Welcome to Crewture.

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

9/1/2010: Renteria To Take On Starting Role With Venezuela



The timing isn't great with the Crew needing all healthy hands on deck (with two vital games this week) and with Renteria's recent strong form. But, the Venezuelans have called up Crew forward Emilio Renteria, who could possibly spearhead a new 4-3-3 formation for Venezuela in a pair of friendlies against Colombia on September 3rd and Ecuador on September 7th, according to El Universal:

With Arango, there are other players to go deep in the offensive aspect of the 4-3-3 scheme such as striker Emilio Rentería.

The striker has had good development with the Columbus Crew of MLS, a game developed by the Crew is very useful in the current tactical plans the burgundy wish to employ.

"Nothing gives me more enthusiasm to be back with the burgundy, now we are starting a new cycle for the Copa America and a World Cup, I'm eagerly waiting for that call and I am very happy to be here again," said Emilio Renteria.


Crewture's take: Good on Renteria for getting another deserved call up with Venezuela; but I'm unsure why Warzycha would let one of his vital players go when there is so much to lose with any loss this season and the Crew have already racked up so many injuries. The Crew should be looking to win both their U.S. Open Cup semifinal and regular season matches against D.C. United this week, both are vital games, and winning both will be definitely harder to achieve without a peaking Renteria on the pitch.

Instead of saying "that's great, go ahead with your national team in a friendly while we struggle with some games that count for everything." Couldn't the Crew just demand that Renteria just play in the Tuesday game against Ecuador, after the two Crew games against D.C. United this week? If Schalke can deny a first U.S. cap for Jermaine Jones against Brazil; you would think (even despite the fact were not a top Bundesliga side) that the Crew could get an agreement to have Renteria just run out for the Ecuador game next Tuesday. Especially since Renteria will only likely play in one of the two Venezuelan friendlies anyways.

8/31/2010: Owners Re-Affirm Commitment To Crew, New Stadium



From Street & Smith's Sports Business Daily:

MLS Crew Owner Clark Hunt said that the team "must look at its long-term facility needs," including a "new stadium," according to Jeff Bell of BUSINESS FIRST OF COLUMBUS.

Crew President & GM Mark McCullers said that the 11-year old Crew Stadium "remains an iconic soccer site, but the team needs to look out five to 10 years for its facility needs."

Meanwhile, Hunt said his family is "very committed to the Crew." There have been rumors that the Hunts are "looking to sell the Columbus franchise," but Hunt said that that is "not the case." He did note that "his family is looking for additional local investors to take a minority stake in the club."

Bell notes the Crew's attendance through 11 home games was up "nearly 5 percent from a year earlier." But Hunt said that the team "needs to get better at developing corporate partnerships in the region." Hunt: "We've been going into a headwind the past two or three years because of the difficult economy. We are happy it is starting to improve so we can make up some of that ground"




My thoughts: The mention of needing to become better at developing corporate partnerships is troubling. Because that is a soccer team's lifeline, from my own experience working with soccer clubs, and if you cannot develop those corporate partnerships your club will eventually be in trouble and quite possibly fail. That might be a little on the dramatic side but when I previously worked at Dayton Dutch Lions F.C. it was always "who is going to sponsor us, are they interested in being a sponsor, we need more sponsors."

However, it's good to hear that Clark Hunt is comitted to the team and a new stadium; Possibly he figures that a new stadium will roll in the sponsorship dollars. Something along the lines of you got to spend money to make money.

Monday, August 30, 2010

8/30/2010: Crew Related- Ormeno, Diskerud, Dike, & More



**According to Tribal Football, the wording on the Crew requesting or getting film of Gimnasia defender Alvaro Ormeno may have been a bit backwards. Instead of the Crew requesting film, Ormeno's agents sent the film to the Columbus Crew on a whim and apparently received positive feedback. That's in their words..

Nevertheless, the Ormeno "imminent" news from Argentina is starting to look just like a lot of agent posturing. As Ormeno is best known in Argentina and cannot play in Argentina this season, despite being a free agent, unless another team gives Gimnasia a good chunk of money. However, an "imminent" Ormeno departure to America might lead to a last minute chunk of change offer for Gimnasia from Boca Juniors and etc.

This is likely the result Ormeno is looking for. As both CrewXtra and the Crew have denied there is an interest in Ormeno, stating that Columbus still intends to fill their last open roster spot with Swiss rookie defender Kwaku Nyamekye.

**One player I would like the Crew to look into filing a discovery for is Norweigan-American Mikkel Diskerud. The 19-year-old Diskerud has said it would be "first come, first serve" on whether he plays for the Norweigan or U.S. national team and his most recent caps with the U.S. U-20's in 2009 have swayed Diskerud to the American side supposedly. Further, the American-born Diskerud has stated that he feels "more American."

His play as of late has been turning some heads as well. Diskerud plays for Stabaek IF in Norway's top league and followed up two assists from the previous week, with a stunningly cheeky goal this week to give Stabaek the 2-1 win over Lillestrom. The goal can be seen here.

Since 2008 at the age of 17, the offensive-minded Diskerud has been a starter for Stabaek with 43 appearances and 7 goals. Diskerud appears to have that top level talent and wouldn't be a shabby replacement to Guillermo once he retires (even looks a bit like Guille in the above middle picture). Therefore, it would be nice to get our hands on such a young talent. Further, the Norwegian league isn't miles above MLS and if Diskerud were to come to MLS he would have a better shot at breaking through the U.S. National squad.

Thus, the Crew should file a discovery. However, MLS, as they do with all U.S. overseas talents, will probably do another foolish lottery if Diskerud were ever to come to MLS.

**Crew first round pick Bright Dike, who was deemed not good enough for the Crew squad and was cut preseason, has been on a scoring tear with the Portland Timbers. Dike has 9 goals in 20 appearances for the Timbers, and scored two most recently this Saturday in a 3-nil route of Crystal Palace Baltimore.

One has to wonder if Dike might of been helpful on the Crew roster this season or if he would have been as inaffective as former Wizards/Current Timber player Ryan Pore (who has 14 goals on this season for Portland). We'll likely find out next year as Dike's production will probably get him a roster spot on the MLS Portland Timbers next season.

**According to USSoccer.com and Soccerbyives, all of us U.S. National teams fans will be burdened with four more years of Bob Bradley at the helm. I was hoping for someone like Jurgen Klinsmann who could bring on a youth movement and favor some new players (someone who could see that Gaven is probably the best winger playing in MLS, Marshall is likely the best U.S. central defender, and may start to look at some players like Connor Doyle and the aforementioned Diskerud) compared to awful players that keep getting called up such as Findlay, Clark, Bornstein, Conor Casey, etc.

