Welcome to Crewture.

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

Saturday, January 30, 2010

1/30/2010: Soccer Balls For Haiti

I received the following from a Crewture reader and a Crew fan who is partnering with Baldwin-Wallace College and the Crew to help the devastated residents of Haiti. Please check out his website at: Soccer Balls For Haiti.com and read the following to get an idea of what it is all about:

SoccerBalls4Haiti is a small initiative charged with the large goal of providing deprived children in Haiti with NEW or USED soccer balls. The recent earthquake has brought disaster and devastation upon Haiti, and many children in Haiti lack the outlet of fun and enjoyment that soccer, the world’s most popular sport, provides.

SoccerBalls4Haiti has partnered with the organization Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) of Baldwin-Wallace College. SIFE is a non-profit organization that allows college students the opportunity to implement their education in community outreach programs. The mission and goals of both organizations seek to benefit others.

100% of soccer ball donations will be sent directly to Haiti relief. REMEMBER! One ball makes a difference!

If you would like to donate or have questions email us at soccerballs4haiti@yahoo.com or if you would like more information check out our website at
Soccer Balls For Haiti.

So if you have some soccer balls laying around, please email Soccer Balls For Haiti and donate them. Can help cheer up a kid who has been through a lot of hell. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

1/27/2010: More Strikers On The Way

That worked out well. Crew won a Championship and Maciej Zurawski ended up in Cyprus. Wonder if Maciej Zurawski ever has a change of heart since he now finds himself playing in Cyprus. Just joking, hopefully, the Polish striker is someone a bit younger, who may have a chance to get on the NT team eventually.

According to Mitchell today in the Dispatch (bottom of the page blurb), the two upcoming trialists that the Crew are waiting to put discoveries on (the one Polish player and the one American-would he be an overseas American then?) are both strikers and will be joining the team in Florida next week.

I just hope that there both a little more exciting then Acosta's and Bredun's resumes, no offense to both; but neither has been really lighting it up in Syria or Belarus respectively the last year. Would be nice if the Polish one was someone who has played regularly in the last two or three years.

Would be nice if it was a regular striker who plays in the Ekstraklasa (Polish top flight) worth some hyping, but not the name of Maciej Zurawski, a cheaper name who hasn't hit it just yet on their NT team or national league.

Most likely it will be some Polish player whose a striker in Kazakistan or something. And, the American striker will be playing in the English Conference National or something, lol. We'll see.

God knows we could use a striker who can actually score some goals. So, fingers crossed. Any thoughts on who it could be? Shouldn't be hard to widdle down the list of disgruntled American strikers overseas.

1/27/2010: Emilio Discusses Japan Call Up

Emilio Renteria had to say the following to Maracaibo's La Verdad, regarding being back in favor with the Venezuelan NT and being selected for the Venezuelan sides trip to Japan:

New Work Plan- Emilio Renteria for this meeting means a return to the national list. "I'm honored to have been called by Farias, it is a new opportunity that has been given to me this year and I'm very happy. I just want to contribute to the selection and try to continue to be called." The "Deer" Renteria, who plays for the Columbus Crew of MLS, added: "It's always nice to play against world class teams. The trip and everything will be a great experience. It will be good for everyone because we are projected internationally."

The match takes place on Feb 2, 2010.

The 27 year old Akwari is making a resurgence, selected as a USL-1 all-star last year as Captain of the Charleston Battery. Now signed with MLS bound Vancouver.

**Former Crew player Nelson Akwari is looking to make his way back to MLS as the USL-1 all-star has signed with the USL, Vancouver Whitecaps this season. Akwari is likely hoping to make an impression there and battle to make the 2011 Whitecaps roster; because in 2011 the Whitecaps will be promoted to MLS.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

1/26/2010: Some Good Stuff About The First Day Here..

Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha has a discussion with the rookies (from left to right): Othaniel Yanez, Shaun Francis, Dilly Duka, and Bright Dike (Photo by Matthew Bernhardt). More full pics can be found on Bernhardt's below link.

There is some excellent coverage here from Matthew Bernhardt regarding the first day of Crew Camp. Including a run down of the different groups for 4 on 2 keep away, as well as 7 or 8 pictures of the action. He does a run down of what happened during the training session and also did an interview with new Crew forward Bright Dike.

Bright Dike (Photo by Matthew Bernhardt)

1/26/2010: Crew Selection Kwaku Nyamekye At Rangers

Crew fourth round, draft selection Kwaku Nyamekye (a teammate of forward Andre Akpan at Harvard) is over on a week trial with Rangers of the Scottish Premier League. Nyamekye, born to Ghanian parents in Geneva, Switzerland; has a Swiss passport and therefore can play anywhere in Europe. But, the Crew took a flyer on Nyamekye, just in case the Rangers trial fails and Nyamekye doesn't have any better options for this season. The Crew will hold onto Nyamekye's rights in MLS for the next two years.

Nyamekye is a 6'1, 200 pound player that apparently plays both defense and forward. He would likely come well in handy with that frame.

1/26/2010: Three Trialists In Camp, More Info On Acosta and Bredun, Two More On The Way.

Here is a picture of Hugo Acosta, the 20 year old Venezuelan trialist/guest camp player the Crew have in camp. The Crew also have a 27 year old Ukranian defender in camp named Yevhen Bredun. As well as former OSU and FC Dallas keeper Ray Burse.

The Columbus Crew started camp today with all their healthy charges except for five missing players: four to national team commitments including Robbie Rogers(USA), Eddie Gaven(USA), Chad Marshall(USA), and Emilio Renteria (Venezuela); and one because of late arrival in Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Other Crew regulars such as O'Rourke, Carroll, Hejduk, and Greunebaum were in town, but were either out of action or limited to action because of injuries.

The Crew looked to balance that out today by inviting some trialists/guest players to the first day of camp. According to Shawn Mitchell at the Dispatch, this included FC Dallas and OSU former keeper Ray Burse, who I have personally liked in the games I have seen him play with FC Dallas. Also, in camp were 27 year old Ukranian defender Yevhen Bredun[wiki page] (who saw some time with Shakhtar Donetsk, Arsenal Kyiv, and Metalurh Zaporizhya; Has 77 Caps in Ukraine Premier League and 8 Ukrainian U-21 Caps, most recently played this year for FC Gomel of Belarus) and 20 year old striker Hugo Acosta (a Venezuelan who showed talent in the Venezuelan leagues and played recently in Syria).

Here is a picture of Yevhen Bredun with his most recent time FC Gomel, hmm kind of looks a bit like a young Warzycha.

Acosta is pretty interesting as he was able to score 8 goals at 17 in the Venezuelan second division, for Deportivo Tachira F.C., and also played in the first division before attracting the interest of some dudes with oil money in Syria. Here is a video of him I think scoring, with him also falling down a lot, and doing random plays and another website with more info on the young Acosta:

The Crew also look to bring in a Polish player and an American player, but will not release their identities until they make sure they have discoveries on both.

Monday, January 25, 2010

1/25/2010: Guillermo Candidate For Boca Juniors Head Coach Spot; Declines For Now.

