.

Look if New England or Chicago wants to stink it up against a second or third division side, that's fine. But, we are the Columbus Crew.

We shouldn't lose against the fricken Rochester Raging Rhinos, no matter who is on the field. Also, if you want to be a top flight organization, you actually have to attempt to win everything. Or if you have to throw a few duds out there, at least attempt to give an above half-hearted performance. However, it seems that Warzycha has graduated from the Sigi Schmid, "who gives a damn about the Open Cup" school of knowledge.

The overall lineup the Crew started with tonight would be lucky to compete with USL-2. Guys like Elenio, Nyzamba, and Grendi may be hard pressed to find starting time with the Crew's opposition tonight.

The result was the predictable pitiful Open Cup performance, where the Crew hold on and limp into overtime. But, you're fully aware that the little minnows that could will prevail because the MLS side just doesn't give a damn. The team's display wasn't helped by the fact that apparently the Crew have a scared coaching staff who apparently don't want to win trophies and don't have a killer instinct. Of course, players like Schelotto, Hejduk, and Padula are out of the question at this stage, but as far as I'm concerned everyone else is fair game for at least 45 minutes. The coaching staff has to put some competitors out from the start if they want to compete. Even a side called the Raging Rhinos isn't going to fall over just because you're the defending MLS Cup Champions.

Also, this would have been a grand old time to have Pat Noonan for 90 minutes, wouldn't it have been? That trade doesn't seem like a lovely "because he is surplus" idea now, does it? Especially since the Crew didn't have a player they were itching to sign right away as a replacement. What the hell is the point of getting rid of Noonan and letting his roster spot occupy dust for a month when he could have helped us out in this competition? I'll fill you in, it was a dumb move timing wise if you don't have someone better in mind to take his spot.

But, hey who cares? Right. I know some might be saying at the moment, "why all the frustration? It's just the Open Cup, only USL teams care about that." I say "b*llshit."

This isn't the hardest competition to win and if Warzycha wants to keep his job, it would be helpful for Warzycha to have a trophy to point at by the end of the year. As the Crew just had to beat a USL-1 and USL-2 team on the road, and then beat probably another USL-1 team, and then possibly a MLS team at home in the final. The result would have been another nice shiny trophy for the Crew. But, Warzycha just let opportunity number one roll on bye with less then a fleeting glance. Opportunities two and three will be much harder to woo into a black and gold submission.

So, overall to sum up the night, a cross between pathetic and ridicoulous comes to mind. How hard is it to talk this up?

The name on the trophy is Lamar Hunt, the guy who built our stadium and the father of our owner. The U.S. Open Cup is the domestic cup for all of the United States. Further, its a grand accomplishment to win any tournament and it might have been the easiest and only route this year for Warzycha to capture hardware.

Hey, though, I'm glad that the Crew are overly confident that they got the 2009 MLS Cup and the Concacaf Champions League in the bag. Because I'm not totally confident yet that they will be the last man standing in either competition. Heck, even the less useful Trillum Cup hasn't been captured yet. And, MLS mise well hand the Supporters Shield to Houston already.

Oh, and one more slightly important thing, Crew fans actually care about this competition. Heck, a nice group of them made the 7 hour trek today to watch part-timers like Grendi screw the pooch and give Rochester and their retarded announcers (on 107.3 who laugh at injuries and talk aimlessly about anything but the game for a good 10 minutes) something to cheer about. A similiar nice group that included myself, made an insane, U.S. Open Cup there and back trip to Peoria last year for another overtime loss (and as an aside, I think that might be our fourth overtime Open Cup loss in five years and six overall matches. Our only victory in all the years since 2005 against RSL last year). So, yes we all do care about the Open Cup. It's silverware and we want our side to try hard to win every little bit of it.

And, with that in mind, bravo to Warzycha and the Crew! Way to fight for the shirt today!

Monday, June 29, 2009

6/30/09: Why I Hope Soccer In America Always Stays A Competent and Financially Stable Backwater

I would like to take this moment to thank Jim Rome, Skip Bayless, and the average American who cannot seem to grasp their tiny heads around the passion and fanaticism of soccer. Thanks to them I spend $7 bucks on each season ticket. Thanks to the negative stigma placed on the game by them the sport is far from a corporate moneymaking superpower. That's how I like it because if soccer was ever to become a colussus in America the sport would be taken over by rich families and ticket owners, by tons of corporate sponsors, commercials, etc. And, as a result season tickets would cost me well over $1,500 dollars as in the NFL or college football, or in the English premiership. Then instead of enjoying 23 professional games last season home and away, I would be lucky to save up enough money to go to one or two. And, also as a result, passionate chanting fans that apperciate the value of noise as above would be replaced by robotic fans that only clapped but had much deeper purses. So, thank you! Hopefully, this is the last time programs like First Take discuss soccer, as they cannot seem to fathom stoppage time but are fine with 27 NFL commercial breaks. And, hopefully this is the last time they have poll questions about whether soccer will ever matter to Americans, when thousands upon thousands of Americans go to games with similiar passion in the images above; in Columbus, Houston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, Salt Lake, just to name a few. Further, Seattle's team averages 29,000 a game, while Toronto averages 20,000 a game. Many other teams are above 15,000 and close to 20,000 a game. Also, thousands upon thousands of fans hit up message boards. And, the increasingly booming hispanic community in America are big fans of soccer and fill up any American NFL or college stadium like it's nothing when Mexico plays. But, all these groups of people don't matter because they don't fit the stereotypical extremely rich, white businessman club of steak eating, kickball or Lebron James dribbling loving Americans. All the soccer loving groups above are different and that's scary. And, as long as the rest of America is oblivious to the growing passion and numbers of soccer fans, they allow a passionate fan base to get the tickets and for soccer to grow in America in a way that makes me happy at least, as a competent and finacially stable and extremely affordable backwater.

Why I Hope Soccer In America Always Stays A Competent and Financially Stable Backwater

A full season ticket home package(15 games) for a college student in the Nordecke (the rowdy supporters area at Columbus Crew Stadium)= $118 dollars. $118 dollars divided by 15 games equals $7.86 cents per game. One of the perks of going to grad school on my checklist was that I could still claim to be a college student bringing down my season ticket Nordecke costs from around $180 to $118 dollars.

Decent Ohio State Buckeye's college football season tickets on stub hub go for $1,047 to $1,404 for seven home games!

Pittsburgh Steelers professional football season tickets in the upper deck can be captured for an average of around $1,500 on Stub Hub for around 8 games!

My one free complimentary ticket for a Blue Jackets hockey game in seating probably worse than the Nordecke was $75 bucks! For one game of hockey against the Edmonton Oilers in a game that the Blue Jackets lost 7-2! I was really glad it was free. I don't even want to look up what a whole year costs, as that one hockey game was apparently worth more than 11 games in the Nordecke. Even though the hockey game didn't have anywhere close to the passion, intensity, and chanting that I was used to as a soccer fan.

