Thursday, November 26, 2009

11/26/09: Moreno Selected By Philadelphia

Moreno was a cornerstone in what might go down as the best and most successful Crew side in history. As I think we might be chasing 2008 memories for a while (Picture by Sam Fahmi).

Yesterday the Philadelphia Union selected Alejandro Moreno in the expansion draft. For the most part, Crew fans are reacting with a mix of sadness and relief. Sadness because Alejandro Moreno was a great guy who always connected well with the fans and worked hard for the Crew. Moreno was a big part of the Crew's 2008 success and truly loved it here. Relief because he isn't as big of a loss as Padula or others might have been. Moreno just doesn't work in the current system as well as he worked in Sigi's system. Further, it isn't a big surprise that Moreno is gone, four goals at striker isn't going to cut it anywhere, great guy or not, and I think the Crew would have looked in another direction in 2010 anyways.

As Moreno has said, the writing has been on the wall for a while... But, I don't think Moreno did much to change that on the field in 2009. If Moreno scored 10 goals in 2009, this wouldn't even be discussed and Moreno would have been protected as he was in 2008. With that said, I don't think Moreno should be surprised. I think he should be happy to have a clean removal now instead of a protracted, ugly offseason removal. Business is business. I also know that Moreno will never be booed in Columbus and the Nordecke will sing his song in the introductions when the Philadelphia Union comes to visit. The guy is pure class, a professional, and should be honored as such from Crew fans. Despite a disappointing 2009, I chose to remember Moreno like this:

He was one of my favorite players in 2008. In 2009, I'm not too sure what happened or where he went. Despite some of the things I have said about him this season, I and most of the Nordecke has much love for Moreno. I truly wish him well at Philadelphia Union. Further, Moreno has been counted out before, Houston counted him out and Moreno came back and did well for Columbus. Columbus now has counted him out and I hope Moreno rises again in 2010. Best of luck to him.

Also, a little late to the story, but here is some great work over at the Columbus Dispatch from Shawn Mitchell and Mike Arace. This comment really struck me from Mike Arace's piece and I hope the same fate isn't in store for GBS:
On that cold night in Sandy, Utah, Crew coach Robert Warzycha put Moreno and the incomparable Schelotto on the bench, and kept them there.

At some point in the second half, Schelotto turned to Moreno and said, "You know what the difference is between this year and last year?"

Moreno could think of 100 things, but he said, "What?"

And Schelotto said, "Everyone is playing, except for you and me."

"As obvious as it may seem, that comment brought it all together," Moreno said. "We're not a part of it anymore."

And, I totally agree with what Moreno has to say here about Guillermo in the playoff game at RSL:

"I don't think a guy who has won as many championships as Guillermo requires any extra motivation (for Game 2). I think Guillermo understands what games are important."

Moreno's comments about Warzycha in Mitchell's latest update makes me worry that Warzycha and company may have lost the locker room. This could be the real reason behind the Crew's late season collapse. Hopefully the Crew braintrust communicates a little better with the players they still have (they didn't even tell Moreno that they were not protecting him) and take steps to rebuild that great locker room in the 2010 offseason.

1 comment:

  1. THANK YOU!!! I cant believe they were actually willing to take this guy off our hands for us. who said dreams dont come true?