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.

Thursday, December 31, 2009

12/31/09: The Best Worst Columnist Ever.

Bob Hunter apparently does end of the season awards, and probably since none of us read much that he writes (since 90% percent is dedicated to pointyball or hockey or whatever), I guess he decided to give the Nordecke a backhanded compliment today by mentioning the Nordecke as both the best and worst fan section. I guess Mr. Hunter is trying his best to receive some attention from the Nordecke patrons. He succeeded, as Hunter is a fav. topic on facebook for Crew Nordecke types today, hooray for him. Here is what he wrote:

Best fan section: Nordecke, whose enthusiasm at Crew games is unmatched in the state, if not the nation.

Worst fan section: Nordecke, whose obscenity-laden chants have chased away some customers.

Look you cannot be the best and the worst at something.. Most people mastered that complicated logic by the third grade. So, Bob Hunter is being facetious about one or the other. Probably the first, as it was just used as a way to soften the blow, so you know what Nordecke we better listen to Mr. Hunter..

Lets just get rid of all swearing (well we have been trying and have scaled it down, but you know what the world won't be happy until there are zero swear words at a soccer game.. Football or elsewhere, fine. But soccer is for orange slices, just ask Jim Rome) and any type of intimidation, and instead when opposing players come into the corner lets hand them flowers and tell them how much we appreciate their competition. Look we get what you're saying Mr. Hunter, swearing at an OSU football game or a hockey game is fine, but soccer is for pussies.

And, I get it, Columbus is heavenly and evil swear words hurt the devine citizen's ears... But, we have cut down on swearing to a point where it was basically non-existant most of the second half of the year. And, honestly, in the end if we swear or do not it won't matter, because even when swearing is totally non-existant, we will be still called out for swearing or doing something wrong. First, it was throwing stuff, then it was a little fighting (I think like one punch, nothing compared to your usual OSU game), now it is swearing, next it will be because we are too loud, and finally that we are standing up and some asshole can't see. Well, we already have that problem with flags during the game, look if your in the Nordecke you should be down with it otherwise find a empty seat in the rest of the empty upper deck. Basically, Columbus writers will always find something wrong with the Nordecke, because it is seen as a threat to Columbus being just 99% percent Buckeye all the time, as writers such as Hunter or Oller probably want it. Further, we are trying our best to make everyone happy in the stadium.. And, to be honest, really the occasional swear word isn't that bad if you're not overly-sensitive. I mean I have seen babies and all types of kids of a very young age in the section. Yet, no one has called the child hotline and I bet these kids turn out just as normal or even more so since their parents haven't shielded them in a closet until 18:

And, seriously would a fricken teletubbie hang out in the Nordecke if it was the worse place in the world:

Come on!

Anyways, to be the best you have to build a certain atmosphere, and that atmosphere has certain things that might turn off a few ultra-conservative neo-sensitive families.. That's just a sad reality of making the buck, not everyone can be totally happy with your product. The Nordecke will try to make everyone happy, but even intensity isn't good for most sensitive families, so inevitably they will complain about that as well. And, you're not going to sell more tickets eventually if you ignore and don't cater to what excites the 18-34 year old male populace, the most important and coveted sports demographic (the ones most likely to plunk down on season tickets without a second thought), and that surely wasn't what was going on at Crew Stadium pre-2008. Also, there are no stated facts that the Nordecke is driving away truckloads of people. Really, you could probably count the people on one hand, where is this fact of people being driven away by the boatload? Mr. Hunter, do you have statistics? Oh, yeah, one or two nerds who wrote a letter to the Dispatch. I guess that means the Crew have lost thousands of fans. Honestly, I doubt the Crew would still have a team (we would be in Vegas) or at least be as paltry as FC Dallas without the Nordecke. I think the Nordecke has brought new life into what was a dead stadium in 2007. And, I bet you could point to that same Nordecke for bringing a lot of people in. I know I wouldn't be writing on the Crew every day and buying season tickets every year if it wasn't for that section being a part of it. The people in it love it there, it's to the point that it is an extension of them.. It's 24/7 365 Crew for these people. I'm proudly one of them and I personally can't wait until March 9th against Toluca and it isn't even January yet. And, I bet for every one person that has left, ten people have come in thanks to the Nordecke.

Also, if nobody has realized, the Seattle Sounders supporters (with 30,000 fans weekly) probably have the most offensive and stupid chant in my book as one of their favorites. A chant talking about taking someone up against a wall and shooting them:

Take em all,
Take em all,
Put em up against a wall and shoot em,
Short n tall, watch em fall,
Come on boys, take em all

Well, they seem to be doing alright.

12/31/09: Crew Could End Up Lucking Out With Cal's Wiedeman At No. 8

5 new players have signed Generation Adidas deals with MLS, according to Ives, including Cal U. forward Andrew Wiedeman (who was expected in the draft) and Danny Mwanga who was unexpected to sign a deal with MLS. The inclusion of Oregon State striker Danny Mwanga for a reported record of $175,000, pushes a player back one. And, it will be hard for D.C. United (slated earlier to go with Wiedeman) to pass on a Carbon Bone type player at number 7, as this mock draft example shows the (likely) current first round stituation now that Mwanga is included. As now, with Mwanga, there are just too many other good options at number 6 and number 7 for FC Dallas and D.C. United; which makes it more likely that the Crew will be handed one good striker that can (possibly) contribute right away, in either Andre Akpan or Andrew Wiedeman.

Overall the following players have signed Generation Adidas contracts (bolded are possible Crew targets at both picks): Amobi Okugo, Zachary Herold, Andrew Wiedeman, Tony Tchani, Danny Mwanga, Teal Bunbury, Blair Gavin, Dilly Duka, and Jack McInerney. I expect the Crew to go with Wiedeman now at number 8 (if available). And, then go with another Generation Adidas player, to save cap space, at 12 with either Okugo(if available), Gavin, or McInerney.

More on Wiedeman: Andrew Wiedeman in his last two seasons has 23 goals in 36 games for California University. This past season Wiedeman had 11 goals in 18 games. Further, Wiedeman is being considered the Chris Pontius of this draft.

Cal U needs to put more on youtube as this is the only footage I could find of Wiedeman:

12/31/09: Columbus Possibly Is Successful Because It, Compared To Most MLS Teams, Takes An Olympique Lyonnais Type Approach.

The winners of seven straight titles in France before last year, follow a great model according to Soccernomics by Kuper and Szymanski:

They first, use the wisdom of crowds on new transfer targets. A lot of European teams and their transfers are done by the coach alone as a dictatorship. However, when Lyon sits down to do a transfer a group of men sit down to debate it. Actually around eight men and the coach does not have the lone say. Actually their coaches are always temps, it is the front office directors that must have the staying power.