Boca coach Alfio Basile and Guillermo's manager/buddy Carlos Bianchi are out of Boca. Most of Boca wants GBS as the managerial replacement, but GBS declines until retirement.

According to Terra and just about every publication in Argentina, apparently Boca Juniors is looking at Guillermo Barros Schelotto as one of three possible candidates as new manager to replace Alfio Basile, who quit after a recent loss. One problem for them, Guillermo Barros Schelotto is with the Massive club, on the field, at least for another year.

For now, at least, Boca Juniors is likely to have Abel Alves take over the club, likely until the end of Boca's season in June. And, then see if they can make a move for Guillermo Barros Schelotto or someone else, such as Diego Cagna.

However it appears likely that Guillermo will honor his contract with the Crew and then look to coaching after this year, perhaps, if the Crew don't renew his option for 2011. El clarin makes this point:
If you make a consultation among the leaders, the winner for head coach would be, Barros Schelotto. But the Twin already declined the position for two reasons: 1) Just renewed contract with the Columbus Crew of the United States until this year. 2) think it would be irresponsible to take on the club at such a sensitive time, with the championship about to start and without the coaching role defined.

Furthermore, Guillermo's former coach/buddy Carlos Bianchi also resigned from a leading management position in the club as of yesterday, which makes the Boca Juniors stituation look like a bit of a perilious mess today.

Overall, Guillermo has the rest of his life to be a coach. On the other hand, Guillermo has only so much time left to be a player, a year, possibly two. GBS knows this and knows he will get his opportunity to be a coach down the road whether it is here or at Boca, or elsewhere. Further, if Guillermo Barros Schelotto is so wanted now, he will be in demand one or two years down the road as well. Especially, with Boca's penchant for old players as managers and especially at the rate they go through their managers.

So, I wouldn't be too concerned about the Boca position being too much of a lure for GBS at the moment. Nevertheless, it will be one when he retires from football.

Friday, January 22, 2010

1/22/2010: Crew Bidding On Foreign Strikers

Stern John or Malvin Kamara could have been targets. If the Crew missed out on John, did they take Dike hoping to fashion him into a Stern John mold?

In an interesting new post over on Shawn Mitchell's Crew Xtra blog, Mitchell found out from Bliss, that the Crew have somehow worked Schelotto's salary where Columbus, now has enough room to add a player who may be more than the $60,000 to $80,000 a year type. And, that in actuality the Crew offered two contracts to two foreign strikers at the beginning of January. From rumors over the offseason, probably a Honduran (since Bliss was scouting their national team a month back in Tampa Bay) or Stern John or maybe even Malvin Kamara (lets hope not). But, both offers were turned down by the strikers for other opportunities in different leagues. Here it is in Bliss's words:
--The re-signing of Schelotto has left the Crew with "enough (salary-cap) room to add a player to the roster, somebody who may be more than a $60,000 or $80,000-type guy," Bliss said.

That is great news. But, what I find really interesting is whether there is enough room on the Crew for another foreign striker. Although I think another foreign striker is needed. It still makes me wonder whether there is enough room on our roster for Lenhart, the just re-signed Garey, Renteria, Bright Dike, and one more striker? Or will the Crew drop one of those five early in the season, whichever one underperforms? We'll see. But, I guess five strikers isn't bad on a 24 man roster though, especially if Dike is more of a project.

So, for the current four strikers, I doubt there is too much to worry about. Out of the four, they all have a chance to be a starter, as no one has put their claim yet on being the go to guy. More might be expected out of Renteria, but no one expects world beating numbers yet out of Garey or Lenhart, and no one knows what yet to expect from Dike. Hopefully one of them can start bringing those numbers. And, even though we have usually had about four strikers maximum, we will need almost two lines at times with Champions League qualifications, so a fifth striker could be used to back up both lines.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

1/21/2010: 94' BOYS- New Ultras Group

A video for the new group myself and 7 other friends are starting for the Crew. Were not looking to step on any other shoes. Were going to stand on the far left side by the stage, plenty of room for an ultras group there by the Crewzers. This group is just for the people that don't fit into the current mold and want to try the ultras thing.

A little about 94' BOYS:
**The name is a double-entendre. It means being with your team for 94 minutes (what an ultra does) and it also describes the year the Crew were founded. The BOYS part is just fashioned after a lot of European Ultra groups, that call themselves BOYS. BAD BLUE BOYS, BOYS SAN, ORANGE CITY BOYS, RUDE BHOYS, to name a few. We thought it was more interesting than 94' ULTRAS or Columbus Ultras.
**No leaders, no supporters gear, limited team gear, just full passion.
**Were interested in creating a real European type atmosphere in the Nordecke. With eventive displays, some smoke bombs, you name it.
**Were looking for 50 to 100 guys that can start new chants and help on new banners.
**We believe that if we can get 50 to 100 guys that can chant, new chant ideas in unison, that this will help spread those chants to the rest of the Nordecke. As we have noticed that it has been hard for 5 or 6 guys to start a new chant in a sea of 3,000 people.
**Same goes with banners and displays. We hope our creativity in banners and displays will interest the rest of the Nordecke to have more interest in doing them as well.
**Also we believe that if there are 50 to 100 guys coordinating a display, that tifos can be worked more smoothly. For all the work put into nice crowd banners last year, such as the "Forza Crew" and "Better Dead Than Red" ones, they were never displayed correctly. If you can get 50 guys on the same page, they will be.
**We welcome other groups to grab a paint brush or bring new chant ideas, that we can project to the rest of the section. You can be HSH, LTA, CSU, and still help us paint. If you want to join us fine, but if your in another group and just want to help out that is great too.
**Were looking to hang out at Oldfields, just down the road from Ruby's early in the game day. We wont be there an hour or two before the game because we will be setting up.
**Although were a smaller group, we hope to punch above our weight. We have most of the guys who have created previous displays in the Nordecke (all the displays above were either done by a current member or a current member had a contribution in their making) and we hope to spread that in the Nordecke.
**We will be standing near the stage, there is no organized support in that section. So, we hope to help organize that part of the Nordecke as well.
**Were not an open membership, we don't accept strangers right away. But, if you show us that you have an interest in bringing new ideas to the Nordecke. If you show us that you have an interest in bringing a European atmosphere by helping out once in a while on Tifo's and other things, your in. It's not that hard, just show us your down to be an Ultra -Members vote on new members-
**There are no presidents, etc. Just a collective. Sure there will be those that others look at for advice and as leaders, since they have done more displays and etc. in the past. But, we value all of our members and their ideas equally. We also will have members vote on all big ideas. Further, if we are torn between a couple ideas on displays, members will vote.

To close. Audax at Fidelis- "Bold but Faithful." That is it for now. Any other questions or want to ask about joining, cbusboys94@live.com

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1/19/2010: It's Finally Official, Schelotto Back In The Fold. Now What Do We Do With The DP Spot?

More genuflecting to almighty Guillermo guarenteed in 2010 (Pic by Will Hare).

Some people, like myself, had a pretty good idea Schelotto would be back with the Crew since the middle of December. And others, when the story broke a week ago in the Columbus Dispatch, were pretty confident as well that Schelotto would be signed. Now it's finally 100% percent official. Yes, Rob Stone, Schelotto is 100% percent signed with Columbus, the great one isn't going anywhere.