Moreover, prices for other sports are over inflated if you consider the whole event and the atmosphere that goes with it. Being a Cleveland fan and going to a few Browns football games including one at Heinz Field, going to a OSU football game, going to Indians baseball games, going to a Pirates baseball game, a Blue Jackets hockey game, nothing has compared to watching the Crew soccer team play in front of the Nordecke. Yes, I had some enjoyable experiences with other sports such as watching the Browns beat the Patriots in the AFC playoffs as a 9 year old with my dad(minus some robber breaking into our car during the game leading to a cold 2 hour ride home). Or watching the Browns beat the Steelers at Heinz Field in 2003 with my dad. Or watching, with my college roommate who is a big Indians fan, as the Indians pummeled the Red Sox's two playoffs ago to gain a 3-1 series lead before they acted like a Cleveland team. Or watching for many games in the late 90's and early 2000's as Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome slugged homers during the golden days with my family at the Jake. And, I have also witnessed some downright sad experiences like watching the last Browns game at Cleveland Municipal Stadium against the Bengals at 11. That was my first experience with smoke bombs and cherry bombs until the Nordecke, where smoke bombs are commonplace.

However, none of those moments, although some of them great and special to be a part of, matched live the experience of the Crew vs. Chicago Eastern Conference Semifinal match (a video from that game with some actual passion foreign to most American sporting events, sure fans in other sports cheer but not to the point of absolute insanity, better yet check out all the related videos as well). Or matched the times when we outchanted or showed up a rival. Or matched chanting with the players together as we gained the Supporters Shield for the first time(awarded to the team that wins the regular season). Or matched drinking beer out of the Trillum Cup with fellow supporters when we beat increasingly annoying TFC. Or matched the drunken euphoria of watching the Crew win the MLS Cup. Or matched the tifo two stick banner display we put up against Toronto this year at home. Or matched following a season religiously from the same seat for mere dollars and actually being able to afford to follow a team for 18 or so home games with playoffs and Open Cup and five away games. Yes, I went to 23 Crew games in 2008. Did a little less than that for extremely affordable prices since 2004 when I drove all the way from Pennsylvania for games and each year turned into more of a diehard. On the other hand, the average college football fan or NFL fan will shell out the same money I spent this last year, for one game a year if that, compared to my 23 live games. Only the successful can afford to go to many more.

And, to be honest, if I had to pay $75 bucks once a year to watch any team, I would watch the Crew. To get it for $7.86 cents feels like highway robbery. If they lose by a lot I'm out $7 bucks, if they thump a rival I'm on top of the world for something I would have paid much more for if I could afford it.

It's can't lose economics, especially with this country going through a fiscal downturn many can't afford anything but soccer (being a part of the poor 20 something community I can attest to that). It is definitely the sport for the poor and thrifty in this country; and, possibly the economically smart. It's also the sport that I have discovered the most passion in as soccer hasn't been overally commercialized and the fans are just fanatical and in it like nothing else. I also believe that soccer is the most entertaining sport I have watched, especially live. Further, soccer builds up a community atmosphere in the supporters corner I call home, called the Nordecke. I probably know personally 500 or so of the 2,000 plus faces that call the Nordecke their home every week.

For most of those people a game isn't just a game, it's an event that takes up the whole day. If you're really a fanatical the game can take up the nights leading up to the contest as well(making banners in your apartment or basement, trash talking online against a rival, making away trip plans for yourself and fellow supporters). Saturday's, once they roll around, are a community experience starting at 3 or 4 p.m. at Ruby's or Claddagh's or the tailgate for a 7:30 game, back to the bar afterwards, and concluding when you're stumbling home at around midnight. The total food and beer costs for the day will never surmount $10-20 bucks for getting absolutely hammered and watching your team pull out another victory. Some weeks like this previous week against New York started at 9:30 a.m. at Crew Stadium on Saturday playing in the Corporate Cup for Claddagh's Irish Pub until 5:00(getting second place surprisingly I might add), heading to Ruby's for some pints around 5:30, going to the game at 7:00, going back to Ruby's from 9 p.m. til 1 a.m., then seeing all the same people Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at a packed Claddagh's to watch USA vs. Brazil.

You know how much I spent on Saturday and Sunday for this entertainment? $15 bucks. If I go out to Brothers or any other Columbus chain bar on a Friday or Saturday night, without any game or real entertainment other than Lady Gaga music and the occasional girl that wants to dance, I spend $20 bucks for four beers in a span of three hours and I go home usually disappointed and sober.

And, it's not only the home games that are a riot. I'm hitting up my second away match this season, 7th or 8th total on July 11th. Nothing beats an away match. A bus ride to Chicago and back on the supporters bus, a ticket, a meal, a little free beer, and a free floor to crash on thanks to two gracious offers for a total combined of $55 bucks. Spending a night in Chicago for $55 bucks while watching my team play against a rival and getting some food and beer as well, does it get better than that?! An added bonus is if we can outchant the Chicago fans again in their place and come home with a victory. Anyways, most people couldn't even get a room alone in Chicago for $80 or $90 bucks. Watching an OSU or Blue Jackets game here will either cost you $150-200 and $75 bucks respectively. I'm getting all the amenities, albeit a floor and a pillow but nothing a 23 year old can't handle, plus I get to tour Chicago for $55 bucks.

Yes, so I hope that Major League Soccer stays just like this and stays a little stable backwater in this country. I hope that commentators like Skip Bayless continue to have a hard time fathoming stoppage time and continue to drool over the NBA draft. It would almost be better if they didn't mention soccer. In the world of Jim Rome and the average American, devoted soccer forums containing thousands upon thousands of supporters on bigsoccer and many other supporters forums like section8, redpatchboys, etc. don't exist. And, that's just how I like it. It's almost better if they didn't understand the passion of soccer(below), because they are keeping it affordable for me and other poor to middle class 20 something nothings that absolutely love this sport like me.