Columbus at least has three men at their debate table (McCullers, Warzycha, and Bliss)... Possibly even Lapper and Ibribaren have some input. But, compared to most MLS teams, it seems that the technical director and GM have more input. It seems there are definitely three men compared to two or one. And, it seems like Columbus has had a lot less flops over the last two years when it comes to signings (just Nico Hernandez) compared to a team such as Toronto FC. I couldn't even name you the technical director or GM for almost any other MLS teams... The only one I know is Mo Johnston for TFC. So, whatever arrangement the Crew have going on with Bliss the last few years, it is working. Bliss is the eyes and ears, like a Taylor at Nottingham Forest or a LaCombe at Lyon... Keeping Bliss around is, I can imagine, pretty damn important for the Crew.

The best time to buy a player is in his early twenties. Columbus has followed this model with Gaven, Moffat, Ekpo, Rogers, Lenhart, Brunner, Zayner, O'Rourke, even Renteria on the older end, etc. Also, Columbus is, despite Guillermo, Hejduk, and Padula, the youngest team in MLS. Further, Columbus may be even looking to get younger by losing Moreno, by leaving Padula and Hejduk unprotected(Zayner could quite possibly battle for a starting role in 2010), and by Warzycha possibly favoring two young strikers to Guillermo in the attack.

Also, apparently 20 to 22 is the best time to buy because you cannot be sure of what a player will become in their teens. All of the best players in the U-17 World Cups have flamed out, so has the apparently next Pele in the mid-2000's, Freddy Adu. Apparently you can't get a feel for a players real potential until they reach 20 to 22. That means it might be unlikely for the Crew to take a chance on Okugo and McInerney as I once thought in the draft. Possibly, if Akpan drops that far, an Akpan and Gavin scenario would be best.

Help your foreign signings relocate. I wonder if the Crew have a relocation specialist? Because they seem to do an awful damn nice job helping players relocate. Guillermo, Padula, Ekpo, Iro, etc. almost act like Columbus is heaven. You never hear a Crew player bitching about living in Columbus. So, you have to figure that the Crew have been smart enough, as of late, to actually help a player relocate into an area, instead of just saying, "hey make it on your own," as in a Nicholas Anelka stituation with Real Madrid.

Also, it is almost like the Crew brought in Niko Hernandez, Gino Padula, and Ricardo Ibiraberren in an attempt to make just Guillermo happy and to feel more at home. For the Crew, they just lucked out that Padula ended up being a heck of a player as well.

I also wonder how much English Ekpo knew before coming to the Crew? Because in interviews this year he speaks the language pretty damn good. Further, I saw Renteria out once at the club with two Spanish speaking translators. I wonder if the Crew paid for them?

Anyways, throwing those three things together, if the Crew can continue to be the best at these three things in MLS, they will continue to be the most successful.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

12/30/09: Why The Crew Failed To Win The MLS Cup In 2009. What They Can Do To Avoid Burnout In 2010

"Read this great new book Crew fans so you don't hate me in 2010."

The Crew's 2009 late season plummet can be attributed somewhat to what happens to the English International player in regard to congested club soccer, according to the fantastic, new book Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski (passage below). And, could really have more of a correlation and impact when the Crew do double duty in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2010. As the Crew, in 2010, are guarenteed to start out with 38 games just through the 2009/10 CONCACAF Champions League Knockout Round and there 2010/11 CONCACAF Champions League group, when that is combined with the regular MLS season. That 38 games the Crew are guarenteed to play in 2010 (2 against Toluca, 6 against the 10/11 Concacaf Group, plus the 30 game regular season), also could increase to 48 if the the Crew make a run in the 09/10 CONCACAF Knockout Round (which McCullers and company have pointed to as a real aspiration for this club) and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (nary the club aspiration). Then if you add the four games to lift MLS Cup plus the preseason, that is pushing 55-60 games. Then if we do somehow get past the Mexican sides and have the Club World Cup added, we mise well just play soccer all year. So, really, from this passage from Kuper and Szymanski's Soccernomics, all you would have to do is switch a few words to understand the Crew's 2009 demise; as basically our side isn't deep enough yet to deal with congestion (even a little of it):

English players get far more experience in top-level soccer than, say, Croatians or Russians do.

In fact, the English probably get too much of this kind of experience. The Premier League is becoming soccer's NBA, the first global league in this sport's history. So the players earn millions of dollars. So the league is all-consuming, particularly if you play for one of the "Big Four" clubs, as almost all regular English internationals do. The players have to give almost all their energy and concentration in every match. It's a little easier even in Serie A or La Liga, where smaller teams like Siena, Catania, or Santander cannot afford to buy brillant foreigners.

Clearly, an athlete can't peak in every match. If you are running in the Olympics, you plan your season so that you will peak only at the Olympics, and not before. If you play soccer for, say, Croatia and for a club in a smaller league (even the Bundesliga), you can husband your energy so as to peak in big international matches- for instance, when you are playing England at Wembley.

**Switch the above from Croatia to RSL and saving energy for big matches to MLS Cup and you kind of get what the Crew were going through. As by the time the two met for the first round the Crew played 37 games compared to the RSL's 31. With injured players like O'Rourke and Carroll (both requiring offseason surgery) lining up for the Crew.**

By contrast, English players have to try to peak every week for their clubs (the problem the Crew got into the end of the year, especially when they played 7 games in 21 days in September). In no other country do players face as many demanding games a season. No clubs in any other country play as many European games as the English do. Daniele Tognaccini, chief athletics coach at the "Milan Lab," probably the most sophisticated medical outfit in soccer, explains what happens when a player has to play sixty tough games a year. "The performance is not optimal. The risk of injury is very high. We can say the risk of injury during one game, after one week's training, is 10 percent. If you play after two days, the risk rises by 30 to 40 percent. If you are playing four or five games consecutively without the right recovery, the risk of injury is incredible. The probability of having one lesser performance is very high."

Sound like our October & November anyone? After seven games without the right recovery. Sure, Warzycha switched people but often times, some like Moreno got their extra two games with Venezuela.

So when English players play internationally, they start tired, hurt, and without enough focus. Often they cannot raise their game (Crew couldn't lift a finger come November). Harry Redknapp said when he was manager of Portsmouth, "I think England games get in the way of club soccer for the players now. Club soccer is so important, the Champions League and everything with it, that England games become a distraction to them." Moreover, players in the intense Premier League are always getting injured, and their clubs don't give them time to recover. That may be why half of England's regulars couldn't play against Croatia. For some of the same reasons, the US often disappoints in basketball world championships.