This re-signing of Schelotto is what you could call a Massive relief for all Crew fans, as the Crew legend will now end his career with the Columbus Crew and not some other unworthy MLS team, like persay the Chicago Fire. So, now that we can put those eye bleaching fears to bed, we can all move onto the 2010 tasks at hand in the Champions League and in MLS.. As, main attacking threat numero uno, Schelotto, will enter into the 2010 MLS season with 78 appearances for the Crew, bringing with him his previous 26 goals and 39 silky assists.

Here are the brief words from Head Coach Robert Warzycha on the Guillermo re-up:
"It was a long process, but we're very happy to be able to re-sign Guillermo for this season," said Crew head coach Robert Warzycha. "He's obviously been a very good player for this team and I'm glad we got him signed in time for the start of preseason camp."

So, what to do with the DP spot that Schelotto no longer occupies? Well, unless Guillermo's base salary is much less then the $335,000 maximum he can be paid, the Crew won't have the room to use the designated player spot. I think that is why the Crew front office dropped Guille's salary so much in the initial offer, because the Crew were hoping to sign Guillermo to a small enough salary where the team could also fit in possibly a DP striker. Thus, it wasn't personal, the Crew were just working on a limited budget to bring in more attacking talent, so they did what any business would do... They asked a high paying employer to take a pay cut for the better good of the company. Schelotto said no thanks, but the Crew finally got him around to picking a middle number.

Since the Crew and Schelotto most likely met somewhere in the middle, will the Crew instead trade their DP spot for a proven goal scoring commodity in MLS? Well, I doubt that there is many proven goal scoring commodities in MLS other than Landon Donovan.. And, the few others out there are probably not worth losing your DP spot for a few years.

What would be fine with me though, but is 99% percent improbable (because it is too genius), is if the Crew traded their DP spot to D.C. United for newly acquired United striker Danny Allsopp. This guy just cashes in goals no matter if it's in England, Australia, or Qatar. This is the kind of player that we need in front of Schelotto. Someone with a little pace, that can snuff goals out, get on the end of passes, and actually finish them! Seriously, what the Crew should do is just start talking to the top goalscorers in all the leagues around the world that are comparable or even maybe a little less so to MLS. Because really all the Crew needs is a pure finisher. It doesn't take a Ronaldo to finish a Schelotto pass when he puts it on your foot. It just takes a little composure and also someone who will just put the damn ball on frame.

I mean look at this Allsopp guy, he would be perfect:

He's the type of striker us fans would like as well. Full of confidence and just goes out there and does the business.

Really Warzycha should have a talk with a Polish player who has played in Poland, Cyprus (sort of underrated league since his side tied Inter Milan in the Champs League), and Greece now for most of his career, but just flat out scores goals, Lukasz Sosin. This guy has scored more goals then most players have caps.

Or maybe even someone like Pawel Abbott who was on a tear in the lower English leagues when I was over there, here's some of his skill. Those are just some Polish examples, I bet you every nationality has a few players like this who can flat out score that could go for cheap, just like Allsopp, to MLS.

The player doesn't have to be a Ronaldo with our midfield, he just needs to be able to finish chances. So, I would bring one or two of these types in for a trial. Because I'm not totally convinced that any of our strikers has what it takes to be an out and out goal scorer. Certainly, none of them have a history of that yet. And, that's what we need.

1/19/2010: Dutch Lions Secure Three Year Shirt Sponsorship, After A Pair Of Strikers

Former ADO Den Haag striker Geert Den Ouden new target for Dayton Dutch Lions.

Since news is a little slow today on the Crew front, I figured I would take a look at what the new PDL team in Dayton, the Dayton Dutch Lions, have been up to these past few weeks.

**First off, this past week, the Dayton Dutch Lions secured a three year, shirt sponsorship deal with ScoutForAll.Com. ScoutForAll.Com is a rather interesting website where players across the world can send in video clips of themselves playing soccer and in return receive advice from scouts or even managers such as Hull City's Phil Brown.

With this shirt sponsorship deal in mind, I find it rather interesting the sort of connections the Dayton Dutch Lions are making, especially with internet scouting companies. One of their players even runs a similiar website, as Ivar Van Dinteren runs a free transfer website for players. Another player, Johann Wigger, is also working in the team's marketing department. So, it's almost as though DDL FC are looking for players that can not only expand their brand on the field, but off of it as well.

**In on the field acquistion news, the Dayton Dutch Lions are also close to grabbing a pair of former ADO Den Haag strikers, in Geert Den Ouden and Hans van de Haar, neither has yet to fully commit, but offers are on the table and both strikers are likely to make a decision by the end of January. Both strikers have solid previous experience in the Dutch top flight.

Here's a nice goal by Den Ouden two years back for De Graafschap at Feyenoord (goal sequence starts at 3:54):

There's a couple videos of Van De Haar on youtube as well. And, here's also two goals from Dayton Dutch Lions midfielder Julius Wille.

**Also on the Dayton Dutch Lions page you can see a Dutch video that includes the owners and some of the players discussing the new franchise, that can be seen here.

**So what do you think, can the Dutch Lions grab a niche in the Dayton, OH area, with a metro population of 800,000? Or will it be tough for them, since most soccer fans in Dayton usually just drive to Crew games? Or will some fans check out both? Will you catch one of their games?

Either way, with the Crew shaping up to be a champion contender again with the re-signing of Guillermo Barros Schelotto and the addition of the Dayton Dutch Lions, it should be an interesting 2010 in regard to Ohio soccer news.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

1/17/2010: Could Dilly Duka Be Our Guillermo In Training?

The more and more I look at videos and here the players we picked talk.. The more I like the picks. Check out these videos of Dilly Duka, he definitely reminds me a little bit of another dimunitive midfielder that turned out pretty good for us:

Great pick honestly if Duka is ready to play straight away because Guillermo only has one, maybe two years left, in a lesser role for that second year. And, Guillermo is likely to get injured once in a while. Also, who knows how long Rogers will be around before he heads to Europe. So, this could turn out really good for us.

He definitely had to be the midfielder most like Guillermo in this draft.

1/17/2010: Maybe The Crew Are Onto Something With Dike

Go to the Notre Dame page and click on the Michigan vs. Notre Dame game, there you can see Bright scoring a hat trick and also talking in an interview. I don't know how bad Michigan is but either way Bright looks really good and should certainly help people sports betting.

After viewing that video I don't know why so many scouts were so down on the kid or the Crew for picking him, especially when the MLS draft is a crapshoot. Also, like I said whether you have a good or bad combine doesn't matter in the long run, that's three days when every player is rusty, it's what you can offer at your peak. And, what I see in this video is lots of pace, a good gear on the first touch (he can go from stop to full sprint quickly), a nice shot, and he seems like a good kid.

Also, his manager at Notre Dame, former Aberdeen goalkeeper Bobby Clark (425 caps), seems like a hell of a coach who has been around. Further, if you look at Bright Dike's resume he went from 2 goals in his first two years to 23 in his final two at Notre Dame. So, if anything he is getting better and better. And, he has that athletic body and reminds me a little bit like a Jozy Altidore in this video. So, I can see why the Crew picked him because he is the opposite of a Alejandro Moreno-type and I can see Warzycha trying to mix up the attack a little bit this year.