Further, the U.S. with mostly starters looked god awful against the youth of Brazil in their friendly at the New Meadowlands Stadium. We need new faces, the only old faces I want to see in 2014 is Howard, Donovan, Jermaine Jones (new face but old), and Micheal Bradley.

**According to rumblings, Crew's newest signing Andres Mendoza (who has been practicing for a good month with the Crew) is likely to get his temporary paperwork in line by this Thursday; which means Mendoza will be eligible to play in the Crew's regular season game on September 4th against D.C. United at RFK.

8/30/2010: Ratings & Thoughts From Crew vs. FC Dallas





Man of the Match: Has to be Emilio Renteria once again; As Emilio, after a couple not so hot performances perceding some great performances in early August, had his second game winning assist in a row denied. First, on Wednesday Renteria had a beautiful cross find Iro's head for a 1-0 lead in Santos, however that goal was disallowed surprisingly because Renteria had no number on his shirt. On Saturday, Renteria broke free down the right wing and sent a cross across the CCS grass carpet to a waiting Jason Garey who scuffed the ball on a open net from 5 yards out. It's okay though Garey, your in good company with Manchester City's Carlos Tevez this weekend.

This is all starting to feel a lot more like 2009 then 2008: I liked when the Crew finished strong in 2008. This year the Crew seems to be losing that killer instinct as of late similiar to 2009. We have to be able to outslug opponents like F.C. Dallas at home in this part of the season. F.C. Dallas is a good team but it's no excuse. A win could have had us tied for the Supporters Shield; And even if a tie isn't the worst result (putting us two points back of the Shield) we also now have New York Red Bulls to contend with; As NYRB are now breathing down our backs now with 37 points to our 41, and look to have a lot more of that killer instinct as of late.

Good attendance: The Crew had their second straight 16,000 plus crowd against the Rapids and F.C. Dallas. Which is not so shabby for a non-rival club at this part of the season; as Rapids and F.C. Dallas are usually some of the least exciting and dramatic teams that we can face. Hopefully this is a sign that interest in such an excellent team is starting to pick up and not just a bunch of giveaways.

When the hell is Mendoza going to play: The lack of a finisher was sorely missed against F.C. Dallas. Hopefully, Mendoza fits the bill. The Crew could have used someone like him on Renteria's pass that should of won the game.

Highlights:

Saturday, August 28, 2010

8/28/2010: Crewture.CCTV: Columbus Stretch Run Urban Assault

Little video I made last night of the last couple of weeks of the season. Highlights from the CONCACAF Champions League win over Municipal, should of been tie against Santos, and 3-1 win over the Rapids in MLS play.

Music:
1.Oliver Twizt- Rich Bitch (Dj Kax Remix)

Pictures:
1. Sam Fahmi & Jason Mowry at the Massive Report- www.massivereport.com.
2. Various fan pictures (if you want credit, just email me and I'll add you on here).

Video:


And here's another pretty cool tribute video posted on youtube by Brienza2:


I have been busy as of late but I'll have reports on tonight's game up either by tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest. Go Crew!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

8/26/2010: Santos And Officiating in Mexico A Complete Joke! Revenge In Columbus Upcoming.



It didn't matter that Santos has a team salary about 20 to 30 times higher than the Crew, or that the Crew sat out most of their starters and played reserves, or that the Crew were more focused on their domestic campaign, or that players like Dilly Duka got their second start all year in this game.

Even with all of that SANTOS AND CORRUPT CENTRAL AMERICAN OFFICIALS NEEDED TO PULL SOMETHING OUT OF THEIR ASS TO GIVE SANTOS THE WIN OVER THE CREW. It's bad enough that Mexican players feel the need to get knocked down by the wind every time a Crew player is within 10 yards of them. But, seriously would the fricken world end if officiating was fair down there? With how much Mexican teams have won against MLS in Mexico and with how much more money is put into their squads, is there really a NEED TO CHEAT TO GET A RESULT? No, no, nope. Salary-wise Mexican clubs should win by tons, without needing to milk referee teet's and without needing to be a bunch of overpriced divers. "Professional" clubs such as Santos should have the talent to win fair and square. But, nope to taste sweet CONCACAF victory they need to call off a Crew goal and fit six minutes of extra time in three minutes to get the win. Hooray, I HOPE YOU ALL FEEL DAMN PROUD DOWN THERE IN SANTOS.

What happened in the first half when the Crew scored a completely legitimate goal is something Santos fans shouldn't even be proud of (well except for that posse behind the net who deserved something for being the only people alive all game in the stadium). Anyways, the disallowed goal WAS A TRAVESTY, A JOKE. The referee waived on Crew player Emilio Renteria (Renteria even checked to make sure it was okay to come back on multiple times), and then Renteria served a beautiful ball in on the free kick which was headed by Andy Iro to make it 1-nil Crew. The goal was given and the Crew, who were more dangerous most of the first half, had a deserved lead with their reserves.

The Crew came into Santos's house with a team of half reserves and dominated the first half; They put the ball in the net; They celebrated. Then the fourth referee (who just happens to be Mexican) called it back for whatever misaligned reason he could think up in his little head. Something like "okay, I let Renteria back on but I didn't realize he still had blood on his shirt until he celebrated." Or "okay, I waved him on but he forgot to ask the main official to come on so were going to give him a yellow card and waive off the goal." Or "Renteria watches desperate housewives, which is against the law in Mexico, yellow card." Or "I'm a Santos fan, and no matter what I'm calling the goal off."

Whatever the damn reason. It was a complete diaherrea of a call. The Crew have written a protest. Crew fans have stated what the hell is even the point of worrying about CONCACAF, when Mexican teams already have all the advantages and still need to make up advantages on the fly with the referees to win games in Mexico now. WE CAN'T GET EXCITED ABOUT A TOURNAMENT WHEN EVEN WHEN WE DESERVE SOME SORT OF RESULT, WERE COMPLETELY SHAFTED.

I agree with what was echoed by many in the Nordecke, that when we play Santos every damn person who supports the Crew should be there with a MASSIVE fireball of steaming vulgarity. The Nordecke and the whole stadium should be on these jokers asses. September 21st everyone should be there to protest CONCACAF, to insult Santos, and to get revenge for such a ridicoulous call.

Also, apparently according to CONCACAF, it was a disallowed goal because Renteria was not wearing a shirt with a number, lol seriously? What is this refereeing crew Bruno and the Fashion Polzei? Silly Renteria with his bandaid and missing name shirt looking like a homeless brooke shields, aus!