In short, if England wanted to do better in international matches, it should export English players to more relaxed leagues, like, for example, Croatia's (Hmm, maybe Beckham is onto something with LA).

So basically the Crew's advantage in about 1 more point of talent compared to most of the rest of MLS is negated at the end of the season because they will be playing 8 more games than most MLS teams from the get go.

So what can the Crew do to remedy this in 2010?
1. Sign your two first rounders, since both will likely be Generation Adidas and therefore won't count against the cap. Try to get the most talented players at the 8th and 12th positions and place them into Elenio and Grendi's roster spots. There likely to be more talented than that duo and hopefully more talented then 16 through 24 on our roster.. If we luck out.

2. Don't pretend that you have 24 players that can step in and do the job. Have 24 players that can step in and do the job. As Warzycha said in 2009, "we do not have backups, we have 24 players." But, really the Crew didn't have 11 other guys just as talented as their starters or a little less so. So they have to..

3. Build a lineup that grinds the most out of the smallish cap space. The Crew believe it or not are doing the right thing by trying to nickle and dime Schelotto. Because every grand saved could bring another player that could actually make Warzycha's 24 players a reality. Because they are going to need 24 players, instead of 15 or 16 that fizzle out from exhaustion after Champions League.

4. The Crew also need a goalscorer or two. The goal scoring by comittee was a lovely little thing in 2008. But, you need a striker that can carry the team on their backs and double the committee scoring load, as there just isn't enough goals to go around with the added games. The Crew should get 20 goals from their midfield and have one striker that can match that.. And then get some spurious goals from Marshall, the defense, and other strikers.

5. And, the fans that are harking for a set lineup like Sigi had, need to realize that was improbable in 2009 (when faced with 7 games in 21 days) and will even be more improbable in 2010 with 38 to likely 45 or 50 (if we are lucky) total games.

So as long as the fans realize that some different lineup looks are part of the added success and the Crew front office realizes that they got to get as much as they can for a little, the whole 24 players that can play, the Crew should be alright in 2010.

Monday, December 28, 2009

12/28/09: Crew Draft- More Information On McInerney & GA's

Possible Crew draft target, Jack McInerney, (as Ives believes that the Crew will either go with two of the trio of Amobo Okugo, Blair Gavin, and McInerney in the draft) was according to this, recently a target of clubs in Europe such as Hertha Berlin and Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem. Nevertheless, McInerney has decided to stick it stateside in MLS and has already signed with MLS under Generation Adidas. And, I believe the Crew will only look to pick up two Generation Adidas players with their first round selections; as GA's do not count against the cap.

However, McInerney might go later in the first round because he is likely to be in Europe in a year or two. But, I think the Crew should take a chance on young talent such as McInerney. If McInerney does not count against the cap and can be a goalscorer for us, then let him give us 10-15 goals in 2010, let him help us in CONCACAF and our regular season, he costs us nothing, and then let him go to Europe around 2012. Rather have someone who can score for two years than our current striker stituation of stagnant scoring for 5 more years.

Well, that is if the kid can score at the pro level. But, I would like to take a chance on him. He scored like a madmen in the CONCACAF U-17's and he is legitimately wanted by many clubs in Europe. If we need to take a chance on one position, it is forward. We could use a young gun like him to propel us possibly over the one thing we are missing, a legitimate striker.

I think if the Crew go with McInerney, they'll go with either midfielder Blair Gavin or Amobo Okugo with the other pick, or a Padula understudy in Dayton native Ofori Sarkodie, although I think that would not be smart in the first round as Sarkodie isn't even considered one of the top ten defenders in the draft by Carrick.

Also, the Crew could find themselves lucking out with the more experienced and older forward, Andre Akpan, at pick 8. Because FC Dallas, where Akpan is a local product, could trade their two picks to move up to pick up Tony Tchani who could start in the midfield right away for FC Dallas. As Ives says in his mock draft, San Jose's Yallop (who Ives slates to pick up Tchani) isn't too keen on the draft so they might trade that pick to FC Dallas.

If the Crew get Akpan at number 8, they might go with McInerney at number 12. And, hope that one of those two young gun strikers can turn into big time strikers for the Crew in 2010. Otherwise, I expect the Crew to go the McInerney at #12 and someone else at a different position at the #8 route.

For more information on Generation Adidas selections and the draft, check out the 3rd Degree.

12/28/09: Did Someone Say Crew.. 12/28

I was just checking out some blogs, and here are some spurious mentions of interest pretaining to the Crew:

**From Blogger Equals Jobber- As fans we need to take back our league and make it our own. We have the power as consumers and we should demand better quality and meaning. The true 2009 MLS Champion is the Columbus Crew and I salute you.

**From Brands That Stand- It’s well documented that I am not a fan of MLS, but the embarrassment caused to that league by the Beckham debacle is of little concern to me. It should have been no surprise to Beckham or anyone else that the caliber of play in MLS is well below the standards at which he has played most of his life. He had to be aware he wasn’t going to gain international match readiness playing against the likes of the Columbus Crew.

Ouch someone send that dude some hate mail.. Or at least let him know that Beckham plans to come back to the Galaxy after the World Cup.. Working with 3 new Brazilian charges as well.

**From Glory Days- An Akron Zip fan, in a Columbus Crew scarf, dancing half nude with their mascot during the College Cup (enjoy, or hopefully don't). Got to love the Akron fans though, need to get some of their students down to C-Bus for the offseason since they seem to embrace the soccer a bit more than the average OSU student:

**And Chris has a pretty good list of 10 things for 2010 for the Crew over at the Offsides Blog. Needs to bring that over to a better blog, *cough cough* Crewture.

12/28/09: GBS Says Deal At Gimnasia Is Dead, GBS Stresses Relationship With Crew And Will Renegotiate With Columbus

From Diario Hoy:
Gymnastics dreamed to return Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Turbo Vargas, but may not be. The Twin will play one more year in Major League Soccer..

The situation is already known of Guillermo, and after statements he made last Wednesday seems to be no turning back. Guillermo is at odds with the leadership of Walter Gisande, and he was hard used and criticized. Their future is in the Major League Soccer, which is negotiating to renew contract with Columbus Crew for another season.

From Infobae:
Guillermo Barros Schelotto put a stop to his possible arrival at Gymnastics and at the same time, hit the leaders of the club hard, whom he accused of not doing things right to take the team forward.

"I do not feel that the leaders want to take Gymnastics to the situation in which it is slowly growing, but instead the opposite is true." GBS said.

For several months a recurring theme in La Plata is the possible return of Barros Schelotto, something that the protagonist himself ruled out at the moment: "I have a relationship with another club (Columbus Crew), that I can solve...".