Here is another video of Dike at the Combine with a ND teammate, from the MLS Insider blog:

That blog is great by the way. Great idea, shows what can go down when you make your players more accessible.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

1/14/2010: Crew Fans At The Draft

Some Crew fans at the draft embracing a rather non-casual look, haha, wanted Blair Gavin:

Well didn't happen. Also, Gavin isn't from Akron, Ohio, he just played for Akron University. Gavin is from Kentucky.. I guess Hardhat had a few brewski's.

Here's some encouraging words though on the Crew's #12 pick Bright Dike from draft scout, Joe Mauceri, from the combine:

"His shooting is horrible. He has a big body – but not much else"

"UGH! Athlete does not mean soccer player; Thank you sir, don’t call us – we’ll call you"

Hmm, I guess we'll see. Maybe Warzycha expects to teach the athlete in Dike, some shooting skills.

1/14/2010: Gavin and Bone Were Both Available At #8 and #12

What are your thoughts on the Crew draft? I guess it will be a wait and see. But, Blair Gavin and Corbon Bone at #8 and #12 would have likely of been a safer draft than Dilly Duka and Bright Dike. Duka is a pretty good pick according to the draft analysts, but Dike is a bit of a surprise. I guess we'll see. There is no science to these drafts after like the first 7 or 8.. And, then that's not even always a guarentee.

Another who surprisingly is still on the board is Toni Stahl from UCONN, a player every analyst was high on before the Combine. Further, Andrew Wiedeman, who everyone expected the Crew to go with at #8 a few weeks ago, had a horrible combine and also has dropped to the Second Round. And, no clue why everyone is bypassing on Akpan.

Another thing, I wonder if the teams put too much emphasis on a 3 day combine. I figure a full season would have more worth if you have some trusted contacts in different conferences; as a player can have a bad week, especially when you haven't played a game in two months.

1/14/2010: Crew Pick The Big Guy At #12, Bright Dike

Sort of a surprise pick at #12, but really the Crew can take a shot at #12, especially since there are no other sure things out there.

Bright Dike is 6'1, 223 pounds which has to be the biggest forward in MLS, possibly ever. So, when Dike is on the field, the Crew will likely just tear down the wings and cross it in and hope that Dike can snowplow some goals into the net.

Dike started all 21 games for Notre Dame this season, scoring 12 goals and garnering 29 total points, which lead the Big East in both quotas.

You can watch some of Dike in action here:

Welcome to Columbus, Bright.

1/14/2010: Crew Call A Timeout For #12 Pick

I bet you Toronto does something stupid and gifts us with Dwayne De Rosario..

1/14/2010: Crew Pick Dilly Duka At #8

The Crew make their midfield even stronger with the selection of Dilly Duka at #8 from Rutgers. Ives Galarcep was right, the Crew decided to bypass on some promising forwards such as Akpan, Schilawski, and Wiedeman; and instead decided to bolster their midfield with Dilly Duka. Which might be a very good move for the Crew, especially if Rogers makes a move to Europe sometime in January or over the Summer.

Now with Schelotto's salary not above $325,000 dollars. Possibly the Crew will go overseas for their forward help. I like the move as long as Dilly doesn't turn out to be a Szetela type.

Now we just have to come up with a Duka chant in the Nordecke. Welcome to Columbus, Dilly.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

1/12/2010: Crewture Likely Headed To Philly For The Draft

**It looks like myself and three buddies are going to make the eight hour trip tomorrow night to Philadelphia for the 2010 Superdraft. A few things have to work out and align to make sure we all get in the car in a timely manner. But, it's looking about 80% percent.

If so I'll be taking my flip video camera and I'll give updates of what is going on pre-draft (including the drink fest that starts at 9 a.m. with the Sons of Ben supporters), during the draft, and post draft. Maybe I can sneak in some comments from our newly drafted players as well. So, if I'm there, I'll definitely have some videos up Thursday night from the hotel. Keep a look out for that. Cheers.

1/12/2010: Crew News, MLS News, & A Little World News

Rapids to join Impact and Fire with some terrace seating. What are your thoughts?

**What does this mean? From soccer365 Greg Seltzer's Mock Draft:

Chicago Fire

This one is pretty easy, despite the sheer number of positional needs at Toyota Park. The Fire backline you've come to know is mostly either aging or moved on - Wilman Conde needs some help. Not only is Indiana defender Ofori Sarkodie a versatile, forceful defender with experience training in pro camps, but he also grew up in Ohio. Bam! The right player, who should be available at #13 and Crew fans kinda pissed off. Some observers do not rate him quite as highly as I do. Is that because they get to see more of him or because I'm a genius? We shall see.

I don't know how Crew fans could have "pissed off" Ofori or how Seltzer would know about it since he is in Europe and only has his youtube and skype to tell him.. But, the guy who doesn't rate Sarkodie, Buzz Carrick, is a FC Dallas fan. Myself, personally, have a limited clue on who could be a good draft pick for the Crew.. I even mentioned Sarkodie as an option; and, if we do go the Gino Padula understudy route and pick up a Sarkodie I hope he turns out to be a gem.

Then again Buzz Carrick knows more than I do and that's why I interviewed him.

**I guess the MLS is bringing back the terraces, and in the most oddly amusing place ever according to Goff's Soccer Insider:
*Representatives for the Colorado Rapids Supporters Association say that bleachers will be removed from the north end of Dick's Sporting Goods Park and replaced with tiered terraces for the three fan groups.

First off, the Colorado Rapids have three supporters groups?! Since when? Must be five people to a group. Secondly, haven't these people read about Heysel or the problem with terraces in Among the Thugs or Fever Pitch? Who knows if actual terraces are the best for supporters, but their making a sort of renaissance here in America as the Montreal Impact now have terraces for their supporters, so do the Chicago Fire near the bottom of their section, and now the Colorado Rapids.. Who well, really don't have much of a supporters section and is a place on road trips where Nordecke Crew fans get kicked out of for being too loud. Interesting place for some terraces.

In regard to terraces for the Nordecke, I may want some terraces in one respect because everyone in the Nordecke stands and in a celebration I have put gashes in my leg knocking into seats that no one uses anyways. But, on the other hand, standing on the seats sort of makes a buffer where not everyone can get crushed into each other either. So, maybe the best option would be as is. Especially, since the Crew front office is probably 10 audible swear chants away from making the section family seating once again.

**Man, USA's Group C is looking better and better by the day as Group C participant Algeria got spanked 3-0 by African minnows Malawi in the African Nations Cup. The English Premier League usually has to part with their best players during the ANC, so I figure Algeria was playing their A team. Anyways, they look shambolic, especially on defense. Should be fun:

1/12/2010: It's Official, Guillermo Barros Schelotto Has Re-signed With The Crew

Picture by Christopher Uhler

According to Steven Goff's Soccer Insider:
*Columbus star Guillermo Barros Schelotto has agreed to a new contract with the Crew, the Insider has learned. Schelotto, 36, had considered returning to Argentina after the Crew sought to significantly lower his base salary, which was $650,000 last year. No word yet on the structure of the new pact.