They are also allowing an atmosphere that has been shut off in England and in most big American sports to keep flowing. I feel if soccer becomes a big money maker someday in America, that the passionate and sometimes trouble ridden(although their passion trumps the few problems) fans will go and be replaced with happy families that clap alot. As you see mostly nowadays at baseball, basketball, or football stadiums. I feel that what happened in England is about 10-20 years down the road sadly for Major League Soccer. Here it is highlighted in,

A chapter called Graduation Day from the 1992 Nick Hornby book Fever Pitch. You can find this scenerio in many other books as well, but I thought this was a poignant example. It also sort of reminded me of the tepid battles over swearing that have been brewing between the Nordecke and regular Crew fans:

An hour before the kick-off the view from my spot was spectacular. No corner of the pitch was obscured, and even the far goal, which I had imagined would look tiny, was quite clear. By three o'clock, however, I could see a little strip of the pitch, a narrow grass tunnel running from the near penalty area to the touchline at the far end. The corner flags had disappeared entirely, and the goal beneath me was visible only if I jumped at the crucial moment. Whenever there was a near-miss at our end, the crowd tumbled forward; I was forced seven or eight steps down the terracing and, when I looked round, the carrier bag containing my programme and my Daily Express that I had placed at my feet seemed miles away, like a towel on the beach when you're in a rough sea. I did see the one goal of the game, a George Graham volley from about twenty-five yards, but only because it was scored at the Clock End.

I loved it there, of course. I loved the different categories of noise: the formal, ritual noise when the players emerged (each player's name called in turn, starting with the favourite, until he responded with a wave); the spontaneous shapeless road when something exciting was happening on the pitch; the renewed vigour of the chanting after a goal or a sustained period of attacking. (And even here, among younger, less alienated men, that football grumble when things were going badly.) After my initial alarm I grew to love the movement, the way I was thrown towards the pitch and sucked back again. And I loved the anonymity: I was not, after all, going to be found out. I stayed for seventeen years.

There is no North Bank now. The Taylor Report recommended that, post-Hillsborough, football stadia should become all-seater, and the football clubs have all decided to act on that recommendation. In March 1973, I was among a crowd of sixty-three thousand at Highbury for an FA Cup replay against Chelsea; crowds of that size are no longer possible, at Highbury or in any other English stadium apart from Wembley. Even in 1988, the year before Hillsborough, Arsenal had two crowds of fifty-five thousand in the same week, and the second of them, the Littlewoods Cup semi-final against Everton, now looks like the last of the sort of game that comes to represent the football experience in the memory: floodlights, driving rain and an enormous, rolling roar throughout the match. So, yes, of course it is sad; football crowds may yet be able to create a new environment that electrifies, but they will never be able to recreate the old one which required vast numbers and a context in which those numbers could form themselves into one huge reactive body.

Even sadder, though, is the way that Arsenal have chosen to redevelop the stadium. It cost me 25p to watch the Ipswich match; the Arsenal Bond scheme means that from September 1993 entry to the North Bank will cost a minimum 1100 pounds plus the price of a ticket, and, even allowing for inflation, that sounds a bit steep to me. A debenture plan makes sound financial sense for the club, but it is inconceivable that football at Highbury will ever be the same again.

The big clubs seem to have tired of their fan-base, and in a way who can blame them? Young working-class and lower-middle-class males bring with them a complicated and occasionally distressing set of problems; directors and chairmen might argue that they had their chance and blew it, and that middle class families - the new target audience - will not only behave themselves, but pay much more to do so.

This argument ignores central questions about responsibility, fairness, and whether football clubs have a role to play in the local community. But even without these problems, it seems to be that there is a fatal flaw in the reasoning. Part of the pleasure to be had in large football stadia is a mixture of the vicarious and the parasitical, because unless one stands on the North Bank, or the Kop, or the Stretford End, then one is relying on others to provide the atmosphere; and atmosphere is one of the crucial ingredients of the football experience. These huge ends are as vital to the clubs as their players, not only because their inhabitants are vocal in their support, not just because they provide clubs with large sums of money (although these are not unimportant factors) but because without them nobody else would bother coming.

Arsenal and Manchester United and the rest are under the impression that people pay to watch Paul Merson and Ryan Giggs, and of course they do. But many of them - the people in the twenty pound seats, and the guys in the executive boxes - also pay to watch people watching Paul Merson (or to listen to people shouting at him). Who would buy an executive box if the stadium were filled with executives? The club sold the boxes on the understanding that the atmosphere came free, and so the North Bank generated as much income as any of the players ever did. Who'll make the noise now? Will the suburban middle-class kids and their mums and dads still come if they have to generate it themselves? Or will they feel that they have been conned? Because in effect the clubs have sold them tickets to a show in which the principal attraction has been moved to make room for them.

One more thing about the kind of audience that football has decided it wants: the clubs have got to make sure that they're good, that there aren't any lean years, because the new crowd won't tolerate failure. These are not the sort of people who will come to watch you play Wimbledon in March when you're eleventh in the First Division and out of all the Cup competitions. Why should they? They've got plenty of other things to do. So, Arsenal... no more seventeen-year losing streaks, like the one between 1953 and 1970, right? No flirting with relegation, like in 1975 and 1976, or the odd half-decade where you don't even get to a final, like we had between 1981 and 1987. We mug punters put up with that, and at least twenty thousand of us would turn up no matter how bad you were (and sometimes you were very, very bad indeed); but this new lot
... I'm not so sure.

My thoughts are: As soon as Major League Soccer becomes a money making league like the NFL or the Premiership and garners the attention of all the news media then that passion will go. The chanting and the passionate supporters sections of standing fans will no longer be needed and will be replaced by families and etc. willing to pay more. Because these passionate-less fans are less likely to create the once a year unfavorable headline of bottle throwing or obscenities or what have you because the whole thing means less to them. They do not have a symbiotic relationship with the team, they haven't attached themselves and most of their hopes to the hip of brillant players like Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Further, if MLS becomes a money making machine instead of being just stable and if I want to continue to watch on gameday with the Columbus Crew, I better hope to have a nice job someday so I can lay down the $1,000 to $2,000 dollars annually to be a real fan at every game similiar to other USA big time sports.

I just don't get why American soccer fans complain about their status in America right now? We have it perfect. I'm paying $7 bucks per ticket, to watch a highly talented and competitive team week in and week out, I get to chant, I get to drink cheaply, I get to be creative and make banners, I get to make friends and socialize. It's a total cheap ass fun release from the mundanities of normal life.

But, I can tell you if American soccer went up in price like the other sports. My passionate behind would be watching at home replaced by some boorish family. So, please, American media and Americans in general, don't give soccer the credit it deserves. Continue to be soccer dunces, I'm fine with that. I'm totally happy with the current status quo of American soccer and the idioicy of a few in the American sports media. You make my sports enjoyment cheap as hell.

6/29/09: What Happened To The Columbus And DCU Rivalry?

Crew celebrate an easy win last year at season's end with their supporters against DC United. Taking the Supporters Shield from DC United earlier in the day and taking their playoff hopes away from them that night. Going into the day DC United needed a win to get into the playoffs, the Crew had already won the league. Such results, less games, better competition games against Chicago, and more traveling to Chicago and TFC has put the D.C. United rivalry temporarily on the backburner it seems. (Pic by:Sam Fahmi)

What Happened To The Columbus And DCU Rivalry?