Nevertheless, are the Crew on the same page, From McCullers recent internet chat:

Loren, from Columbus, OH asks:
Will GBS be back? If not, I will not be renewing my season tickets.

Mark McCullers
I don't know if Guille will be back - I'm hopeful that he will be back. But if he's not, I am confident that our team will continue to be successful. We have created success by establishing a championship mentality that begins with the concept that no one is bigger than the team. We win as a team, so our success will not be dictated by one individual. We were 8-2 when Guille was out of the lineup in 2009 and we scored 16 goals. That's a 1.6 goals per game average. We were 8-8-11 when he started and we scored 25 goals. That's a .9 goals per game average. He's a special player and I would love to see him in a Crew uniform in 2010 but not at any cost. We have to look at the entire team and not just one player.

My thoughts: Maybe that 8-2 compared to the 8-8-11 is because the Crew are more successful with two true forwards. Therefore, the Crew should maybe consider taking one player out of the midfield or defense, likely the second defensive midfielder, to have two forwards in front of Schelotto for more scoring punch up top.

Overall, if the Crew can get GBS for $400,000 or less, they should definitely pull the trigger. If Guillermo still wants the big pay day, maybe the Crew would be better off going a different, younger direction with two forwards up top.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

12/27/09: Crew To Use Both First Round Draft Picks. Who Will They Pick? I'm Thinking Okugo and McInerney.

The Columbus Crew come into the 2010 draft with two first round picks (the 8th and the 12th) which makes this year's draft a hell of a lot more interesting than 2009's Superdraft. You know that Superdraft where our first pick was the 30th pick, for one Paul Gerstenberger, who despite being thrilled to be drafted by the Massive never made his way to Ohio and decided to finish school. Yeah that thrilling draft. Well this year the Crew actually have a reason to show up at the draft; as Warzycha said he would use both picks because the Crew could use some cheaper players. Soccer By Ives, the only place yet to do a mock draft has the Crew picking the following players in the draft (I somewhat disagree with the second, as I think were stocked full in the midfield):

8. Columbus Crew- AMOBI OKUGO, M, UCLA (Pac- 10 freshman of the year, defensive midfielder, could play with Carroll and push O'Rourke back to the backline where he belongs.)

The Crew boast enough talent to take a chance on some younger players and perhaps no teenager in the draft is drawing as many raves as Okugo, a central midfielder mature beyond his 18 years.

My thoughts: This would be a solid pick. I could see the Crew going for very young talented players such as Okugo. Even despite the fact that we have Gaven, Rogers, Ekpo, Moffat, Carroll, O'Rourke, GBS, etc. already vying for the midfield spots.

12. Columbus Crew- BLAIR GAVIN, M, Akron (5 goals, 3 assists, solid midfielder over his career with Akron)

Gavin might not seem like the right pick for the Crew after having landed Okugo, but Columbus will be hard-pressed to pass on another talented young midfielder who could provide depth (or trade bait). Columbus could go for Jack McInerney here as well.

My thoughts: Even though it would be cool, albeit confusing, to have both a Gaven and a Gavin on the field at the same time. I don't see the Crew picking Gavin, if the Crew go with Okugo, because there would just be too many midfielders. It would be pointless despite the familiarity the Crew have with Gavin at Akron. Nevertheless, it could happen, and if the Crew do go with two midfielders in the first round, it is safe to assume that both Rogers and GBS are likely gone.

I think Ives is more spot on with the Crew going with the two youngest and picking up the forward McInerney as well.

More Likely Route: I'm kind of surprised that Ives is picking two midfielders for the Crew in the first round when the Crew's midfield is solidified and deep, and the strikers are not. The top two strikers in this draft, Akron's Teal Bunbury and Harvard's Andre Akpan, will be long gone by the time the 8th and 12th picks come around. But, there are two other strikers that could go in the first round (Wake Forest's Zach Schilawski and U.S. Under 17's Jack McInerney) and I wouldn't be surprised if Warzycha went the Okugo and McInerney route or went for both the strikers.

Basically, if I was the Crew I would make sure to get GBS and Rogers back, solidify that midfield before the draft and then pick two young strikers like Schilawski and McInerney. Then have Renteria, Lenhart, Garey, Schilawski, and McInerney fight for those two striker spots. One of them has to have at least 10-15 goals in them in 2010. You increase your chances of one of them turning into a real striker if you have five of them instead of three.

Jack McInerney (In CONCACAF U-17 Tournament in Summer of 2009: two goals and two assists in a 5-0 win over Cuba. Scored the first two goals of the game in a 4-2 victory against Canada and had a goal and an assist in a 3-0 win versus Honduras.) Now picked by Rongen for the U-20's recently. More here at ESPN.

You can check out Jack from the U-17 competition here, full game videos:

Zach Schilawski (14 goals and 7 assists for Wake Forest in 2009, 3.576 GPA and graduating in 3 1/2 years in Biology). Who knows maybe a Polish head coach in Warzycha will go for a Polish-American striker. Ives has Schilawski slotted at spot 14 and headed to the L.A. Galaxy.

Here's Zach Schilawski:

In the end: I think the Crew cannot go wrong with the 18 year old Amobi Okugo and the 17 year old Jack McInerney; as one of the two will end up being a star. Both are not your usual college draft pick, both have jumped to the draft and are expected to be first rounders at such a young age. That means both are a step above. If they both have the heads on them, and there isn't any indication that neither don't (quite the opposite), they could have a great career ahead of them. And, why not with the Crew?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

12/24/09: Nordecke Manga

By Rick Thomas:

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

12/23/09: Dutch Leaders FC Twente Had Interest In Robbie Rogers

From soccer365.com- The Soccer365 Grapevine:
"Soccer365 has learned that Dutch leaders FC Twente have scouted Columbus Crew winger Robbie Rogers, but a source close to the club said that the position is not now one of need..."

Rogers played in Holland for Heevereen before coming to the Columbus Crew. Could Rogers now be headed back to Holland with FC Twente? Seems unlikely now, but most Crew fans would not be surprised if Rogers headed elsewhere in 2010. As it wouldn't hurt Rogers chances of making the 2010 WC squad if he was playing at a place like FC Twente in the Spring.

12/23/09: Dayton Dutch Lions FC Open Business In Dayton, Officially Partnered With FC Twente

Players signed:
1. Ocscar Moens (36)- Former Dutch NT Goalkeeper, Experience with many Dutch clubs including PSV Eindhoven.