Anyway, if the referee waives you back on and doesn't realize his mistake, what does the shirt have to do with the goal? A yellow card and a disallowed goal for the shirt your wearing, lol? How about you waived him on, he scored, why not tell him after he scored to please go to the sideline and change your shirt. It's not like a shirt without a number gives you a distinct advantage over your opponents:


And if CONCACAF wants to get all damn picky about everyone being accounted for with the right players in their correctly matching kits, I don't think many are going to confuse Renteria with many other people on the field.. Since you know he's the dude with the bandaid on his head! From taking a red card, Jackie Chan inspired elbow minutes before in the game!

And what the hell does it matter? Apparently no one could give the CONCACAF announcer an updated lineup on Concacaf's video webcast. So Ekpo was Marshall, and Oughton was Moffat, and Eddie Graven was playing for Eddie Gaven. So what's a little uniform switcheroo?

Whatever Jack Warner Champions League and Santos Laguna Beach..

All I have to say is enjoy hell when you come to Columbus, Santos :-):

Monday, August 23, 2010

8/23/2010: Columbus Crew vs. Santos Laguna Preview- Group B Lead On Line



Without Andres Mendoza, who was rumored to be signed in part for his success against Mexican clubs for Morelia, the Crew will be instead with it's usual squad, minus some important starters, against Santos Laguna. Usual faces aren't a particularly bad thing, as the Crew regulars seem to be getting used to Mexican competition. The Crew's last two game series against Mexican competition was a 5-4 nailbiting series defeat against Toluca in last year's Champions League quarterfinal. Which was a much better home and away than the 5-nil thumping the Crew received in their two games in Group action against Mexican side Cruz Azul last year. Nevertheless, rumored signings Andres Mendoza and Alvaro Ormeno would have been nice to come a few weeks before this tilt, than a week or so after it.

But, even without reinforcements from abroad yet, there remains a chance that the Crew can pull of an upset comparable to the success Columbus found on the road in Saprissa last year. Especially since Santos isn't expected to play all their starters in this match; as names such as Oswaldo Sanchez, Daniel Luduena, and Christian Benitez are unlikely to play. In the same sense, the Crew who are more focused on gaining back first place in the Supporters Shield race (only 3 pts behind the L.A. Galaxy), will also only start half of their starting lineup. Vital players Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Chad Marshall, Gino Padula, and Danny O'Rourke all did not make the trip to Santos. However, the Crew may be able to afford to go with less starters in this year's group because second place is a good bet with the lack of quality of third and fourth place, Municipal and Joe Public.

Not having all starters isn't really a bad thing either. Especially since some have the opinion that a few current bench players such as Emilio Renteria, Steven Lenhart, Leandre Griffit, and Gino Padula have more quality then some current starters such as Jason Garey, Adam Moffat, Shaun Francis, and Andy Iro. Therefore, giving Renteria or Griffit a full 90 minutes may give the Crew more of a chance to win instead of less of a chance.


Santos prepares for Columbus.

The Crew will be without Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Chad Marshall, Gino Padula, or Danny O'Rourke in this game, so it could get a bit ugly. However, Frankie Hejduk will play in this rotation because he is suspended for Saturday's important match against F.C. Dallas. Also, it is likely Eddie Gaven, Emmanuel Ekpo, Emilio Renteria, and Leandre Griffit could all play big roles tomorrow.

The Predicted Starting Lineup:

-----------Gruenebaum-------------
Hejduk----Brunner---Iro----Francis
------------Carroll----------------
Ekpo--------Gaven----------Griffit
----------Renteria-----------------

Game Prediction: I'm hoping that Santos is as focused on the weekend as Columbus is and this one comes out to at least a 1-1 tie, but my mind is telling me 2-1 or 3-1 to Santos, who are a good Mexican club. Which is fine since Columbus should have an easy enough time securing second place in the group and a quarterfinal spot as Joe Public and Municipal are not that menancing.

Nowhere close to as tough of a group as it was last year with Cruz Azul, Saprissa, and Puerto Rico. So, maybe the Crew come into this one loose with no pressure and pull out another surprise victory.

8/23/2010: Recommended by Guille, Alvaro Ormeno To Join Columbus Crew



Looks like the Columbus Crew will be giving their last defensive spot on the club, opened up by the transfer of Jed Zayner to D.C. United and expected to be filled by rookie draft selection Kwaku Nyamekye, to Gimnasia de la Plata and Chile national midfielder Alvaro Ormeno. According to Cooperativa Chile, Ormeno, after splitting ties with Gimnasia, is very close to signing on with the Columbus club.

The 31 year old Ormeno was recommended by Guillermo Barros Schelotto, "Guillermo Barros Schelotto knows me for playing in Gimnasia and at this time in MLS they can hire four free agents for the last part of the tournament," said Ormeno.

"Fortunately, a light appeared on the road. This is a very strong option to go to U.S. team of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, the Columbus Crew. Hopefully this will help their team remain competitive and help me as well," Ormeno said also to Terra.



Ormeno also had offers from Boca Juniors, San Lorenzo, and Independiente but could not accept because of internal rules that would require those clubs to pay Gimnasia to free the player. Apparently those rules do not extend elsewhere.

Over the last three years, Ormeno has played a bevy of games for Gimnasia gaining 97 appearances and 2 goals over the last three years. His experience, coupled with Mendoza, should help to bolster an already strong Columbus squad in their several competitions.

Ormeno scores here for Colo Colo at 1:12:


And at 1:40 here for Gimnasia:


I would expect Ormeno to step into the midfield role in front of Carroll and behind Guillermo; As Ormeno usually plays defensive and central midfield.

A review of Saturday's win over Colorado, and a preview of Santos Laguna is upcoming.

Friday, August 20, 2010

8/20/2010: Game Review & People's Ratings- Crew vs. Municipal





RATINGS
Renteria (7.2)
Guillermo (7.5)
Ekpo (9.5)- MOTM
Hejduk (6.8)
Moffat (5.5)
Marshall (7.2)
O'Rourke (7.0)
Andy Greunebaum (8.0)
Francis (5.5)
Garey (6.3)
Iro (6.9)
Griffit (6.5)
Gaven (8.5)



MOTM~ Emmanuel Ekpo: Hopefully this was the coming out party for Emmanuel Ekpo and just not a signifier that Ekpo could be a 30 goals a year playmaker in Guatemala against short and slow defenders. Whether Ekpo was just feeling it on the night or Municipal is just that bad, Ekpo was running circles around Municipal and passing to himself which was capped off with a wundergoal. Hopefully there is more of this to come from Ekpo in the regular season schedule. If there is, this will cement Ekpo's place in the starting eleven and make a move to Turkey (rumored in early July) a distant memory. Very promising, want to see more of this consistently out of Ekpo.