It's been on hiatus it seems since TFC came into the league and MLS joined them up with the Chicago Fire as our 3 games a year opponents. While our lifelong rivals since 1996 D.C. United were left in the dust, having to settle with the New York Red Bulls as their only rival until the Philadelphia Union comes into the league.

However, although circumstances have kind of placed D.C. United at the orange level of hated instead of the red. Possibly the rivalry will be restored this year with a game on Saturday with first place on the line and an enticing road trip at the end of the year with playoff positioning on the line at RFK (many more Crew supporters will be making the trek this year compared to last year's midweek contest). Additionally, one thing that consistently sells tickets for the Crew is when D.C. United comes to town. Has been the case since I have been coming since 2004, you can almost set your watch to it.

Who knows why that's still the case exactly, especially since the rivalry has sort of died down. I mean, our section has had much more vitrol lately with Chicago and TFC supporters. And, MLS has even moved our club in that direction giving us one less game with D.C. and everyone else compared to Chicago and TFC. But, it seems as if a home game against D.C. United still outdraws TFC at home by far and even Chicago at home by a thousand or so. However, you can bet the Crew front office won't be complaining this week as they would like to one up the solid 15,700 crowd they had this week against NYRB.

I also think the main reason for the boon when United comes to town is the history the average Columbus resident has with D.C. United, the circle one or two games Crew fans today remember the great games with D.C. United from the 90's when the Crew were at their height of popularity. It's almost funny, you can almost start to see a generational shift. Crew supporters who have been around since the beginning always talk about D.C. United as their most hated rival. While everyone from 2004 up to 2006 seems to pick Chicago and those even newer seem to select Chicago or even with more regularity recently TFC.

I even hated D.C. United the most along with Chicago from 2004 to 2006 before TFC came on the scene, then it's been sort of Chicago and TFC. One reason probably is a lack of away experiences at D.C. in the last two years, except the 20 of us that went on a Thursday early in 2008.

I guess who one dislikes most depends on your own personal experiences and who has scorned you the most. :-) The great games with Chicago have increased that rivalry for some. The invasion by TFC fans have increased that rivalry for others. The road trip of over 300 Crew fans to Chicago has increased that rivalry for some. The three road trips to Toronto in the last year and a half of a hundred each has done it for others. Being suckered punched by Chicago fans has increased that rivalry for some. Getting your hair torn or being ambushed by TFC fans up at BMO has done it for others. Hasn't been much of that with D.C. United lately.

And, it's interesting how we have had less experiences with United lately. Almost feels like we haven't really played them in 3 years. I can remember really hating when their supporters came to town, I haven't felt that way since the crazyiness with them back in 2007. When swearing matches broke out during a rain delay between supporters and even more sadly reportedly someone pulled a gun out in the parking lot although cooler heads prevailed thankfully and no one was injured. And, I almost can't remember a good contest with them since 2006. Yes, it was nice beating up on them in 2008 in our two games, but in neither game was DC United much of a contestant. In the Crew's last matchup with them on the last game of the year, the Crew already secured the Supporters Shield and still dusted easily a DC United that needed a win to reach the playoffs.

Instead, Chicago has had the perfect games and probably fan rivalry with us last year. TFC has just brought alot of annoying fans while not being much competition.

Anyways, hopefully DC brings alot of fans and it turns into a hell of a game. I rather have them as a rival then TFC, hands down, anyday.

6/29/09: A Plea To Open The Nordecke Back Up

Against KC:

Against Chivas:

From bigsoccer & a good point:
BG13- "I wish the FO would open up the Nordecke for the DC game. It just doesn't have the same effect when it is 3/4s full. Especially on t.v."

Yeah the decision to close off the Nordecke has sucked. And, if hasn't even made the actual difference. "This is our house" started up late in the last game. Oddly from La Turbina's area instead of the usual source. But, thanks to supporters actually reacting (myself and many others included) that turned around and told everyone to stop chanting that. It was stopped.

The lock down on the Nordecke and the checking of tickets has affected the atmosphere totally. We haven't been that impressive since they have done that and if they opened up the section, I'm confident that the organized swearing wouldn't start up. Because it was never related to the problem!

The reason why it has stopped is because more supporters have taken McCullers serious on the issue and have reacted to chants with cuss words. What annoys me most, is that the reason why the Crew FO shut out new people & non-regulars is because supporters blamed the problems all on random people, instead of shouldering some of the blame themselves.

Who knows the chants? The supporters
Who starts the chants? The supporters
Who stops the chants? The supporters

I just find it quite odd that newcomers, randoms, and those without tickets in the section seem to all know "This is our house, GTFO" innately and have this irresistible urge to chant it. But, don't know "We'll be coming" or "Horto Magiko" innately. Also, I find it surprising that a group of newcomers, randoms, or whatever can take over the whole section with chants. It goes against logic to suggest that people that are in their 2nd or 3rd time in the Nordecke could actually start a chant and then get the whole section to chant it. I mean if anything, these people are just learning the ropes of being a supporter. How are they leading the section?

Anyways, it's ludicrous to blame any chant problems on newcomers. The only reason why the organized swearing has stopped is because the supporters actually started to believe that McCullers meant business. Last game supporters turned around and stopped it by actually reacting to it instead of staring blindly at the people who chanted it. Yeah not all supporters sang it earlier in the year, but I can bet that those chants were started by some people attached to a group. And, because no one tried to stop it earlier in the year, were all guilty by association.

So, way to go! Because nothing is ever our fault and we can't shoulder any blame, we look like crap with a bunch of empty seats behind us and the FO actually believes the problem was solved by kicking out new recruits for our section. Bravo!

What has made the difference is reacting to negative chants. So, please open the section back up.

6/29/09: Crew vs. Rhinos Preview

Brunner and the Crew defense will have to stop Mauricio Salles and the improved Rochester offense at Marina Auto Stadium on Tuesday night.

Columbus come into this game with 5 wins, 1 loss, and 5 ties in their last 11. Rochester is starting to pick it up as well after a dry spell, with two straight wins against the Cleveland City Stars and away at the Austin Aztex. Rochester also has signed some reinforcements in former LA Galaxy player Ty Harden and forward Warren Ukah, neither played in the Rhinos last win but could get their chance in the Open Cup against the Crew.

Columbus is likely to play reserves against Rochester, or at least more than usual. The Crew's victory against New York puts the side 1 point behind first place DC United, who the Crew will play on Saturday. History dictates that in such a stituation that Warzycha and company will take the more serious approach towards regaining first place in MLS then worrying about the Open Cup. The common thinking is "if the Crew reserves beat Rochester great, and if they don't we can just focus on the two more important competitions," being the run to MLS Cup and the CONCACAF Champions League.