2. Hans Van De Haar (34)- Played recently for clubs such as ADO Den Haag and FC Utrecht.

3. Nyron Wau (27)- Recently played for Dutch First Division sides FC Den Bosch, Helmond Sport, and AGOVV Apeldoorn.

4. Johan Wigger (24)- Played for FC Emmen and currently captain of German side SV Meppen.

5. Julius Wille (22)- Plays for Dutch First Division side A.G.O.V.V. Apeldoorn.

Rather interesting set of events going on in Dayton, as the Dayton Dutch Lions FC (about a good hour from Columbus) will play in the USL's Premier Development League next season. The club has already signed five players who were either with a Eredivisie (Premier) or Eerste Divisie (First Division) side in the Netherlands last year. The names include Nyron Wau, Hans Van De Haar, Julius Wille, Johan Wigger, and former Dutch national goalkeeper Oscar Moens. The club will be official partners with top Dutch side FC Twente and will look to build a youth academy modeled after FC Twente's world recognized academy. The club will be run by ex-professional Dutch players Mike Mossel and Erik Tammer, who both own their own Sport's Management firms.

In regards to their youth ambitions, according to the Dayton Daily News, Tammer and Mossel had to say the following:
“People in the United States probably don’t know FC Twente, but in Holland it’s a very well recognized youth system,” Mossel said. “Our elite academy only has one team per age category. We’re only trying to get the top 150 players in the region. Yes it’s elite, but if you get the top 150 and educate them for 10 years with the top coaches from Holland, something must come out of that.”

Basically, it is a great chance for youth players around Ohio to get from here straight into the Dutch youth divisions. Furthermore, after the Dayton Dutch Lions sign up their 8 foreign Dutch players, they'll also be looking to sign 15 American players either in their last year of college or teamless, for their senior team. They will sign these 15 players from a January 30th tryout. If you think you have what it takes, go here.

Anyways, overall, this is great for Ohio soccer. If this academy can succeed then the Dayton Dutch Lions FC academy, along with the Columbus Crew's successful academy and the Brad Friedel academy will make Ohio the hotspot for soccer development in the U.S.A.

Further, the Dayton Dutch Lions will also play a friendly in April against the Columbus Crew at a date and time to be determind. Sounds like a good reason to get out to Columbus Crew Stadium and shake off some of that offseason supporter rust.

The Dayton Dutch Lions website.

12/23/09: Garey In Crew's Long Term Plans, Signs 4 Year Deal

It appears that the Bash Brothers will get more chances to combine for goals in 2010.

The Columbus Crew on Monday signed Jason Garey to a four year contract up until the end of the 2013 season, at $80,000 dollars a year. Garey had 5 goals in 705 minutes during the 2009 campaign, which was the second best scoring rate on the team (per minutes) behind Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Nevertheless, the deal comes as a bit of a surprise; both because of the nice salary boost and the ammount of contracted years, despite Garey being used the least (in 2009) out of a striker stable who could not score consistently and also despite that Garey looked ultimately, ineffective when he came into any games after August.

Garey had to say the following on the deal:
"The Crew was pretty proactive in coming to me right after last season, saying they wanted me to be a part of things again," Garey said. "I'm excited to stay. I love the city, the fans and my teammates. Hopefully, I'll get some more playing time."

My thoughts: Crew technical director Brian Bliss said the following on the Garey deal, "When he's been given opportunities, Jason has been someone who's delivered." I'm not sure if I totally agree. Garey has scored just 13 goals in 61 league appearances for the Crew, that would be like showing up to work for two months and only doing what you're paid to do for 13 of those days.

On the other hand, I'm not sure what Garey is thinking. As at the end of the season, Garey was the fourth choice striker behind Moreno, Lenhart, and Renteria. Further, there is no guarentee that Garey will get more playing time in 2010, especially since the Crew have made no secret that there still after that legitimate 20 goals a year type, striker.

Yet, I think overall this is a good move for the Crew. Jason Garey is 25 and most soccer players peak around 28. So, unless we get some world beating striker this offseason, Garey will receive his opportunities in 2010 to become the starter. Especially since, neither Lenhart or Renteria will likely cement their spots either with consistent scoring. Also, if Garey finally has a break out season in 2010 and scores 15-20 goals; Then the Crew won't have to increase his wages and they'll have a hot striker for a cheap $80,000 dollars a year up until 2014. Additionally, this is a good move for Garey because he is guarenteed to make $80,000 dollars a year up through the 2013 season. And, I'm not sure if Garey would get that elsewhere. So, hopefully Garey shows in 2010 he's worth the faith that the Crew front office has put into him with this deal.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

12/19/09: DC United Signs Cristian Castillo, Looks Like Hejduk Will Be Thrilled For That Matchup

According to Steven Goff's associate Mr. Bonesteel, D.C. United has acquired 25 year old El Salvadoran star Cristian Castillo (otherwise known as Frankie Hejduk's kryptonite) from Mexican second division side Leon. Just check out the video, the meeting with Frankie is known famously in El Salvador as the Baile de Cristian Castillo :

Wouldn't have been a bad signing for the Crew, as nearly all of La Turbina is El Salvadoran.

Friday, December 18, 2009

12/19/09: Guillermo To Likely Be Back For One More Year.

I have it on good word that Columbus Crew, General Manager Mark McCullers really wants Guillermo Barros Schelotto back for one more season. The low ball offer was a mixture of negotiation (since GBS's camp asked for much more) and because possibly some others at the top were not as sure of what GBS has left. Nevertheless, it seems very likely that Guillermo will be back for one more season with the Massive and then look to get into coaching with Boca Juniors. Guillermo and the Crew will meet in the middle on Guillermo's salary (around $400,000 to $425,000- some of that might be bought down with other money). Guillermo might see this now as more of a necessity for the club, since other players such as goalkeeper William Hesmer are due a major, salary increase. I expect we will all hear much more sometime early next week.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

12/17/09: The Video That Angers Every Real Hooligan

Here are comments that I receive in my email every day (thanks to youtube notification) for a not so great first video I made. They crack me up though, haha:

ex. 1 omg you guys truly aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer calling yourself hooligans. do you even know anything about european fan culture and its history or do you just think it's cool to call your group "hooligans"? agree with everyone else here - don't go to south africa!!!

ex. 2 You lot of Yanks come to Wolverhampton, England and you will get fucked. Thinking your all hard come to England then. Agree with you bagley1987. Comon the Wolves!

I'm more into the ultra type deal nowadays but the comments are still entertaining and there are tons more. Also, apparently we shouldn't go to South Africa to support our national team, haha, woo scary.