THIS YEAR'S CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP WILL BE MUCH EASIER THAN LAST YEAR'S: The Columbus Crew qualified from a Champions League group last year that not only had Cruz Azul but also lethal at home, solid Costa Rican side Saprissa and the upset kings in Champions League, the Puerto Rico Islanders, in it.

This year the Crew have one tough team they have to match up against in Santos Laguna. On the other hand, watching the Crew vs. Municipal game, the Crew were the vastly superior side dominating possession and shots, and should of won 3 or 4-nil. Therefore, if the Crew can win on the road in Saprissa they should have no problems doing the same against Municipal away this year. Also, Joe Public as the Trinidad & Tobago champions are more than likely the worst side in this group. So, it's really between the Crew and Santos Laguna in group B, hopefully the Crew can come up with some shock results against Santos to come out group B winners and to get a more favorable draw in the quarterfinals this year.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

8/18/2010: Crew vs. Municipal Preview: Crew To Face Two Former Crew


Mario Rodriguez (above) and Freddy Garcia, both former Crew players, now return with Municipal.

The Columbus Crew will face off against two former Crew players tonight in their Champions League opener at 7:30 p.m. against Municipal. Both Mario Rodriguez and Freddy Garcia called Columbus Crew Stadium home at different times in their career and now will return tonight. The familiarity of surroundings for those two players should help Guatemalan champions Municipal tonight; while the return of Eddie Gaven, who scored a vital winning tally at Costa Rican champs Saprissa in last year's Champions League, should greatly benefit the Columbus Crew tonight.

Municipal's Rodriguez played one season for the Crew in 2005, the midfielder scored one goal in 19 games before going back to Municipal. Municipal's Freddy Garcia spent two years with the Crew from 2002 to 2003, gaining 27 appearances and one goal, before making a successful living at Municipal since 2004. Crew players Frankie Hejduk and Duncan Oughton, as well as Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha were teammates with Rodriguez and Garcia and that should offset their effectiveness a bit.

The Crew will be glad to regain the use of Eddie Gaven and defender Andy Iro tonight against Municipal. The Crew have dealt with a bevy of injuries as of late that has affected their results against Real Salt Lake and Chivas USA over the past few weeks. However, the Crew will be without Steven Lenhart, their only striker who has been getting on the scoresheet lately, who will be serving a red card suspension from the Crew's 3-2 loss in Mexico to Toluca in last year's Champions League quarterfinals. With no Lenhart and with new signing Andres Mendoza still unavailable due to some transfer issues with his former Turkish club, it's likely that Emilio Renteria will shift back up top from the midfield.

PREDICTION: Despite having players that are familiar with the Crew organization, Garcia and Rodriguez were not a part of the current Crew organization that is used to success. Further, that duo, along with Pando Ramirez are MLS rejects that couldn't make it in MLS but now have solid careers in Guatemala with Municipal. Therefore, the Crew just have too much quality for Municipal and the Crew win this game 2-nil, goals from Renteria and Gaven.

8/18/2010: Free Andres Mendoza



The 32-year-old Peruvian striker Andres Mendoza has been practicing with the Crew for the last three weeks. Mendoza has further agreed to a contract with the Columbus Crew. Just one problem Mendoza's Turkish team, Diyarbakirspor (try to say that three times), has denied the Crew's request for Mendoza's International Transfer Certificate.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Mendoza did not leave on the best of terms in Turkey as apparently Diyarbakirspor owed Mendoza money but did not pay him, so Mendoza left before his year contract was up.


Diyarbakirspor may be upset that themselves and Mendoza were not a match made in heaven. But, why did Diyarbakirspor reject the Crew's request when a.) Mendoza will never play for them again and b.) Mendoza is no longer under contract with the Turkish club? One cannot be sure if Diyarbakirspor are more upset with Mendoza leaving or with the fact that Mendoza only gave them 5 goals in 15 appearances on Diyarbakirspor's way to relegation from the Turkish Super Lig.

Either way, the Crew are hoping to get this all resolved and to have Mendoza playing in the canary yellow by next week; as Mendoza traveled to the Mexican consulate in Chicago today to gain the correct paperwork to be eligible for the Champions League trip against Santos Laguna on August 24th.


If Mendoza receives his international transfer certificate by August 24th, expect Mendoza to start for the Crew against Santos Laguna. As the Crew will look to lean on Mendoza's previous success in Mexico; as Mendoza scored 13 goals in 27 games for Morelia in the 2008/2009 Mexican campaign.


On the other hand if Diyarbakirspor continues to be stubborn, the Crew will miss out on Mendoza for one of the reasons the Crew are looking to buy him. Mainly to add that lethal aspect to the Crew's attack and to have someone used to scoring against Mexican sides, as Mexican sides are the only teams in the way of the Crew's aspirations for a Club World Cup bid.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

8/15/2010: Real Salt Lake Tries To Manufacture A Rivalry With The Crew Over Hesmer's Comments.. Umm, No Thanks.



An injury riddled Columbus Crew went back to the level of play produced a couple of weeks ago against Chivas USA, losing to Real Salt Lake 2-0 last night. The Salt Lake win last night was apparently fueled by some tame and truthful comments from Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer. The comments were made back in April by Hesmer after the Crew won at home 1-0 over previous champs Real Salt Lake. After that game, Hesmer said that Royal Salt Lake (sorry the name Real Salt Lake is even a joke) were a sub-par .500 team and not champion caliber throughout the season last year; and therefore, Hesmer didn't get why the Crew, who had the best record once again last season, had to knock Salt Lake off any sort of pedistal. In the minds of Hesmer, most Crew fans, and most logical soccer fans the Crew had a bad two game series in the playoffs vs. RSL in 2009 that wiped out their previous 30 games where they were the best team. Further, anywhere else in the world, where playoffs do not exist in soccer, the Crew would be two time champs going for their third in 2010.

But, apparently in MLS you're just supposed to pat the "champions" on the back and say "good job, yeah your the better team," even when that team made the playoffs on the last day, was sub .500, and went on a run in their last four games. Apparently, it's a crime for Hesmer to think that his team is the better team.