However, other Crew fans would like Warzycha to take a more serious approach to the Lamar Hunt Open Cup then Sigi Schmid ever did. I mean, heck, the Open Cup is named after the man who built Crew Stadium. Also, the Crew would only have to play four more games total if they make it to the final. Winning four games is just about the easiest route to silverware that the Crew will have this year, much easier then MLS Cup, and way easier then winning the Champions League. It would be a good start towards gaining momentum towards those competitions as well.

I think that the Crew should play half starters at least. I would go with the following lineup:

I would start Marshall and Rogers, because why not? They will be off with the USA in Gold Cup action starting Saturday against Grenada. Mise well get the most out of them now. I doubt that is what will happen, but if I was coach I would do it. You won't be getting anything out of them for the next month, so mise well get something out of them now.

Also, Moreno didn't start on Saturday, so I would give him the start on Tuesday. See how he plays against Rochester but start Lenhart next Saturday against D.C. United and then the week afterwards re-evaluate to see which of the two starts against the Chicago Fire. I think Lenhart played well enough against NYRB in his 67 minutes to deserve to share some playing time with Moreno, and this is how you manage a lineup and a team. It's okay to have Moreno start in the Open Cup and have Lenhart take over MLS duty for another week, because at the moment Lenhart isn't much of a drop off.

Another starter I would play is O'Rourke at left back. He has filled in there before and guys like Padula, Hejduk, and Schelotto just shouldn't be playing in this tournament until at least the semifinal because of their age.

I think the lineup above gives the Crew enough to win against Rochester, it's still a very competitive lineup with 6 players that have been starters for most of the season. Along with Zayner and Greunebaum who have been playing alot as well at a high level.

Rochester will probably trot out this lineup:
D BERTZ, Kenney
D BALL, John
M LOREI, Andrew
M NURSE, Chris
F SALLES, Mauricio
F UKAH, Warren

RESULT: Crew win 2-1


Sunday, June 28, 2009

6/28/09: Dreaming Out On A Twig

Hold your head up USA.

When Dempsey scored the goosebumps came on. Then when Donovan finished a brillant counter the goosebumps were combined with a delirous smile. A packed Claddagh's bar was my scenery and the place went absolutely nuts in the 27th minute, the rout was on as the USA were straight up spanking one of the most incredible soccer sides in the world.

And, as the minutes drifted on, I wanted to believe that the euphoria would last and that the USA had a second miracle performance sewn up. That hey, maybe this is it, maybe we have arrived.

But, as cruel as soccer can be, it wasn't meant to be. The soccer gods giveth(hope, faith, europhia, and the million other glorious combinations you feel when your side is doing the improbable) and the soccer gods taketh away. The twig snapped, the clouds gave way. The sickening feeling was in my gut after 90 minutes. And, what else was I feeling, is that shock? Yes, I felt shock at the end of the game. I was shocked that Brazil beat the USA. Nuts I know, but yes, that was what I was feeling. I was confident the night before that the USA were going to win their first FIFA tournament and when Brazil came back, I was shocked. Nevertheless, I was amused that I was feeling that way at the end of the game because not usually would an American fan be shocked by losing to Brazil. It was a quirky, never felt this before, type feeling.

But, Brazil would become Champs again, at a rate where it would be even more exciting for them to actually lose a tournament. Brazil got there by scoring in the first minute of the second half, the early goal dictating that the second half was theirs and that they were not going down without a fight. Then Brazil absolutely killed the USA on set pieces and came out with the 3-2 win. And, as the whistle blew, Brazil players went nuts, just as if they had beat the best team in the world.

As I walked towards my car, still shocked and sort of dejected. I thought it would have been amazing if the USA had one more half in them. But, even though they didn't, they should hold their heads up high. They played an impeccable 135 minutes against two powerhouses, and dusted the African Champs like they were nothing. The USA should be proud. All they need to do now is find in the Gold Cup some depth and more players that can compete off of the bench, instead of just being fresh legs. Capping Jermaine Jones in August would be a nice start towards building on this success. Finding young players that will show up in big games as a sub is another, maybe a player like Rogers will fill the void by disappointing tournament performers like Sasha Klejistan today and earlier in the tournament. Further, it would have been nice to have Torres in this tournament instead of Klejistan and some others, leaving Torres off this roster was a dumb move. Also, Bradley needs to give Beasley his walking papers. The USA doesn't have time to screw around and keep starting players who are not performing. They need more depth players that are going to step up and perform in big time stituations, and they need them now. If someone messes up, send the next person in.

New possiblities for the USA that impressed: Charlie Davies, Jay DeMerit, Johnathon Spector. And an older possibility that needs some renewed faith because I think he played well in Benny Feilhaber.

Got to go: Conor Casey, Sasha Klejistan, DeMarcus Beasley, possibly as well Johnathon Bornstein. These guys are just not playing at the level of Donovan, Onyewu, Bradley, and etc.

Need to be back with the team: Pachuca's Torres.

Need to cap right away: Jermaine Jones

The highlights(I only make it through the first half. I thought it was cool how Dempsey did a Micheal Jackson impression when he scored, pure class.):

6/28/09: Studio79's Crew vs. Red Bulls Pictures

Photos by Sam Fahmi, more here:

Friday, June 26, 2009

6/26/09: Chants That Need To Get Going Starting Tomorrow, No More B.S.

This chant was starting to come together against Chivas(to the tune of Johnny Comes Marching Home):

Columbus is the greatest team the world has ever seen!
Columbus is the greatest team the world has ever seen!!!
We're gonna win today! We're gonna make a scene!
Columbus is the world's greatest team!!
La la la la la la la lah la lah!!!
La la la la la la la lah la lah!!
La la la la la la la la la la la!!
Glory Glory Glory To The Crew!!
La la la la la la la lah la lah!!!
La la la la la la la lah la lah!!
La la la la la la la la la la la!!
Glory Glory Glory To The Crew!!

And for the love of god let's get these going for once.


We'll be coming!!!
We'll be coming!!!
We'll be coming down the road!!!
When you hear the cry of Columbus Til I Die!!!
We'll be coming down the road!!!

And then let's just do this part of Horto call and repeat, not too hard.

so who are we(leader)!! (the group) so who are we!!
we are the boys (leader)!! (the group) we are the boys!!
and we're gonna make some noise(leader), (the group)make some noise!!!!!!!
for our boys (leader)!! for our boys(the group)!!
and you will see (leader)!!! (group) you will see!!!
where gonna get mental for a Crew victory!!!!!!

(rinse and repeat)

or do it call and repeat with two groups (I don't get the words in this but sent by Graham)

6/26/09: NYRB's Last Game Out


NYRB were torn apart by a pink clad(I'm assuming for breast cancer and not to look like Palermo) TFC. I actually think it's a nice look and would be better than having 5 or 6 teams with red, but oh well.