This was from my first video from a year and a half ago, which is also my most viewed video with 16,000 angry hits. Lets just say it wasn't the greatest video since it was mostly pictures from when the Nordecke just started out, the beginning of the two years. I also made the mistake of calling us a hooligan army. Which has enraged all the European hoolie's, haha just read all the comments, can't believe how mad they get over a dumb video. Pretty entertaining.. And, man, out of all the videos that has to become popular.. As my newer stuff is a lot better than this (Check them here. Still shows how far we have come:

**Toronto FC has decided not to pick up the options on Amado Guevara, Pablo Vitti, or Lesly Fellinga. I doubt the Crew would be interested in any of those three. As Guevara wouldn't likely fit into the Crew's happy locker room while Vitti and Fellinga are probably not worth a second look, talent wise.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

12/15/09: Just Some Redesign Things I'm Pondering..

Just have to figure out how to get it to work with blogger:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

12/11/09: Crewture Mixtape- Season In Review Part II

Goals from 7.25.09 to 11.5.09
Music from: Prodigy - Out of Space (Breakbeat Remix)
Audio Bullys Remix- Out of Space
Sidney Samson- Riverside (Nordecke Remix)
Audio Bullys- Ego War

Videos from ONN, ESPN, FSC, Telefutura
Pictures by Sam Fahmi

And part 1 if you missed it:

Every goal from 2009 caught right here on CREWTURE!!

12/10/09: Crew News Update

Crew academies doing work!

** Now for your throw up moment of the day, one Chicago Fire blog states that the Fire may be considering to offer something for GBS. Just no, no, no, no, no. They already ruined one Crew legend, so the Fire should really keep their grubby hands off of another. If GBS isn't with Columbus in 2010, he should be with Gimnasia, period:
A MLS star who the Fire could reach out to is Guillermo Barros Schelotto, currently of the Columbus Crew. The Crew recently asked the 36-year-old Schelotto, whose contract expires at the end of the year, to take a big pay cut and he expressed his unhappiness with the idea.

However, under the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, regardless of whether the 2008 league MVP resigns with Columbus the Crew will still hold his MLS rights for 2010. Thus, should the Fire wish to acquire the Argentine forward, they will have to trade for him.

"Columbus still has his rights so I don't want to be saying anything too much," Klopas said. "I can only tell you that the guy's an experienced and good player. He's done very well in this league and for the Crew. But we don't have his rights so I'll just leave it at that."

**Between Tuesday and Wednesday next week there will be developments in regard to GBS according to Diario Hoy.

** Columbus Crew Soccer Academies are succeeding at a high level. CSA compiled a combined record of 5-1-0 over the competition, with the 15/16s earning a 2-1-0 record and the 17/18s going unbeaten with a 3-0-0 mark.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

12/8/09: Gimnasia Admits Ball Is In Crew's Court In Regard To Schelotto

Sensationalist Argentinian media admits that Columbus Crew are in the driver's seat still and Gimnasia is just the second option, according to Diario HOY:

How is the situation today? Complicated. Or at least not so simple. Until 31st December, the future of Twin is in the hands of Columbus Crew and still needs to see if the U.S. club decides to renew Guillermo's contract for another season. Gimnasia are waiting with open arms. But of course, as the Moncho says, it would be good to start with the efforts already taking into account the situation being experienced by the team. "Contacts with the president? There was, though it is said that it was not as fruitful as hoped." I asked Walter (Gisande) to talk with the Twin, but it will all be for after the tournament," said Moncho at the conference.

My thoughts: Despite all the ridicoulous talk and borderline b.s. and hoopla from Argentina, the bolded above points out that another season with the Crew is more important to Schelotto then a final season with Gimnasia. This is because, if Guillermo really wanted to go to Gimnasia all he would have to do is to wait until January 1st (when his Crew contract runs out) and sign with Gimnasia. But, because Guillermo and Gimnasia are waiting to see if the Crew offers Guillermo a good enough contract, Guillermo's first choice is still Columbus.

If Guillermo's heart was set on Gimnasia, Gimnasia and Guillermo would have no interest in what Columbus offers this December. All they would have to do is simply wait until January 1st.

Monday, December 7, 2009

12/7/09: Crewture Mixtape- 2009 Season In Review Part 1

Pictures- Studio79 (Sam Fahmi)
Music- Passion Pit- Sleepyhead (Neo Tokyo Remix)
Phoenix- 1901 (Instrumentalized Remix)

Goals from 3.21.09 to 7.18.09


Sunday, December 6, 2009

12/6/09: Olé olé olé, olé olé olé ola! Olé olé olé, we all sing in the Nordeckah!

Olé olé olé, olé olé olé ola!
Olé olé olé, we all sing in the Nordeckah!
Oooooohhh, Columbus Crew!
Our life, our heart!
We live it for you!!
Olé olé olé, olé olé olé ola!
Olé olé olé, we all sing in the Nordeckah!
Oooooohhh, Columbus Crew!
Our life, our heart!
We live it for you!!

I think this would make a bomb chant to open up with next year. Can you imagine the Nordecke bouncing like this, very nice:

Saturday, December 5, 2009

12/5/09: No One Cares About Your Message.

In shocking news TFC fans are boycotting again.. This time another Crew away game. Oh no!

Yet, this is how I like them, small and pathetic...

And, this is just how I like us, winning trophies..

And, looks like TFC will continue to be small and pathetic in Columbus in 2010. As some TFC fans are calling out their own supporters for once again deciding to neglect their club:

When does a supporters group stop becoming a supporters group? With the Red Patch Boys in Toronto it happened this year. there was to much criticism come from the group, ie, player moves, manager decisions.etc..it was like nothing the FO did was good enough...RPB members threatened to cancel season tickets if we didnt make the playoffs this year? some supporters!! your are suppose to be there thick and thin, no glory hunters wanted at this club. Now the RPB have decided not to go to the season KO in Columbus, they say they want to send a message to the league, the CREW FO, Columbus police etc..What message are they sending? only that they are not team supporters and are worrying about there own egos and self importance..Supporters clubs are important but they are not nor should they try to be bigger then the club they say they support. Another thing this year was the RPB group seem to be a cash grab group, with the amount of merchandise being sold from numerous scarfs, t shirts, etc,
yes i know no one forced us to buy this stuff..it was a personal decision...if anyone on these boards want RPB scarfs or t-shirts..im more then willing to sell mine at cost..you could be a RPB without having to buy a membership!! Supporters groups need to get back to the main purpose of supporting the club of their choice and not being more important then the club.

My thoughts: Who cares if they come or not. The only message it sends to me is that there are less of them in the stands supporting their club. Which from my point of view is great. I enjoyed a packed Nordecke against a measly 25 Toronto fans in the 3-2 Trillum Cup win last year.

Also, honestly, are they not over last season's opener yet? What happened to their fans wasn't even that bad. Crew fans have been subjected to worse in Chicago and it is nothing a week later. Honestly, TFC fans just come off as a bunch of sissy's.

TFC should really consider changing their logo to an effigy of Bruno:

I also agree with the point of cash grabbing. I wish our supporters groups would stop with the stupid t-shirts as well and membership cards.