So, Real Salt Lake hates William Hesmer and Real Salt Lake is dying to create something with us and be our rivals, what's new welcome to the club, move a cheek TFC. But, what is there to hate about Real Salt Lake other than their name? Got to dislike something to have a rivalry.. And all I can dislike is Kyle Beckerman's Battlefield Earth haircut and Robbie Findley pretending to be national team quality.

From the Columbus Dispatch, Hesmer confused in lamens terms about Real Salt Lake's menstrual cycle:

"Those quotes were from April," Hesmer said. "They were meant as no disrespect to Salt Lake. The disrespect was meant toward the media because they came in saying, 'Well, you guys have to beat the defending champions' and this and that. and I was saying 'Whoa, whoa, whoa, let's take a step back.'"

The home team stoked the fire one final time in the moments before kickoff when the video board at Rio Tinto Stadium flashed Hesmer's picture and comments about how Salt Lake was a sub-.500 team last season and were "walking around like champions."


Followed up by another message saying William Hesmer is the guy on the other team protecting the net; as it's unlikely most RSL fans knew of Will Hesmer or his comments before it got plastered on the video board. Lol, let's be REAL.

But, let's review this.
A.) Were Real Salt Lake sub-.500 last year? Yes.
B.) Were they walking around like champs? See below.



And the problem is?

I get that Real Salt Lake wants their opponents, including William Hesmer, to just say "yeah it feels great beating the defending champs, I'm so honored." But, playing like crap for a whole season and then winning your last four games isn't going to get you those comments.. So, get over it Real Salt Lake, your playing more like champs this year, if you go all the way again then everyone may respect your club.

But, it's unlikely we'll have to respect their fans, according to MLS Soccer:

Spurred by Kreis and his players’ comments to the media about Hesmer, the Salt Lake fans were delighted by the goals and razzed the 'keeper all game.

“It was what I expected,” Hesmer said. “It was rowdy. I would say it was overly disrespectful. It surprised me that the stadium or security would let the fans chant what they did, but it is what it is. It makes for passionate fans. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe not.”

Apparently, mormons are now in the swear game as a Salt Lake fan said in the above article that they were chanting "we f'ed your grandma." Haha, ohh the two sticks we can make about that. Really, Salt Lake? Not the hot wife? Your going straight for that grandma loving?

Ok grandma pounders, if they want to play all cool with their supporters group of 50 people, we can give their side a good verbal pounding from the Nordecke next time they're in Columbus.

I'll have ratings and more up later tonight.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

8/12/2010: What's The Nordecke's True Potential?



The Nordecke on the best of days can be impressive for an American supporters section (above).. But, have things cooled down a bit since the crazy times of late 2008, early 2009? Were we better then? And do we have the potential to get as great as below?

Here's a video Thoma (the banner making machine) posted on his facebook profile last week.. He said he believes the Nordecke can be as great as this video someday. I too have had a daydream or three of us looking something like this eventually:


However, some things will definitely need to change if we are ever to get there.

1. People have gotten so frustrated with new chants not working out, they just don't even bother anymore with finding a solution or trying to come up with new ones. The last couple of games the chants continue to be all over the place with "We Love You" going off at least 10 times a game because we have nothing else to chant to that effect.

Bullhorns, CD's, Capo's?? Ehh, no one even bothers with worrying about it anymore.. It is what it is.

In the meantime, even the new teams like the Seattle Sounders and Philadelphia Union pass us up in the category of an array of different/interesting chants.

2. I think we were better in 2008 then we are now, I go back and look at that Chicago Eastern Conference game (a cpl new vids below from it), and we haven't matched that yet again- chanting, tifo, everything. Not completely our fault though, more of an issue with closing the Nordecke off from those without tickets. For example, I once had a ticket outside the section for the New York game and finally devised some way to sneak in in the 50th minute. Security has the section wrapped up like Fort Knox there. However, sort of our fault for not blaming ourselves for the issues, and blaming imaginary non-Nordecke types for our problems a few years ago.

But, overall, a Nordecke that was overflowing into other sections at the beginning of 2009- even for a game against Kansas City. Is at about 80% percent capacity for every game that is not the Los Angeles Galaxy.




3. Make the damn thing terrace seating already, clear of anything that can burn (like wood? lol), and take the security goons out of the section and leave them on the field for protection on corner kicks. So, we can have our smoke bombs. Smoke bombs are not going to cause a fire in any sort of stituation except if your a sicko and you light the thing in someone's hair. But, HENCE THE WORD SMOKE BOMBS, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD BE CALLED FIREBOMBS, THEY ARE NOT FLARES, THERE SMOKE BOMBS.

Anyways, will never be on the level of Europe without some sort of pyro.

Chicago Fire fans are allowed to go nuts with flares in their section. I light off one crappy smoke bomb in the Nordecke and I got security up my ass, kicking me out, and being escorted out telling me it's a 3 year prison sentence and I'm lucky..

IT'S A SMOKE BOMB for chrissakes..

When I started a section for the Dayton Dutch Lions in Dayton, Ohio called The Orange Legion. We would light off smoke bombs when we scored and we had one guy called "The Orange Legionnaire" in the section run a lap with a smoke bomb. Did anyone get hurt? Nope. Was there any property damage? Nope. Why? Because no one had to hide the fact they were holding a smoke bomb. So they held it far away from themselves and everyone else.. And there were no problems. And this was at a high school, synthetic field!

In actuality and contrast, because you have to hide the smoke bomb in the Nordecke this causes more of a risk of a fire; Because those that light off smoke bombs pitch it really quick away from themselves instead of holding it safely and then the pitched smoke bomb can come into contact with something on the ground or someone else.

So, really the increased security causes more of a risk of a fire or damage.

4. Needs to be an ultra group. Sure there have been some displays. But, honestly the Nordecke won't ever get like the above without a large ultra group. Other groups still have many other things in mind other than how the section projects themselves and etc. But, I believe it a matter of time before that catches on out of necessity. All the other groups have their roles and usefulness for different groups of people in the section. But, there needs to be a group bringing that ultra game.

5. Need to make the Nordecke general admission again, get it going, so we can add more sections and get it as crazy as the above video.

If we do all of that, we might be like that above video, someday. If we continue to stagnate and not push for changes we'll be singing our same 5 chants 20 years from now. The Nordecke is awesome and continues to be bad ass, but we should always strive for better and more.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

8/11/2010: Bas Ent On Week Trial For Crew, TFC Still Looking To Sign Ent


Dutch Delight? I would not be shocked at all if that Zayner roster spot ends up being for Bas Ent. Griffit and Ent could be $40,000 dollar starting wingers quite possibly.. And I doubt both Ekpo and Rogers (and there $150,000 to $200,000 dollar salaries) stay in 2011 based on their production the last two years. Also, Ent may not be around after this week (explanation below).