I also received an email today from one of my sources saying:
"Yesterday went very well between Guillermo and McCullers. The Crew got there man for somewhere in the middle for a one year contract. There may even be a chance that Guillermo could come on as an assistant coach after retirement."

Guillermo coming on long term as a coach, as he improves at his English, would explain his reasoning for attempting to get a green card.

11/12/2010: Nordecke Crew Supporter Chants- Part 1

Part 1 of 3 or 4 of these I'll do, although I probably only have enough actual audio on my computer for two of them, so I will have to place my audio in for the other two:

After I'm done with all the chants already out there, I'll take some new ideas for 2010 from the readers and whatever I can come up with for some fresh chants for next season. I'll also add some ideas that a lot of people liked but didn't take off exactly in 2009. And, if you have any ideas for a new chant, send it to me, and I'll put it out there in chant form so more people in the section will understand it.

One more thing, if anyone has a good audio clip of Gi-no! Or We'll Be Coming Down The Road! Or Your Not Singing! Send it to me so I can post it up.

I'm making these all for a new chant page that I'll be putting up on Crewture. I figure what better way to get the chants out to everyone then to have them in audio and in word format on one page. Cheers.

Monday, January 11, 2010

1/12/2010: Rogers Looking To Make An Impression With National Team

In not so shocking terms the Crew's attacking left mid, Robbie Rogers, wants to make an impression on Bob Bradley for the upcoming January 23rd friendly against Honduras (at the Home Depot Center, viewable on Fox Soccer Channel, 9 P.M. EST) and the to be announced friendly in February expected against Mexico or another opponent. This is what Rogers had to say today at the USMNT camp:

"I want to show that I have something to add to the team," said Rogers, who has played nine games for the United States. "I know the team needs some players who are creative, who can attack with speed but also work hard."

"Whenever you’re in front of these coaches, you want to be sure you’re professional and you’re good for the team."

Also looking to make an impression in the two upcoming games, for what most would considered the US National Team B squad for the time being, are the Crew's Eddie Gaven and Chad Marshall.

So, what are your thoughts? Who has the best chance to make it to South Africa out of Rogers, Gaven, and Marshall? In my opinion, out of the three Crew players in the January camp roster, I think Chad Marshall has the best chance; especially if Oguchi Onyewu isn't exactly 100% percent by June because of his injury. I also believe that Gaven is fully capable if Bob Bradley gives him a serious look, as Gaven was the better Crew midfielder in 2009 compared to Rogers; to go a step further, Gaven was Mr. Dependable in the Crew's 2009 midfield. I also think Rogers has an outside shot if he really ups his game in these friendlies. But, each Columbus Crew camper may have to rely on a couple injuries in front of them or an insane break out performance to make the June cut.

Another interesting development is to see if Chris Pontius or Marcus Tracy can break through at the forward spot, a spot which will need a lot of help without Charlie Davies. Maybe Robbie Rogers should have a talk with Bradley about trying to convert to that depleted position.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

1/11/2010: Slow TFC Fans

Since it's a bit of a slow time, I figured I would share a recent slow response I enjoyed to my one older video mocking TFC:
Laugh now, you yellow bastrds, but we'll be back, One day, one year, we'll win when you least excpect it, the score will be 4-1, or somthin like that.

ALL FOR ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh, and in response to sugarengine, yes, we do rip on our own players for playing like crap on some days... Its the British style to do that. We Got a few British traditons, combined with Worldly flare, that make up our multi-cultural city.

Lol... One more time.

We do rip on our own players for playing like crap on some days... Its the British style to do that. We Got a few British traditons, combined with Worldly flare, that make up our multi-cultural city.

Could someone tell them already that they live in Canada not London. I mean yeah, criticizing players is pretty cutting edge. Yeah amazing, we have never criticized a player before for playing like crap here in Columbus. What a great, inventive idea!! How British of them!! What a British tradition! No American fan has ever criticized a player before! And what the hell is Worldly flare? There is nothing about TFC playing soccer that can be considered of the worldly flare variety.

And, although amusing, TFC fans should, for their own good, keep their mouths sealed until they win a game against us some day.. Just can't take them serious.

1/10/2010: Guillermo Expresses Interest In Columbus Return To Mitchell As Well

All signs point to Guillermo getting closer and closer to re-signing with the Crew, as according to the Columbus Dispatch, Guillermo will be talking with McCullers tomorrow, hopes to return, and will "fix a new contract" with the Crew.

All signs seem to point that Guillermo slowly but surely has decided that finishing up in Columbus is best for him, I posted this five days back about Guillermo:
I also got an email today from another source who came through on the Emilio deal (even when the Dispatch said Emilio was totally unlikely), who also said Guillermo is getting his green card and attempting to work something out with Columbus, and has been since my other source said. The source also said that it is very likely that Guillermo and the Crew will work something out as Guillermo would greatly prefer playing for the Crew compared to another team in MLS.

So, Guillermo hopes to return to Columbus and also prefers that his final year in MLS be with the Crew. Therefore, it appears that the Crew and Mark McCullers should be able to iron something out with the Argentine Crew legend; And, hopefully the Schelotto deal will be done early this week so that the Crew can put the Schelotto negotiations to bed and start preparing for their important Champions League matchup against Toluca on March 9th.

If the Crew can get the GBS deal done this week, the local weatherman better watch out for a collective wind from all of Crew nation exhaling at once, as it would be great to have GBS back in the fold for one more year.

1/10/2010: The Latest Weird Mock Draft Version 70

Ives humourously expects the Crew to snatch another Red Bull product with the Crew's twelth pick by selecting Dilly Duka.

Ives has a rather strange latest mock draft here saying the Crew will not land Wiedeman or another forward, in the position that the Crew probably most desperately need. But, will instead select Amobi Okugo, the 18 year old out of UCLA, at numero eight and then also steal away another New York Red Bull product with the 12th pick by selecting Dilly Duka. It's pretty humourous that this is the expectation of Ives who was so adament against New Jersey product Danny Szetela playing in Columbus years back.

What a few mock drafts do, I still think the Crew would be better off with a no frills Andrew Wiedeman and Blair Gaven selection. But, we will see.

What do you think? No Wiedeman now and two midfield picks once again, although the Crew are already deep at midfield. Hmm?

1/10/2010: Crew's Jed Zayner Keeps Busy In The Offseason Helping Kids In New Orleans

Jed Zayner, who was recently signed to a four year extension with the Crew, shows just how good of a guy he is by giving back to New Orleans. Jed put on a free soccer clinic for underpriveleged kids in New Orleans this Saturday. In New Orleans, Jed will also be looking to get his hands on some tasty jambalya thanks to teammate Jason Garey's reportedly fabalous cooking.

Read more about it over at Jared Montz Soccer.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

1/10/2010: Crew's Emilio Renteria Selected For Venezuela February Friendly Against Japan

The Columbus Crew's Emilio Renteria has made the 20 man roster for the Venezuelan friendly in February against Japan. The game is set for 7:00 p.m. Japan time on Febuary 2nd, 6:30 EST Standard time (or rather Crew time since were so Massive). Former Crew player Alejandro Moreno, now wearing the colors of the Philadelphia Union, was also selected for the friendly, a chance for Venezuela to once again test players for Venezuela's 2014 World Cup run.