Anyways, the biggest event for me in March is the two game series against Toluca. What happens against TFC and what is going on with their fans is a far, far, far second.

12/5/09: New Club de Gimnasia Coach Wants Schelotto. But, Schelotto Headed Back To Columbus In A Few Days

According to El Dia, the new coach of Club de Gimnasia, Pablo Fernandez (pictured left in his playing days at Gimnasia) wants and expects Guillermo Barros Schelotto as a reinforcement for the wolves during the transfer window.

However, the same article said that Guillermo Barros Schelotto will return to Columbus, Ohio in the upcoming days. I cannot think of any other reason for GBS to return unless he is willing to give McCullers one more round of contract talks. Further, hopefully GBS wants to stay in Columbus.

We will definitely need GBS to have any sort of shot against Toluca. Hopefully, the Crew front office can work something out with El Mellizo in the coming days.

Friday, December 4, 2009

12/5/09: Here Comes The Yanks! USA Draws England, Slovenia, and Algeria.

In the bar that I watched the draw in yesterday there were some English, college soccer players. One of them, when the draw format was announced and the USA was not picked to be in group A or B, said, "watch the USA will play England in Group C first." Sure, enough that was what happened. So, there it is, the colonials vs. the imperialists, the queen vs. George Washington, Becks vs. Landy, Green Street Hooligans vs. Hudson Street Hooligans (err..).

My first thoughts were well this match up could be spicy, as an American you cannot help but get amped for a clash against Rooney, Gerrard, etc.

However, like every team in the world, I was kind of hoping to get drawn into South Africa's group from the start. But, when we were announced against England I thought well that could be enticing. In fact, I'm actually thinking about saving my money and cutting my going out to once a week(and sometimes no going out) so that I can afford to go. I would love to be a part of a USA win over England in the World Cup. Also, I think $2,800 for all group stage accomodations is worth being a part of this. Really, just singing the national anthem alone would be worth it:

It should be quite the party in South Africa as the United States have actually sold the most tickets so far.

Further, it appears to be shaping up to be an already much, more successful campaign than 2006. As in regards to our draw, I was kind of worried that the US would be in the group of death when we were selected with England. But, I think we lucked out drawing Slovenia and Algeria, neither of those national sides are exactly world soccer powers. However, both Algeria and Slovenia are capable and could give the USA a game, so the USA has to do the business.

Nevertheless, overall, I really do like our chances of getting into the knockout round. Since 1994, the USA National team has had a great World Cup campaign, followed by a dismal one, followed by a great one, and followed once again by a dismal one. So, in 2010, the USA has to be looking for their best run yet.

And, what a way to start it out against England. I think the possibility of kicking England's ass will even gain a lot of interest from every day Americans who do not like soccer, because every American likes a good old English ass kicking. Should be fun.

For some interesting quotes from both sides, check out the USA's Fifa page.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

12/3/09: Guillermo To Ask Permission To Train With Gimnasia Starting Next Week. A Signal To The End.

Apparently Gimnasia (Nicknamed the Wolf's) got rid of their technical director Madelon who Schelotto did not get along well with. Since, Gimnasia has done that Guillermo is asking permission from Columbus to start training with Gimnasia starting next week. Which means that if Schelotto wants to start training with Gimnasia he has no intentions of coming back to Columbus and will sign with Gimnasia starting in January when Guillermo's contract runs out.

The exit of Madelón of the technical direction of Gymnastics left the Melli Guillermo Barros Schelotto the open doors of Small Stay to summarize its desired return to the Wolf, and even from sources close to the forward one they assure that the own player would be asking permission to be incorporated to the training the next week, what would give to the leadership a finished sample of Guillermo's firm intentions of returning.

One must emphasize that though nobody mentioned it, a distancing exists between Guillermo and Madelón for which the Mellizo if continued the process already had determined not to return. Now the setting changed and the chances are latent.

It is worth to emphasize that despite that behind various days media announced with bass drums and plates that the Melli there was himself determined by continuing his career a year more in the Columbus Crew, the certain thing is that the player was expecting the to occur of the events in the Wolf to make a firm decision.

Guillermo wants to finish his sports career in the Wolf and thus themselves it would have done to know already the leaders of the Wolf, that though they saw with very good eyes the return of the idol, they included the thumb down that there would be placed Madelón, situation that knew to bother the player.

Of all forms, Guillermo never closed the door to its dream and now that the departure of Madelón is a consummate fact, would reject any offering that the outside arrive from to be added to the Wolf.

Since already the telephone of the Melli is open to the wait of a call of the leadership mens healthy, although there will be that to mediate the decision that take the new coach that assume to see if Guillermo or not to finish its career in the Wolf.

Nevertheless, the Melli, as to clarify its will, would ask permission to be coached with the first team from the next week.

12/3/09: Ahh, Reminds Me Of My Striker Days

Check out this miss:

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

12/2/09: Guillermo Now Has A Kid's Book

A collection of kid books summarizes Argentinian football history. The collection written by journalist Daniel Roncoli examines the lives of the players who made history in Argentina and the history of football clubs there. The book The Adventures of Twin tells the story of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, and This story is no story summarizes 100 years of Velez Sarfield.

12/2/09: Guillermo On His Future

Will Guillermo walk out on Columbus? (Pic by Sam Fahmi)

Guillermo Barros Schelotto is back in Argentina on holiday. GBS has said that he will not talk with any other team until his contract is up with the Crew on December 31st. Guillermo said that there is no chance of him returning to Boca Juniors, but he may play again next year for his first Argentinian team, Club de Gimnasia. Overall, I hope Guillermo plays for the Crew, but if not I hope he goes to Gimnasia and not another MLS team.

below interview is from Diarioshow.com:

Guillermo Barros Schelotto is on holiday in Buenos Aires and the xeneizes(Boca fans) delude themselves with his return. In a head to head with DiarioShow.com the Twin explained: "Now it's up to others." Guillermo did not rule out returning to Club de Gimnasia, confirmed that after retirement he will look to go into coaching and spoke of his friend Martin Palermo.

Guillermo is certainly one of the last idols of Boca and "Intractable" still lives in the memories of all fans, but two years passed since Guillermo ceased to wear the "Blue and gold" shirt. Walking through his country, Guillermo spoke with DiarioShow.com on his present, his future, and the situation of Boca and of course, Martin Palermo.

- Do people at Boca delude your return?
-- No, my time has passed. Now it's up to others. I lived ten years in Boca where I was very happy, that's it.

- The last time there was also talk of a possible return to Club de Gimnasia, is there potential? - Maybe, until December 31 I have a contract and then decide.