22-year-old Dayton Dutch Lions player, Bas Ent, started his rumored week long trial (mentioned first on Crewture on July 27th) with the Columbus Crew this Monday according to The Columbus Dispatch's CrewXtra. Ent, a former Eresdivise player for F.C. Volendam and former U-17 and U-20 Netherlands NT player, had 2 goals and 6 assists in 16 outings for the Dayton Dutch Lions this Summer.

This will be Ent's second trial with a MLS team in the last three weeks. Ent had a four day trial with Toronto F.C. that ran from Monday July 19th to Thursday July 22nd; That trial was highlighted by an exhibition game against EPL side, Bolton Wanderers, where Ent impressed the TFC coaching staff and fans alike.

Bas Ent isn't off Toronto's radar either. From what I heard from a conversation I had Sunday (I formerly worked with the Dutch Lions team this Summer and have a few contacts still there); Mo Johnston has been in contact with the Dayton Dutch Lions about enquiring Ent this Summer and are working hard to make that happen now. Problem is Toronto F.C. does not have an open roster spot at the moment for Ent.

However, Mo Johnston is attempting to move some players in a trade to open up a roster spot for Ent. Toronto is high on Ent; as Ent likes to hug the line and has a good cross making him a good wide option that can spread out defenses for TFC. TFC have been missing a good wide player over their existence as a club.

But, whether Toronto F.C. can open up a spot for Ent depends upon whether any other team in the league are willing to take TFC's bottom of the roster players in a trade; As Toronto are not willing to cut a player making $40,000 a year, pay that cut player for the whole year, and pay Ent $40,000 as well.

Unlike Toronto F.C., the Columbus Crew curiously have a roster spot now open with the departure of Jed Zayner in a trade to D.C. United on Sunday. The Crew have said multiple times since that deal that they'll likely fill Zayner's spot with their unsigned rookie defender Kwaku Nyamekye. However, maybe the Crew are pulling a quick one on TFC and the Crew's open roster spot, that opened up just as Ent got onto the Crew practice field, could be meant for Ent; As before Zayner's spot opened up the Crew already had an agreement in place with Nyamekye to come back at the beginning of next year, sign, and work the preseason for a job. On the other hand, if Ent isn't signed after this week trial it's likely he'll be in Toronto F.C. colors by the end of August.

Therefore, with looking at next year, the Columbus Crew could be looking to sign a cheap winger like Bas Ent now (will cost the mimimial $40,000) to go along with their other cheap winger Leandre Griffit (not costing much more than $40,000 and not looking like much of a drop off from Ekpo or Rogers) to have two cheap, serviceable wingers in place for next year; as I find it greatly unlikely that both Robbie Rogers and Emmanuel Ekpo will be here next year. I would keep one or the other around, preferably Ekpo because I think he shows up more lately, but there is no way that the Crew will keep both around at their $150,000-$200,000 salaries; Especially with the production the Crew have been getting out of Ekpo and Rogers over the last two years.

So, I wouldn't be surprised if this roster spot was meant for Bas Ent, if Ent impresses over his week long trial this week; As everyone was surprised when the Crew signed yet another winger in Griffit, but it's a smart move. The Crew are stocking up on wingers so they have other options for next year if either Ekpo or Rogers leave, or both. Champions are always looking three moves ahead.

Or the Crew could sign Ent just to snatch a wanted player from their rivals Toronto F.C., just to piss TFC off. That at times can be an even more satisfactory reason to sign a player.

Bas Ent assist and goal in second half of 2-1 win over Michigan Bucks (start at 3:35):


Bas Ent three assists and a goal in a 4-1 route of Kalamazoo:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

8/10/2010: Globetrotter Andres Mendoza Finds New Yellow, Signs With Crew



After a so-so year in the Turkish Super Lig scoring 5 goals in 15 appearances for Diyarbakirspor; Andres Mendoza, 32, will try to get back into his Morelia form of 2008-2009 with a new side, the brighter yellow of the Columbus Crew. The 6'2 Mendoza scored 13 goals for Morelia in 27 appearances and will look to transfer that success to the Crew; as the Crew battle down the stretch in MLS and battle Mexican side Santos Laguna in Group B of the Champions League starting August 18th.

Mendoza will be the only true, left-footed striker on the Columbus team, giving the Crew the option to play two up top in front of Schelotto. However, a three pronged attack is unlikely until the Crew are completely healthy in the back.

Still the thought of Schelotto feeding a Mendoza-Renteria combination up top is enticing; Well, if the Crew can ever break away from always having to play two defensive midfielders.



The Mendoza deal was announced officially on the Crew website this Monday. Columbus will be hoping that Mendoza and his 5 more years of experience will lead to better results than how the Crew's experiment with Sergio Herrera turned out. The Crew were hoping that Herrera, a 28 year old Colombian striker with good international and club experience, could turn out to be that major striker and that turned into a flop; Columbus cannot likely afford another flop if they look to win multiple trophies this year.

Therefore, hopefully at 32 Mendoza is looking to settle down, grow some roots, and score some goals in one place, Columbus. The globetrotter has had some varied success, either scoring by the boatload at multiple times in his career or making a fleeting, uninspiring appearance at a club. The Crew will be hoping that Mendoza makes the first impression and if he does so, maybe Mendoza will stick around longer than he usually does.

**The Crew may also likely fill Zayner's spot with Swiss draft pick Kwaku Nyamekye.

8/10/2010: Crew vs. Philly Ratings, Afterthoughts, Should Griffit Get More Minutes?







CREWTURE'S MAN OF THE MATCH:

Has to be Steven Lenhart (9.5 RATING) with two goals on two magnificient headers against Philadelphia. The second header was especially a thing of beauty, my grandpa who doesn't even watch soccer was over and had to say "wow" on that goal. Lenhart is definitely trying to make a case for starting time up top, despite how well Renteria has been doing and despite all of the rumors of Andres Mendoza coming in and being that 20 goals a game striker. Lenhart is definitely motivated to keep himself in Warzycha's mind. Has seperated himself above Garey and back on terms with Renteria.

Also, the inconsistent play of Rogers and Ekpo may help Lenhart see more time up top, as Renteria could see himself in right midfield more often if those midfielders do not perform.

SPEAKING OF MIDFIELDERS:

I rarely see any player come on the last five minutes and make such an impact. Leandre Griffit scored a goal in three minutes against the Houston Dynamo and came in and killed the game against Philadelphia the last six minutes. Griffit looked composed with two defenders on him; Moreover, it looked like Guillermo trusted him and searched him out for passes. Griffit and Guillermo worked many pretty one, twos into the corner to kill the game.