Venezuela had their best qualifying run in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers as of yet, not being disqualified from the World Cup playoff against the fourth team in CONCACAF until the final two matches.

Friday, January 8, 2010

1/8/2010: You'll Never Walk Alone!

Original pic by Sam Fahmi

Original pic by Jim Early, September 1996

1/8/2010: Crew Locks Up Zayner With A Four Year Contract

Pic by Sam Fahmi

The Columbus Crew has secured the services of 25 year old, right back Jed Zayner for four more years. Jed had a breakout year in 2009 for Columbus; starting 16 games during the season and by all accounts performing very well in almost all of his outings. Zayner was signed to a four year deal just like Jason Garey and is the expected heir apparent at Frankie Hejduk's position. Further, Zayner started more games than Hejduk in 2009 thanks to Hejduk's national team call ups and injuries, so it is likely that Zayner will get his chances in 2010.

The Crew haven't released any details about the monetary ammount of Zayner's contract, probably learning their lesson since fans debated the substantive increase in Garey's salary. But, whatever the ammount, I feel that most fans would agree that it is worth keeping Zayner around. As Jed Zayner was the most improved player in 2009 and rarely made any mistakes despite being new to the role of starter.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

1/7/2010: The 2010 Jerseys For Every Team In MLS, Starting With The Crew

Check out this PDF.

And here are the main images for the Crew jerseys in 2010:

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

1/5/2010: New Crew Away Kit

This should be the new away kit in 2010, a mock up by bigsoccer user TonyDanza. Bad ass. More mock ups can be seen at the link.

1/5/2010: GBS To Get Green Card; MLS His Destination, Guillermo Hopes With The Crew

Pic by Sam Fahmi

After having harsh words and telling off Gimnasia's leadership a week ago:
"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."

And also saying:
"I have a relationship with another club (Columbus Crew), that I can solve..."

Guillermo has taken a step further in his intentions of solving his stituation with the Crew; as GBS is in the process of obtaining an American green card, according to one source that has talked to the Columbus Dispatch.

A few weeks back, I also had a source that has come through often, say a deal with Columbus is 100% percent expected between the Crew and Schelotto and that basically it is just down to this and that, allocation, maybe possibly even bonuses. Today, much of the same is still expected from that source.

I also got an email today from another source who came through on the Emilio deal (even when the Dispatch said Emilio was totally unlikely), who also said Guillermo is getting his green card and attempting to work something out with Columbus, and has been since my other source said. The source also said that it is very likely that Guillermo and the Crew will work something out as Guillermo would greatly prefer playing for the Crew compared to another team in MLS.

But, if something drastically different happens, the green card could mean that Guillermo might try to work something out with a different team if the Crew and him can't work it out this January. Nevertheless, I'm really confident from everything that I have seen and that has been sent to me, that Guillermo and the Crew in 2010 is still 100% percent on.

Monday, January 4, 2010

1/5/2010: Jake Obviously Prefers Crazy Butterfaces

If you haven't heard a Massive Club like the Columbus Crew eventually has to have someone associated with the club (be it a player or a cheerleader) on a hit tv show like the Bachelor. That's just reality, massively talented clubs attract massively talented people who get on television. And, if you haven't heard Columbus Crew cheerleader Emily Harkins was on the Bachelor tonight. Unfornately, despite in my opinion being by far one of the best looking ones and by far less ridicoulous, Emily was booted.

I actually watched it tonight because I live with my mom and my sister (I'm getting my Masters, haha so don't judge) and I rarely control the big screen tv. So, lifetime and TLC all day, every day, poor me. And, let's just say that this Jake dude doesn't have good taste.. If you watched the first five girls Jakey poo picked were all hideous looking monsters. To put it in the kindest terms possible.

Further, the girls he picked were trying too hard with silly little rouses. Like the girl in the Halloween pilots outfit, eww. And, that Vienna girl with the little stupid dog, seriously, over that Emily girl, seriously. Haha, and that last girl that was convinced she was going to get married to him and was crying over him in a hour. Seriously? And, the girl that played airplane with him.. Umm.. Seriously.

In my opinion (and most guys who don't really believe butter faces have more character just because their butter faces), Emily was one of the top two, with Gia.. All the rest, meh..

Also, if I know the Nordecke, there might have to be a rose tifo in order or at least a "Jake's A Jerkface" banner and chant, in good fun of course.

1/4/2010: Massive Radio Superdraft 2010 Podcast With Draft Analyst Buzz Carrick

The Crew have a lot of different avenues they can take at the 8 and 12 spots in this year's MLS Superdraft, we talk about some of them with 3rd degree editor and draft analyst Buzz Carrick.

First off, I would like to thank Buzz Carrick over at the 3rd Degree for being nice enough to take 20 minutes out of his day to talk the Crew draft and (in general) the 2010 MLS Superdraft with Crewture. Personally, I haven't heard much actual live discussion in a podcast or talkshow or ESPN format about the 2010 MLS Superdraft yet; especially with someone such as Buzz who knows his stuff or well much of anyone for that matter. And, I think it's something that should occur for league viability, as the MLS Superdraft does not have much of a build up compared to the NFL Draft where ESPN devotes months of dicussion to who could and should be picked. Even a hour show a few days before the draft would be great for all of us who are soccer starved. Especially since really, the only actual on air, MLS Superdraft discussion seems to come when Alexei Lalas and that little Irish fellow discuss a few talents 10 minutes before the draft. But, I imagine if there was that kind of build up, you could relate Mr. Carrick as the Mel Kiper of MLS with the draft board.

In this 20 minute podcast, Buzz and myself (well I try my best) not only discuss the Crew's picks but also the dark horses in the draft, other first round scenario's for FC Dallas and other teams, who could be the vaunted second coming of Chris Pontius in this draft, how there is always a baffling pick in the first round, and etc. Click the player below to listen:

Here are some notables if you need the cliff note version of what to look for in this year's Crew Draft:

1.) Buzz believes that Andre Akpan will not slip to number 8. Basically, if FC Dallas doesn't pick him up (and they most likely will), then possibly DC United will pick Akpan if FCD goes with Toni Stahl over Akpan.

2.) Therefore, if the Crew go for a forward at number #8, that is if they do go for a forward because Buzz believes they don't really, really need anything specifically (unlike most teams) then it will be Andrew Wiedeman. Buzz rates Wiedeman and Akpan as polished college forwards who are near the level where they could contribute in MLS. He also believes that Wiedeman is a Taylor Twellman type. Further, Buzz says that both Akpan and Wiedeman play high up the field, so there kind of unlike Alejandro Moreno who checks back often to midfield, which may be good or may be bad depending on who the Crew resigns. I think Warzycha sees this as good since he got rid of Moreno, I think he wants a box striker.