Anyways, TFC outshot NYRB by 15 to 11 and had the better of the opportunities with 6 shots on net compared to NYRB's 2.

New York also this week got rid of Pietravallo in a move that was about 8 months late. Maybe this is a good sign that Osorio is finally wisening up and may be able to turn his team around.

Nah... :-)

6/26/09: Crew vs. Red Bulls Preview

The Crew get their rings, but hopefully don't get caught up in the hoopla (Picture by Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images).

The Columbus Crew and the New York Red Bulls come into this game off of tepid performances that resulted in losses. The Crew fell apart again late, this time in the sweltering heat against FC Dallas. While the Red Bulls fell apart in Canada against a pink jersied Toronto FC 2-0. The Red Bulls loss was their 7th in 9 games, the other two results were ties. While the Crew have been warming up but took a step backward last week in Texas. Overall, neither team looks fit yet to be involved in a night dubbed "The Night of Champions", with a coin toss featuring Buster Douglas:

Buster, befittingly as a boxer hanging out by a grill. (AP)

Nevertheless, the Crew with 19 points at least are in the hunt. Columbus is only four points back from a first place DC United who will be in town for Fourth of July next week. While NYRB are nowhere near the hunt, 13 back with 10 points in 17 games. Yes, the Crew are 9 up on NYRB and have played three less games and somehow Osorio still has a job, spellbinding.

Not much more protesting left in Osorio's future. (Linda Cuttone/Sports Vue Images)

However, the Red Bulls will try to use the "Night of Champions" ring ceremony as motivation. The Crew will receive their championship rings before the game against the Red Bull team that they beat in last year's final. Nevertheless, it looks as if the Crew need not worry about bad karma as according to Craig Merz's article, the Red Bulls are on a 21-game (0-15-6) regular-season road winless streak which is a league record. The Red Bulls last won a league road match on May 10, 2008, at Los Angeles.

Add to the Red Bulls winless streak on the road that the Crew haven't lost at home in about the same ammount of games stretching back to June 6, 2008 and a Red Bulls result at Crew Stadium even looks less likely. But, who would have thought the USA would have snapped Spain's 35 game winning streak? Not much of anyone and the Red Bulls getting lucky on the road at Crew Stadium seems much more likely. If I was Osorio I would use that game as motivation to say, "look streaks mean nothing, any day, any team can win." And, that's the danger, the Crew may get caught up in the hoopla and be too loose after receiving their rings. Next thing you know, the Crew could be in a real hole with back to back losses to FC Dallas and NYRB, two teams that they should beat almost every time out.

The Crew have to avoid that at all costs and take their home undefeated streak personal. That streak is getting pretty damn near impressive and if you have to, you want to give up that first loss someday against a team that is just at their best game in and game out(like a 2008 Crew), not a team like NYRB.

The Crew also have the injuries working in their favor as Columbus is starting to get healthy, the only player out right now is Adam Moffat. While NYRB have three very important players to their cause questionable for Saturday in Juan Pablo Angel, Albert Celades, and Macoumba Kandji.

William Hesmer and Frankie Hejduk are both healthy enough to start for the Crew, but Warzycha may possibly play both only in the second half, or at least Hejduk will come off the bench as a field player.

COLUMBUS CREW - William Hesmer - Frankie Hejduk, Eric Brunner/Danny O'Rourke, Chad Marshall, Gino Padula - Brian Carroll - Emmanuel Ekpo, Eddie Gaven, Robbie Rogers - Guillermo Barros Schelotto - Alejandro Moreno.

It looks as if JPA, Celades, and Kandji will be out. Possibly one of the three will find their way on the field out of necessity. But, probably won't be 100% percent.

NEW YORK RED BULL - Danny Cepero - Jeremy Hall, Andrew Boyens, Carlos Mendes, Alfredo Pacheco - Nick Zimmerman, Luke Sassano, Seth Stammler, Jorge Rojas - Dane Richards, John Wolyniec.

RESULT: New York is missing some of their top players in Juan Pablo Angel and Albert Celades. New York is working on three days rest, coming off a game in Toronto on Wednesday. New York hasn't won on the road in 21 games. Crew haven't lost at home in like 19 or 20 games. Everything is aligning for a Crew victory.

The only way the Crew lose this one is if they take NYRB completely forgranted. However, I don't think the team that NYRB marches out on Saturday is capable of playing with similiar heart as the USA displayed against Spain, that's the only way to break such odds and streaks. If you watched any of New York this year, you would see that they are just not capable at the moment of leaving their hearts out on the field. Additionally, NYRB are probably just not skilled enough as Osorio never replaced Dave Van Den Bergh. I just don't think NYRB has enough and as long as the Crew don't get caught up in the ring hoopla and stay focused the Crew will come out with the win.

Crew win 3-0 with two goals by GBS and a late one from Lenhart.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

6/24/09: Incredible

Jozy Altidore scored in the 27th minute and Clint Dempsey finished off Spain in the second half as the USA got a shock 2-0 victory over the number #1 team in the world. Spain before today hadn't lost in their last 35 matches(32-0-3), but Spain's luck ran out today. USA's win takes them to the final to await the winner of Brazil vs. South Africa. A win that was secured in the second half by a heads up goal by Clint Dempsey, as Sergio Ramos's mental lapse in front of the goal mouth led to a tapped ball straight into the waiting wings of a striking Clint Dempsey.

That goal along with the spirited defense of Onyewu, DeMerit, Spector, and Bocanegra was enough for the USA to pull off a shock victory and a 360 turnaround in this Confederations Cup tournament. USA started the tournament with 2 losses being outscored 6-1 by Italy and Brazil. However, in the last two games the US has blanked their opponents Egypt and Spain by a mark of 5-0. The USA now has a chance to win the whole thing on Sunday, which would lead to much confidence heading towards the World Cup.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

6/23/09: Crew After U-23 Guatemalan Striker Carlos Villa? Giving Look At Welsh Striker Jamie Reed As Well.

According to Shawn Mitchell's Blog, it may be possible although Villa plays with an American college. Here's the excerpt:
Guest players at practice today included Crew Academy product Chad Barson, Welsh striker Jamie Reed and 6-foot-1 forward Carlos Villa, a Guatemalan playing at the University of Hartford.

Villa is in his second week with the team and has looked impressive. Although he is a college player might the Crew be able to work something out with the league to get him signed?

"No comment," Crew technical director Brian Bliss said.

The Kansas City Wizards were able to bypass the entry and waiver drafts and sign Ryan Souter from NAIA Graceland University last season.

Here is Villa in action scoring the first goal in a 3-2 victory for Guatemala over Mexico in qualifiers for the 2008 Olympics(starts at the 29 second mark):

Jamie Reed is no. 10 in the blue.