I would like to see Griffit have a shot at that left midfield position. Give him a start at the next game as he did more in five minutes than Ekpo and Rogers have done lately. Definitely a better passer than Ekpo as well, although Ekpo is probably more of a elusive dribbler. Looking forward to seeing more of him.

Take our poll down below on whether you think Griffit should see starting time soon?


FANS OF THE WEEK:

Those over 100 fans that made the trek to Philly on a midweek night. Although, the Nordecke may have plateaued a bit at home lately, it's nice to see the traveling support this year not just in the usual places such as rivals Toronto or Chicago. But, also in Philadelphia, New York, and Dallas.

BIG WIN, BIGGEST DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 2010 CREW TO 2008, 2009:

The big difference between this Crew and the good teams of the previous two years is that this Crew doesn't go into slumps. The Crew in 2010 haven't lost back-to-back games this year, and have followed up every loss with a win.

The Crew came into Philadelphia reeling after a surprise 3-1 loss to Chivas. The Crew also had the most injuries they have ever had in a while. But, they put together a performance and were efficient; The Crew left with the three points and gained 9 days of rest until their next game.

The Crew also put 9 points between them and New York. And also have cut the Los Angeles Galaxy's Supporters Shield lead down from 9 to 3 points.

Friday, August 6, 2010

8/6/2010: Jed Zayner Traded, Francis Still A Bit Away From An Actual Starter Looking At Last Night. What's Going On?



You know that defensive depth that the Crew are always flaunting around that they have?

Well, that depth got a whole lot less today; As the Columbus Crew traded Jed Zayner to D.C. United for a bag of balls for the most part... The Crew also threw in their fourth round pick for next season's draft in exchange for D.C. United's second round pick in the 2012 draft. Wtf?

The 25-year-old Jed Zayner looked fantastic in 2009 filling in for the oft injured Frankie Hejduk. But, this year Zayner has barely seen the field even when Hejduk was injured. Your guess is as good as mine?

Maybe the Crew don't like bloggers, :-). Zayner wrote a popular blog in preseason that kept Crew fans updated on the happenings of the club during preseason training. However, during this time Zayner let loose that the Crew were signing Sergio Herrera and the Crew were not too happy about it and made Zayner shut the blog down.

Maybe the Crew gave Jed the snub ever since, as the club runs a tight lipped ship for the most part and may want players that fit that mold as well. That would seem an odd, trivial reason... You would think it was Zayner's play that led to his transfer. But, Zayner played well all of last season and also played decently well when he got on the field this season. And it's not like Warzycha was a new coach in 2010 unaware of Zayner's abilities. Zayner was one of the most consistent players for Warzycha and the Crew in 2009.

Further, I would have held on to Jed before a couple of our other defenders including Iro, Francis, Brunner, and maybe Gino and Frankie because of their age. Also, I feel like I have a pretty good read on Crew fans and I'm sure many would share my opinion on that.. Many have been kind of baffled on why Zayner hasn't played this season. However, since the Crew have still been getting the results there hasn't been huge unrest over it.

But, why trade Zayner for absolutely nothing? Jed is an inexpensive, talented young defender who showed his worth in 2009. It makes absolutely ZERO sense... Unless, unless the Crew have something big planned for that second open roster spot.. Like an Andres Mendoza and an insanely talented Rafael Marquez-type defender.

Still I think they could of gotten a hell of a lot more for Jed.. And he was nearly the last defender, after Marshall and O'Rourke, that I would have put on the chopping block.. But, I guess we will see what develops.

Speaking of defenders.. For the love of god, why is Shaun Francis still starting over Gino Padula? I know Padula doesn't have the speed of a Shaun Francis, but Padula's technical ability and positioning makes up for Francis's speed ten fold. And the speed argument is like saying Dilly Duka has more speed then Guillermo so he is a better player and should start as well.

It isn't the fault of Francis, he's unpolished, a NAIA defender (similiar to how Lenhart was a NAIA forward) and he needs a year or two to develop by getting small minutes now. I think Francis has ability, but it just isn't fully there right now. Francis's howler against Chivas USA, when Francis whiffed on a ball allowing the Chivas striker free reign on Hesmer's net, was the decisive second goal early in that game. That game ended in a 3-1 surprise loss for the Crew.

Last night, Francis whiffed on a few balls.. But, the most dangerous was near the 75th minute when Francis whiffed on a clearance in front of Hesmer, which led to a fracas in the penalty box forcing Hesmer to pull some magic out of his ass to keep Philadelphia from tying the game. It was a mistake that 9 times out of 10 would have cost a team the three points and Hesmer was obviously not pleased by Francis's miss and Hesmer let it be known.

Further, Padula has been an excellent soldier for the Crew.. He never looks labored on the field.. He gives his all. It is very odd how some players are in Warzycha's doghouse one year and then starters the next year for every game.. And vice-versa.

Last year, you couldn't get Warzycha to take Zayner, Padula, and Brunner off the field. This year, Warzycha is more likely to recall Rusty Pierce then give any of those three a start.. Although, two out of the three (Padula and Zayner) should be the starters or in the case of Zayner should at least be a competitor for that starting role.

Two odd, baffling decisions in defense. But, we've been lucky and hopefully we continue to be lucky, and were not penalized for these mistakes.

8/6/2010: Crewture.TV- Let's Make Fun Of NYRB: A Prelude To Everybody Laugh At TFC



First we made fun of Toronto FC. But, let's face it with Rafael Marquez, Thierry Henry, and Juan Pablo Angel now on NY/New Jersey Red Bulls; our main rival is going to be the New Jersey Red Bulls over the next few years. I believe the Crew has what it takes to hold New York (well.. New Jersey off since they play in Jersey) and will win the division by a good 10 points. But, I'm so sick of hearing about Marquez and Henry and that NYRB will win the division just because of those two players; Despite New York/New Jersey being down already by 10 points and not having the overall team like Columbus does.

So, because I'm annoyed with the new Chelsea of North America. I have decided to make fun of them in hopes that they'll crash and burn like our other rivals. Enjoy.



I'll have ratings and thoughts from the Philly game up tomorrow, as well as some articles on the Zayner transfer and etc.