3.) But, the Crew could also bypass the forwards at number #8, selecting Okugo or someone else here, and go with Wake Forest forward Zack Schilawski at #12. Zack Schilawski could be the surprise forward the Crew could go with in this draft. As one thing Buzz seemed to be very high on was Zack Schilawski, I think he mentioned him the most out of any player I didn't prompt him on, especially his speed and that he might even be more like a Robbie Rogers type. So, if the Crew select Zack Schilawski I think it is a pretty good indicator that Robbie Rogers is headed to FC Twente or elsewhere before March. Keep a look out for that.

4.) If the Crew go the Gino Padula heir apparent route with one of our picks it shouldn't be for Ofori Sarkodie, despite the Dayton, OH routes. Ives has Sarkodie at #13 with the Chicago Fire, but Buzz does not rate him at all and says Sarkodie will likely drop to the second or third round. He has some solid reasons in the podcast, but also said, "hey you never know." He believes if your looking for a Gino Padula heir apparent, it would be better to look at San Diego University left back Ryan Peterman or Creighton left back Seth Sinovic. Both, with two to three years underneath Padula could be great to step in that role by then. Might be worth looking at if anyone remembers the Tim Ward 07' days.

5.) Buzz also believes that if any team in the first round was to take a risk on a McInerney(17), Okugo(18), or Luis Gil(17) type it will be Columbus. This is because out of all the first round teams, Columbus probably least likely needs someone who can contribute right away. Instead, the Crew could take one of these guys with great raw potential and stow them away for a year or two, and either one of these three could end up to be the best player or a bust.

6.) Buzz believes that Akron midfielder Blair Gavin would be a great pick at #12, compares him to a Chris Armas type... Except with better passing but lacking as much tackling effectiveness. Gavin, like a Carroll, was essential for making the attack happen at Akron as Carroll does with Columbus. Could be also great for those ones who want O'Rourke back in the backline, but then again Warzycha seems pretty high on keeping Brunner in the starting 11.

7.) The dark horses, maybe someone the Crew could pilfer with their third round picks include Barry Rice(who will likely go much sooner despite not being selected for the combine, Buzz is very high on him), Mark Blades, Eric Estrada, and there were a couple others on the podcast but I'm having trouble finding it at the moment. So, guess you'll just have to listen to that.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

1/4/2010: Massive Radio Draft Podcast Tomorrow

**If everything goes to plan I'll be doing a quick 10 to 15 minute podcast with Buzz Carrick from over at the independent FC Dallas website the 3rd Degree tomorrow. I just wanted to pick his brain a little bit about who the Crew will actually pick and who they should pick. As for this draft and the previous two drafts that Crewture has been around for, I have always looked at Mr. Carrick's website first for draft information and to sort of get an idea of who the Crew would select. Carrick even does the writing on the draft for ESPN Soccernet, so hopefully he can give us Crew fans a better idea and some insight on what to expect.

Also, I do have some questions typed up, but if you have a good one for Mr. Carrick. Leave a comment with your name, and I'll definitely throw a couple in there from my readers.

**I just finished Soccernomics, the first one I read out of the three books I bought at Barnes & Noble with my $50 dollar Christmas gift card. Ever since I was like 14 my family has gave me a gift card to book stores and over the last three years the purchasing has changed from history books to soccer books.

Anyways, I think I'm going to check out The Beckham Experiment next.. Anyone else read any of these books. What do you think of each of them? It's the offseason, so humor me. Maybe we can be like my mom and her friends and start a soccer book club, haha.

1/3/2010: The Nordecke- A Corner Kick Taker's Nightmare, A Soccer Fan's Dream

I'm currently doing a write up on the Columbus Crew for a Polish football, culture website called portalkibica.pl. This is kind of a rough draft, and I think I almost included every single essential thing you need to know about the Nordecke. But, if you think I missed something important let me know and I can do a correction perhaps. Hopefully it all translates, the guy I'm talking to has a pretty good command of English so I think it will.

All pictures by Sam Fahmi, his wonderful work can be found here. All article snippets by Shawn Mitchell and Micheal Arace, their great work can be found at the Columbus Dispatch's Crew Xtra.

The Nordecke- A Corner Kick Taker's Nightmare, A Soccer Fan's Dream
By Ryan Kozlowski

The Columbus Crew fanatical support call their section Nordecke (German for north corner). The dimensions of the supporters area are five sections that can fit around 3,000 fanatics when they're all crammed together. The front row of supporters are a good 10 feet from the corner flag. This is great if you're a Crew supporter, as the Crew players will often run over after a goal and get into the arms of a burly, sweaty supporter. It is also not so bad for the Crew player, as often times on corners the whole section will bow down in praise while chanting the kickers name. But, for the opposing player, it is pure hell unleashed. As it appears that even when streamers, smoke bombs, bottles, batteries, and drum sticks have been banished from the section, the Crew supporter can find something odd to throw at an opposing player; like a magazine, an orange, a twinkie bar, or even a sweater. The worst incident was likely this one back in the early days of 2008:

Near the end of the game, Ralston was hit with plastic beer and water bottles -- and, he claimed, batteries. He said he changed the rhythm of his kicks to extricate himself from the corner as soon as possible. At one point, he stopped what he was doing to toss away a smoke bomb that had been thrown in his path. At another point, Revs player Shalrie Joseph backed away with a scowl on his face and his middle finger raised. --From The Columbus Dispatch, 5/26/2008.

Two years ago this uniquely different atmosphere for an American sport did not exist yet. Nowadays, 3,000 Crew fans pack into the stand weekly to get fanatical for their side the Columbus Crew. They make it an all day event. They get at the bar or tailgate at 2 for a 7:30 game and they're out until 2 a.m. It's an event and the Nordecke at Crew Stadium is the place to be. For a big game sometimes one must stand, clap, and chant sideways. Further, at times, it feels as if the Nordecke section could tip over the rest of the stadium as one cannot move in the Nordecke; yet empty seats at times can be seen throughout the rest of the aptly named Columbus Crew Stadium.

When best trying to describe the all encompassing feeling of the club, the uniquely named Crew (which in Spanish only translates as gang) and their sardine packed support would likely be that the Crew lack glamor compared to sides in Los Angeles and New York. The stadium isn't that pretty, the actions of the fans can sometimes not be that pretty, and it is an unlikely destination for the Beckham types. To get into more detail, the Crew were the first team to build their own MLS stadium in 1999 and the stadium was built by far with the least ammount of money of any MLS stadium, to sum it up the stadium is a eyesore with a nice pitch. Furthermore, the Crew has the smallest market and population of any team in MLS, despite this the Crew's attendance of 14,000 is best for 7 or 8 out of the 15 teams. Also, one could describe the Columbus Crew, as the glamorous side on the field (the Crew has won the past two regular seasons and the MLS Cup in 2008, while also making it to the knockout stage in our form of the Champions League) with the least glamorous fans.

Not to say that the supporters in the Nordecke are bad people, could use a shower, or some snazzier clothes. Quite the opposite, some of the Nordecke supporters are the kindest people, especially when we win. It's more of a case of the section will do almost anything to give their team the home advantage and it has worked. The Columbus Crew at one point had never lost at home for 16 months (June 2008 to October 2009), or otherwise 24 games. Despite this statistic, most MLS fans would give Toronto or Seattle the best atmosphere, but most Crew fans say the proof is in the record breaking home streak. It just isn't an enjoyable place for the opposition. Further, some Crew fans believe that if you pit the Nordecke against any other section in MLS (forget the regular fans sitting in the expensive seats), that the Nordecke brings the best atmosphere.