Also, invited as a guest player has been 21 year old Welsh striker Jamie Reed. Reed played for Welsh Premier League side Rhyl FC this year, scoring 13 goals in 22 appearances for the Lily Whites. Rhyl FC won the Welsh Premier League this year by an impressive margin and is now about to start a Champions League run. Rhyl FC will face off against Serbian side Partizan Belgrade. But, Rhyl's big time scorer Reed will not be with the team as Reed has decided to move to America to try to win a spot on a MLS team. Here is more on Reed.

Here is a video of Rhyl FC playing at their home ground in mid-April this year. I would love for JT to explain what the hell they are saying? Sounds like pig latin.

Monday, June 22, 2009

6/22/09: TFC Won Something!

Great thing is its only the Canadian Championship.

Still didn't stop some Canadian fans to take some time out of their busy day of looking up internet porn to come to the pier with some buddies and chant some, "I need a job! I need a job! Ole, ole, ole!"

The first few seconds are the most odd. Starts with a spurious shot of TFC fans on the pier looking stupid into a shot of their Bruno-esque war hero Jim Brennan coming out of the sea or some building to greet some fan boys:

Wonderful! You know they will be cocky about their first trophy and start saying things like, "Yeah, take that Columbus! You have no Canadian Championship trophy!"

Don't state the obvious in response, just nod.

6/22/09: One Speed Striker Option The Crew Missed Out On & Crew Monday Updates

Eric Brunner got his first Crew goal this Saturday in a 2-1 loss to FC Dallas. (AP)

**In Pat Noonan's debut for Colorado, another player shined for the Rapids in Jamiacan striker Omar Cummings. Cummings scored the Rapids first two goals with searing speed, looking like an attacking speed option who would work well with Schelotto's outlet passes.

Cummings was picked by the Colorado Rapids in the 3rd round of the 2007 draft at pick 31. I said at the time that the Crew should have went for Cummings at pick 15. But, Cummings being an international was too much of a question mark to take up a coveted SI spot for most teams and it seems that Brad Evans worked out as well during his time here.

Just would have been a nice matchup option for the Crew to have, especially since they have no strikers with speed at the moment. And, no definite attacking replacements yet for Pat Noonan. Cummings speed sort of fits the mold of what Bliss is probably looking for in Ghana and elsewhere as Noonan's salary replacement.

**According to ESPN Star Sports, Alejandro Moreno has been called up for two friendly qualifiers in the United States against Mexico and Costa Rica at the Georgia Dome this week. It is likely that Moreno will possibly only play in the friendly on Wednesday against Mexico, while Venezuela plays more B team players against Costa Rica on Saturday. The Crew will need Moreno for their game this Saturday against Red Bull New York. In such a stituation, the club team should have priorities over an international team's friendly.

**Warzycha blames himself for the Crew's embarrassing 2-1 loss away against FC Dallas on Saturday. The breakdown was reminiscent of earlier this year, where the Crew lose the game in the last 15 minutes. For whatever reason Warzycha thought he wouldn't need to use his subs in the 92 degree heat until it was too late in the last few minutes.

From Craig Merz's article:
"I blame myself because I didn't do something earlier than I did," he said. "I should have made some changes earlier but I didn't because I thought we were going to be OK. They (Dallas) weren't creating any chances."

Well, FC Dallas made some chances once the Crew players couldn't run anymore because of the searing heat, go figure. A couple of 65th minute subs would have made the difference. But, while average fans at the bar complained that Warzycha needed to make subs for most of the second half, Bobby Rifle didn't catch on until stoppage time when the Crew were already down 2-1.

I know Warzycha is new. But, come on this is amateur stuff and Robert is better than this. Come on Robert, you were paid the big money to recognize that in 92 degree heat, you may want to use your three subs rather early in the second half instead of late. Not doing so is pretty unacceptable.

**Crew Stadium will probably be worn out by the end of this Saturday. During the day before the game, the Corporate Cup will be taking place at Crew Stadium. I'll actually be playing on a team in the tournament as Captain Blake selected me for a side. I think he said it was for Claddagh's, but I'm not sure.

Also taking place this Saturday is the glorious Mascot Cup during halftime at the Crew vs. New York Red Bull game. Jim Early sent me some pictures, as he prepares for the re-introduction of the Subway sub into the death throws of the competition.

What a cocky sub. :-)

**And, finally a message from Schellas "I bake near the sun" Hyndman as he talks about FCD's win:

Sunday, June 21, 2009

6/21/09: Crew Randoms

Diving is an artform perfected in Dallas via Ruiz and Ferriera.

**For the Chicago away game, La Turbina's $40 dollar down and back bus is sold out. The only options bus wise are the two HSH/CSU buses which are good for any Crew fans. I think only 35-40 slots have been taken up.

**From Ray Stein's Dispatch Editorial Mailbox:
Bob Hunter is correct regarding the poor behavior and remarks from the Nordecke at Crew Stadium. He failed to mention just how rude many Crew fans are in general. At the Chivas USA game (last) Sunday I encountered a whole group of bad-mannered and offensive fans in section 108, a good distance from the Nordecke, who could not say a positive word about the opposing team.

A friend and I decided not to wear Chivas colors due to issues in the past and to merely cheer the team with non-offensive ovations and applause as necessary. The Crew fans could not take this rivalry and berated us with hurtful comments and popcorn throughout the game.

Maybe it's because I decided to be a better fan this time around or maybe it was all the little kids around section 108 that helped me not even look back to these idiots. Whatever it was, I wish that most Crew fans had an ounce of "it" and could be tasteful for 90 minutes.

-- Heidi Baxter Cortes, Columbus

My thoughts: You're living in Columbus and rooting for Chivas USA. I should complain about that sort of stupidity.

**US Soccer explains how referee Steven DiPiero messed up the obvious penalty kick on Emmanuel Ekpo last week. Ehh, whatever, the Crew and botched referee calls is now pretty much a thing to be expected. We are not given a penalty last week, this week Ferrera gets knocked over by Marshall's shadow and earns a PK.

**According to Shawn Mitchell's blog, Brad Friedel owes a bank alot of loan money for his soccer academy, well over $7 million in total. May want to try to earn an even bigger contract with Aston Villa.

6/21/09: Crew vs. FC Dallas Post Game- The Dive

Ok, so what the hell is this?

It's the usual Disney script MLS referees follow especially against the Columbus Crew. Calling soft fouls to bring joy to the lives of opposing teams fans.

The referee thinks, well, FC Dallas hasn't had alot to cheer about in a while. So, when Ferriera falls down as Marshall hits him with his massive index finger, I'm going to blow my whistle so Inferno and Matador fans can get a minute of joy out of their lives.

Yes, I'm going to blow my whistle. Although their team nor their coach nor the teams fans deserve a gift like that.