- In your stay in Buenos Aires, do you hook up with Martin Palermo?
-- Not yet, I telephoned him. Since we will meet for a chat ...

- How do you see Martin's performance ?
-- Martin is still to be on Boca. But of course, before a bad campaign, it is always going to point to the biggest players. I have spoken to some and they are angry with themselves. I do not think that serves to change players for the mere fact of change. Around campus experienced players are needed.

- From a distance, are you concerned about the situation at Boca?
-- I think the championship is finished, out of sight, the team definitely is not right, not going to end up like everyone wanted, but hey, now we have to finalize it and start thinking about next year.

- Why do you think the season was so bad?
-- I was sorry for all the injuries. That, coupled with individual and collective slump, finished creating this campaign.

- Are there internal issues at Boca?
- Do not think it influences. One can not have a good relationship with one player in particular, but that does not mean one should play on a different side.

- How is your present in Columbus?
-- I am doing very well, we had a good year, not like before, but it was good, the balance is positive.

-- Not only did you go with all the laurels of Boca, but you were elected the best player in the U.S. ...
-- Everything I went through and got there was very nice, I'm very happy.

- Are your future plans to coach?
- When you stop playing, yeah, sure. For now I want to play another year at least.

- What does Boca mean to you?
-- Boca is a club where I spent many years of my life, luckily it went very well and I have good memories. I'm permanently attached to Boca from the feelings and even the friends I have who are still in there.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

12/1/09: MLS To Give Garber A $4 Million A Year, Multi-Year Contract, If Don Guides MLS Out Of CBA Trouble

Garber vs. The Players, In a battle with Garber's job and a $12 million dollar pay day on the line.

According to Street & Smith's Sport Business Journal, MLS owners are looking to sign Don Garber to a new, multiyear contract as MLS commissioner if the Don can get a collective bargaining agreement done by early next year. So, if the Don wants that arab money, as Busta Rhymes would say, he is going to have to get something done with the MLS players salary-wise, that also works for the owners. As Run DMC would say it's tricky.

AEG man and Gals owner, with a lot of money, Tim Leiweke said:
“Do we want to get Don a renewal?” Leiweke said. “Yes. He’s a good commissioner and he’s done a good job. [But] there’s unpredictability right now with the CBA. Once we have predictability, we’ll get Don done.”

If the Don gets resigned he will make, according to Trip Mickle at SSSBJ, $4 million a year! For three years. Man, with that money the Don could finance the Crew into a CONCACAF power. Or at least pay a new player or two more than $16,000 a year. Help a Cory Elenio out.

Anyways, MLS has seemed to do quite well under Garber lately. I also don't believe many would know how to make it work, right now, like he has. So, if Garber can get a player deal done, then I'm alright with signing him up. Well, as long as he gives Alex Grendi some dinner coupons to Red Lobster or something.

12/1/09: The History Of Soccer- Religion And Sport In The Soccer World

Since it is the offseason and there isn't too much going on, I just wanted to share this video I made for my project this week in my Sociological Sports Management class. Like most of my Sports Management projects, I focus on soccer (big surprise there). I also figured this video would be a good segway to bring back a series I have done before in the offseason, called History of Soccer. If you love soccer like I do, you always want to learn more about it, and if I come across something interesting.. I'll post it in this series. Anyways, here goes, I think there is some slightly interesting stuff in this video, since I found some good information on Celtic vs. Rangers, and Hakoah Vienna, among other things. So, if your bored, take a look. Also, linked below my video, is a good series on Celtic vs. Rangers.

This is all a part of a blog project I'm working on for my Sports Management Masters program. I'm working on this, as well as a new website, a new blog, and also on improving Crewture, starting in Mid-December. Anyways here is the video if you want a quick lesson on religion in the soccer world.

Description: A look at Religion and Sport. Mainly what occurs when one team defined by religion comes into contact with an opponent from an opposite religion, mainly seen in the Celtic vs. Rangers derbies. Also, a look at Jewish teams and Muscular Judaism in the sport of soccer. Btw, I think you will enjoy the Crew background.


Celtic vs. Rangers series:

12/1/09: Crew Looking For A Striker. What Is New, What Is New..

The Crew in their striker search have already missed out on a hell of a striker Michael Chopra (Cardiff City) and his delightful sister Priyanka Chopra, the Crew have also missed out on flops such as Maciej Zurawski (AC Omonia Nicosia of Cyprus) and Matt Jansen (Leigh Genesis F.C. of Eigth Division England). Who will they miss out on this year?!

Apparently losing Alejandro Moreno and his four goals is a tremendous hole to fill. As the Crew and Robert Warzycha look to re-up at the striker position, according to Craig Merz. However, this is nothing new as just about every offseason the Crew is looking for a new striker. And, with or without Moreno, I felt as if the Crew needed a guy who could consistently put it in the onion bag. The Crew have yet to find anyone that can for the umptieth season. And, the Crew's current stable of Steven Lenhart and Jason Garey have yet to become proven goalscorers, and Emilio Renteria is a yet to be proven commodity.

Renteria might still turn out to be gold. Lenhart, despite having 700 more minutes and one less goal compared to 2008, appears to be improving and appears to be becoming a more polished player. Garey, who actually had the same ammount of goals as Moreno despite far less minutes, might get one more season to prove it for the Crew (although I think his time in yellow is beginning to run out). Overall, the Crew have a trio of yet to be proven strikers. It isn't enough and Warzycha knows it.

But, the good news is the Crew are in a good position. They have changed things up dramatically by losing Alejandro Moreno. As the Crew and Warzycha in 2009 almost seemed afraid to sit Moreno (and his four goals) because of his veteran history. Now the Crew can go out and try to get a goalscorer, and try to match up Renteria, Lenhart, and Garey with that striker until someone sticks.

Anyways, a good offseason striker search, as an attack minded player back in the day, feels me with glee. In fact, I'm working on striker options for the Crew right now on Football Manager 2010, if you know, the Crew want to pay a consultant in buck a brats, then holler at your boy.

However, according to Merz, Warzycha isn't just stopping there, no, no, no.. Warzycha's language here makes it sound like he will make it his team no matter what in 2010:
"I'm trying to put the best product on the field. I'm not looking for only one position," he said. "I would like to bring some new blood to the team. We have to get better. Other teams are bringing in new players so that's how they get better. We'd like to refresh the team a little bit. It's our feeling if we go with the same names it can be very good or not."

I think Warzycha is wrong with that statement. What the Crew were missing in 2009, and what they got by without in 2008 because of midfield production, was a real life striker. This team is amazing with a real striker. It is the missing piece of the puzzle. A team that has won the Supporters Shield and has made it to the knockout round of CONCACAF does not need a complete overhaul.