Whatever one wants to say, the Nordecke has never been boring. That can be a good or a bad thing.

Fighting between at least 30 West Ham supporters and some 100 fans of Columbus Crew had to be broken up by police and security staff during the match in Columbus on Sunday. Rival groups began chanting at each other and fist fights broke out until police and security staff using mace and pepper spray eventually moved in to separate the sides.

Several people were handcuffed during the fighting but there was only one arrest - outside the stadium - for disorderly conduct.
Daily Telegraph.

The Nordecke has had their ugly moments and the Nordecke has had other moments that have been beautiful, as demonstrated in the following picture:

Just beautiful.

The section since 2008 has also had it's balance of praise and critics, such as Commissioner of the League Don Garber, who as of late, seems to be 100% behind the section despite the trouble that the Nordecke has sometimes caused:
"That is hot passion," Garber said. "I've told (Crew General Manager) Mark McCullers, just keep building that group 100 at a time."

And at other times it has been berated, this is a great article on the Nordecke's all encompassing stituation.

When it comes to the people that make up the Nordecke.. The Nordecke features three main supporter groups called the Hudson Street Hooligans, La Turbina Amarilla, and Columbus Supporters Union. The section also has some other groups such as the newly formed ultra group 94' BOYS, the Black and Gold Mob, and the unaffiliated supporters. The background of each group is quite different. La Turbina is the Latino group and consists mainly of El Salvadorans. Columbus Supporters Union is for the older and possibly wiser fanatical, 30 and ups. Hudson Street Hooligans and the other groups are for your younger 20 types.

The three main groups HSH, LTA, and CSU all started around 2006 and grew out of past groups, for the most part. These three groups stood in seperate areas until the Columbus Crew front office imploded the North End to make a stage for non-soccer entertainment. This peeved a lot of supporters. But, in actuality, forced the three supporters groups to converge in one spot in the North Corner. So, what happens when you force all three groups of your most rabid fans in one area and then give them four months of build up to compete against 2,400 traveling away fans on opening day? Magic. After that day the rest was history. The section continued to grow a little more each game until the Summer of 2008 and then ever since the section has been near capacity.

The section also works together to do tifo projects such as the following:

And, our little supporters lab for tifo:

Another great thing about our team is the connection we have with our players. We believe that they're fighting for us out on that field and we are helping to push them on. The players also always come over to the section at the end of the game to give a bow and then to visit. And, even though there might be a debate about what supporters section brings it the most, there is no debate on what section has the best connection with their players. Here are some pictures of that:

The Nordecke also has an interesting nickname for their club, the MASSIVE club or just MASSIVE. It is a nickname that was seen as a joke by most Crew fans who brought it up first during the painful and dreadful years (from 2005 to 2007 )when the Crew were near the bottom of the table. And, despite the Crew's current good form and talented team, it is still a playful joke because of the whole not so glamorous appeal of Columbus I stressed before. Don't get me wrong Columbus is a great city, but it still isn't New York or LA. Further, as stated we have a 10 year old stadium that is already falling apart, we don't sell out, we are in a town where college football dominates, we are not Los Angeles, we do not have the big names, sometimes things are thrown on the field that shouldn't be by the fans, and were in a country where the weekly soccer matches get a 0.6 rating usually. There is nothing obviously Massive, Galatico, Real Madrid-esque about the Crew. But, to us the Crew are MASSIVE. It is the most important team, it is one of the most important things in our lives. Nobody else might understand it, especially in America. But, MASSIVE is a state of mind. As in our heads the Crew result is front page stuff, our team is selling merchandise by the boat load, and our games are getting Super Bowl ratings.

Now lets get to our rivals, mainly Chicago, TFC, and our older rivals DC United (each is about five to seven hours away, or an interesting day on a bus away):

The mutual frustration of a draw turned physical after the game. Unruly fans, including some from a contingent of an estimated 1,500 Toronto supporters, confronted one another and the police in parking lots to the south and east of the stadium. Multiple arrests were made and mace or pepper spray was used to break up at least one melee.

At least twenty Columbus police cruisers and a heli-copter were still patrolling the lots 45 minutes after the game. Columbus police said that some fans were ejected from the stadium and there were at least three arrests.

A security guard said that Toronto fans ripped a stadium railing from its bearings. Multiple rows of bleachers in the Toronto section were twisted and bent. Toronto fans also unfurled multiple vulgar banners that were removed by security.

-Columbus Dispatch, March, 29 2009

Nowadays when you go to Chicago or Toronto you have to make sure you keep your wits about you. However, thankfully security at games has gotten a bit better in 2009 compared to 2008. For example, in 2009 we waited in the stadium for a hour and a half after the game and had to walk around the field to get to our bus, and there were still about 500 TFC fans waiting for us behind security. Yet everyone ended up safe as that was handled in a excellent fashion compared to 2008. As in 2008, Toronto's security told the Crew support that security would be holding us for 30 minutes to allow TFC fans to clear out, but apparently one of our fans said, "hey we would love to go to our bus now please" and security surprisingly obliged. And, security did not stop the 115 Crew fans from walking right into a melee of about 300 young TFC fans waiting and looking for trouble. In the Crew contingent there were a few families as well, since that day it hasn't been all roses between the two supporter groups, much less even Trillum's.

Trillum is a sort of flower that grows both in Ontario and Ohio, it is also the Cup that MLS has fabricated to try to intensify the rivalry. Basically, every issue between the two sides has been pushed by MLS. The Crew now play three games against TFC compared to two and the Crew for the third straight year will open at home against Toronto FC. Pitting the home opener against TFC allows TFC fans six months of offseason to make plans to make the six hour trip South. Both years that has led to big away crowds and trouble. However, even though MLS might have intensified the rivalry both groups took the bait.

In comparison to Toronto's mass contingent, the Crew supporters can only bring 100 to 120 to Toronto because Toronto FC sells out and doesn't allocate too well for away support. Therefore, the biggest away trip for Crew fans is against the Chicago Fire, because the Fire have an attendance similiar to ours. So, we bring about 300-500 fans. Here is a picture of our biggest away group this year:

Oh, and we have a song for our rivals:
Build a bonfire,
Build a bonfire,
Put Chicago on the top,
Put Toronto in the middle,
And we'll burn the (expletive) lot

I'll just leave it at that. And, while were on the topic of chants, the staple for Columbus is one that St. Pauli uses quite often:
We love you!
We love you!
We love you!
And where you go we'll follow!
We'll follow!
We'll follow!
Because we support Columbus!
And, that's the way we like it!
We like it!
Ohhh, ohhh, ohhh oh ohh, ohhh, ohhh oh ohh!

Any other questions about Columbus, please send them to Michal at portalkibica and he can send them to me.

Other links, Columbus Crew supporters videos can be found here. And, here is a link to my Crew fan website, Crewture.com, feel free to leave a message in Polish or English. Polska do boju!