I would love to hear the referee explain what exactly he witnessed that warranted a penalty kick and a yellow card. Probably just pity for Schellas Hyndman, that crap team, and it's crap fanbase.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

6/20/09: Gold Cup Terror

USA will try to add to their Gold Cup collection. They will probably succeed. Which will boost their confidence since they can't compete with actual good international sides(CONFEDERATIONS Cup anyone?). Anyways hopefully, the USA can come out victorious without taking three vital players in the Crew's roster. (Pic by: The New York Times)

Saw this over on CrewXtra via Shawn Mitchell's blog:
Eddie Gaven, Chad Marshall and Robbie Rogers are on the U.S. preliminary roster for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

The Crew trio is among 30 players on the U.S. roster, which must be trimmed to 23 players for the tournament.

Luckily, Frankie Hejduk who is still in recovery mode hasn't been included in the Gold Cup selection process.

I'm strictly a club before country type person. A type of thing that a lot of Crew fans are that a lot of other MLS fans can't seem to understand (hint hint, because they don't care about their clubs as much). So, here's to hoping that none of them make the cut. Although, probably all of them want to and it would be good for their careers, it would be devastating for our midfield especially if Rogers and Gaven were out for a month. We could cover for Marshall, as Brunner and Zayner have stepped up and done already.

But, overall, I think the Gold Cup is kind of a useless tournament. Yeah! Look we beat out the CONCACAF sides again.

I just rather terrorize MLS the next two months with all of our best players. Instead of scrambling for replacements in the midfield. If Rogers and Gaven go and we have no new acquistion for Noonan. That Noonan trade may start to look sort of dumb.

6/20/09: Home Field Disadvantage For FC Dallas & Other Topics

Hyndman DVD's haven't been leading to goals for FC Dallas, especially at home. But, Schellas has a theory.

**While the Crew can't be defeated at home, with a streak of 17 or 18 wins and a few ties spanning all the way back to June 6th 2008. Their Hunt counterparts FC Dallas can't seem to buy a win at home. This season in seven home games, FC Dallas has only won a singular game against Toronto FC by a 3-2 scoreline. Schellas Hyndman, who is becoming an easy target for hillarity based on his comments, has an all encompassing theory on why Dallas has struggled at home via MLSnet:

"I don't know if our players play and have the idea that winning at home is an advantage," he said. "I don't know if our players appreciate how valuable it is to be sleeping in your own bed, eating your own meal, hanging out with your family and being in your comfort zone. This is an advantage. The second thing is, it's a lot of pressure playing in front of your fans when your team is not winning. When they are, you love playing in front of the fans, so I think that might be another point. I think the third point is I don't think the home environment brings the best out of us."

The first point certainly makes some sense. But, how the heck would professional athletes be pressured or nervous playing in front of 8,000 FC Dallas fans? :-) The third point makes even less sense, if the home environment doesn't bring out the best in your side, where are you going to be the best at?

Got to love multiple excuses. Why not just say "we want and we will do better at home for our fans, there are no excuses, we have to do better." I just think MLS is a little over Hyndman's head.

**On August 8th, The Crew will play a doubleheader at the Candlestick(49ers place of business) against San Jose. That game will be followed by Barcelona vs. Chivas of Mexico. The doubleheader is being billed the night of Champions(well, minus San Jose).

Schelotto invented Chuck Norris.

**The question the Crew coaching staff is dealing with is what if Schelotto cools off? From Shawn Mitchell, (Schelotto) has just one assist this season, but his goals have helped draw the Crew (4-2-7) four points out of first place in the Eastern Conference. Such scoring prowess has awed teammates and opponents alike, but what happens when Schelotto cools off?

Did the Crew forget that Guillermo is at least five times the badass of Chuck Norris? If they did forget or if Schelotto actually does the inconceivable and remembers that he is almost 40 and human, hopefully the Crew have a striker lined up by July 15th or Moreno, Rogers, Gaven, and Ekpo pick up the production.

**Another game this season with Toronto FC? God let's hope not.
Toronto FC actually won their pathetic Canadian championship, between Toronto(the lone MLS team) and two USL sides in Vancouver and Montreal. Toronto schlacked Montreal by six goals, needed to win by at least four. Which led to chants of "rogue chantez" or whatever. This sets up for Toronto a possible way into the Crew's CONCACAF Champions League group feauturing at the moment, actual respectable sides such as Columbus, Cruz Azul, and Saprissa. Toronto FC have a home and away with the Puerto Rico Islanders and former Crew player Bill Gaudette to decide who will receive the last spot in the group.

Go Islanders!

Friday, June 19, 2009

6/20/09: Chicago Roadtrip a.k.a. Nordecke West

HSH and CSU are combining for two 56 person buses, LTA also will have a similiar sized bus going down and back. HSH and CSU also have many other tickets for people looking to make the trip out themselves. For more information check out this thread. Should be another nice sized away crowd. The game is at 8 p.m. in Chicago on July 11th and is on ESPN2. It will be the second week in a row the Crew are featured on ESPN2.

Blake's message on there:
We have secured the tickets & buses, and reserved rooms at a few hotels for people to make their own reservations. (Making it easier on us, and making it easier to figure out who you will be bunking with)

We will be taking two 56 passenger state of the art MCI Motor Coaches... apparently these are brand new with flat screen TV's and the works!

Lunch will be provided on the way up as will plenty of Alcohol (for those 21+ of course)

Tickets will be included obviously and Kevin (kmmc) has secured extra for those making the trek into the Red land via other means then the bus.

We are also working to secure some funding through the front office to lower the price, I'm fairly certain that they will come through with something.

Ticket, Bus, Lunch, + Complimentary Alcohol: Only $69.00 a person

We have reserved room's at to hotels, the cost being 89.99 for the Holiday Inn Express or 99.99 for the Hilton Garden Inn depending on which hotel you get. Split between 4 ways at most your paying 25.00 a person for the hotel, which is the best price I could find for a hostel in Chicago, so rather then roughing it we can just enjoy a decent hotel for the same cost!

I'll let Kevin post the information about how to contact the hotels and reserve your rooms, but please do not wait on this trip and get your confirmations in with one of us

Contact me (Blake) @ hshcrew@gmail.com or via PM on BigSoccer.

Crew Union-
Contact Kevin (kmmc) @ kmmc@crewunion.com or via PM on Bigsoccer

Information needed:
Full Name, Contact Number, Number of bus spots being reserved and your e-mail address (if its via PM)

More information will come in the following days and the price may lower.

What we will be doing this Sunday for the home game is handing out informational fliers about the trip and collecting $20.00 deposits if you wish to secure your seat. If you wish to pay in full this Sunday that is fine as well but with the short notice we want to give people the opportunity to commit as quickly as possible.

We will keep you posted once the cost is adjusted by any discounts.

As always feel free to give feedback!