8/6/2010: Crewture CCTV- 2010 Team & Supporters Highlights [Up To Week 20]

Crewture.TV: Crew 2010 Team & Supporters Highlights [Up To Week 20]

The Columbus Crew continue their dominance as the top team in North America. They have a legitimate chance to win the treble in MLS, as they're the only team alive for the U.S. Open Cup, The Supporters Shield (best record in MLS), and MLS Cup. The Crew also are in the group stages once again of Concacaf Champions League. The Crew got out of their group last year and look to do the same this year. Here are some highlights so far from the Crew's season. The Crew are 10 points in front in the East, and only have Los Angeles to compete for the Supporters Shield with in the West on 40 points in 19 games, compared to the Crew's 37 points in 19 games. Also, there are some supporters pictures thrown in.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

8/3/2010: Ratings, Thoughts From Crew vs. Chivas USA





The Crew looked unstoppable in their previous two games where they beat the New York Red Bulls and the Houston Dynamo by a combined score of 5-nil. But, a rejuvenated Chivas USA side with new signings such as Maldonado, brought the Columbus Crew back down to size; It was ugly:


**The Columbus Crew will be happy that they only have two more days to get the 3-1 defeat out of their heads; as the Crew will play the Philadelphia Union in Philadelphia on Thursday night at 7:30 p.m.

**However, this may come back to bite Guillermo and Chad Marshall who looked tired against Chivas after their All-Star Game.

**Shaun Francis lovers will take a step back after Francis's howler on the second Chivas USA goal. However, Hesmer could have came out and commanded his box on that goal as well.

**The Crew lost a good chance to get even closer to the Supporters Shield as the Los Angeles Galaxy surprisingly lost as well this week at home to the Chicago Fire by a 3-2 score. Therefore, in the Supporters Shield standings, L.A. stays atop the Crew with 40 points from 19 games, while the Crew have 34 points in 18 games; But now the Crew have some company as Real Salt Lake has an identical record with the Crew also on 34 points from 18 games.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Coming back from injury and coming off the bench, Steven Lenhart wanted to keep his name in consideration as a starter with Renteria running away with the job as of late and Mendoza joining up with the club as well. He'll keep Warzycha in the back of his mind, but considering that the Crew were down 3-nil Lenhart's goal may be just seen as a consolation.

8/3/2010: Crew Super-20's Win National Title In First Year, 2 National Titles in 8 Days For Crew's Youth



Winning cup finals has become child's play for the Columbus Crew Juniors, this past week the Crew Juniors won two National titles in 8 days under the direction of Technical Director Brian Bliss.

First, the Crew Juniors won the McGuire Cup at the United States Youth Soccer National Championships in Overland Park in Kansas. The Crew were the first Major League Soccer side to win the McGuire Cup. Then eight days later, the Crew Juniors defeated the Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1, to claim the 2010 USL Super-20 Men’s title in their first year!

The Crew won the game off of goals from midfielders Travis Wall and Ben Speas; while Crew forward Aaron Horton was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Crew Technical Director Brain Bliss commented:
“Most of these guys played in a very tough tournament last week in the McGuire Cup. To come here with two-thirds of that roster and grind it out over four days to win the championship, that sort of thing will not be repeated again. I am extremely proud of my team.”

Crewture's Thoughts: Brian Bliss deserves a raise for the work he has done with the Columbus Crew Juniors Academy. In a quick fashion, over the previous five years, the Columbus Crew Juniors have worked their way to the top of the youth levels matching the Championship-level ability of the Columbus Crew's senior side.

The two championships in eight days shows the commitment and focus of our youth players and I wouldn't be surprised to see some of them work their way into the senior side in the next year or so.

8/3/2010: Mendoza Motivated That Good Crew Showing Will Lead To Peru NT Return



According to Peru's Andina News Source, Andres Mendoza is defining his contract with Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha today and hopes that a good vein of form with Columbus will lead Mendoza back to the Peru National Team. Mendoza had 44 appearances with Peru, scoring 8 goals before contraversy in 2007 took him out of Peru's qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

Andres In Quotes:
"Today we must define the status of my contract. I hope things go well and I can get to work for coach Robert Warzycha."

"I've always wanted to play in the selection(national team), so I've come to show at the Columbus Crew, I would like to give joy to the people of Peru and those who trust me."

Mendoza also endeared himself to the new Peruvian NT Coach:
"Markarián is a good coach, who knows we are out, hopefully we can qualify for the World Cup and do well in the next Copa. I always sweat for the shirt and I hope to score goals."

According to the article, Mendoza is expected to be re-convened for the upcoming Copa America 2011 in Argentina, which will serve as preparation for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

8/3/2010: Andres "El Condor" Mendoza To Sign With Crew Today Or Tomorrow



Andres Mendoza, The former Club Brugge and Morelia star striker, will sign with the Columbus Crew by either the end of today or tomorrow. This comes from multiple reports in Peru, Crew beat writer Shawn Mitchell, and from what I have been hearing as well.

Mendoza, 32, best form was in his days with Club Brugge (129 appearances with 54 goals) and Ukranian side Metalurh Donetsk (51 appearances with 22 goals) from 2000 to 2007. Mendoza during this time was nearly boasting a goal every two games. Mendoza then had a bit of a drop off with sides such as Olympique Marseille, Dynamo Moscow, and Steaua Bucuresti before landing on his feet with Morelia of Mexico in 2008.

During Mendoza's time with Morelia, Mendoza scored 13 goals in 27 appearances. For reasons unknown, Mendoza and Morelia parted ways in the summer of 2009. At that time, Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha was interested in signing Mendoza but could not afford El Condor with the salary room that the Crew had at the time; as Columbus had Guillermo Barros Schelotto as a designated player then, which is no longer the case. Instead, the Crew signed the slightly less expensive Emilio Renteria, who has ended up being a positive signing for Columbus; While El Condor ended up in the Turkish Super Lig with Diyarbakırspor.

Now with over $200,000 in salary cap space, a roster spot open, and the first option of Stern John rejected due to injury; the Crew now will sign Andres Mendoza. Crew head coach Robert Warzycha hopes that Mendoza can be his 20 goals a year type striker, a lethal threat that the Crew have been missing since Stern John had that sort of production in the 90's.

Crew fans will also be hoping that Warzycha gets this one right; as they'll hope Mendoza does not turn out to be another disappointment, thrown into the department of worthless striker signings along with Sergio Herrera. Especially since the Crew will need the extra goal scoring input in the Champions League that will start for the Crew later this August. However, I think this signing will work out better; as Mendoza's experience scoring against Mexican sides will likely be a benefit, as Mexican top sides are the Crew's main opposition between them and a Club World Cup birth.

With the goal scoring production of the right-footed Emilio Renteria as of late, 2 goals in his last 3 starts; I would like to see Renteria combined with Mendoza. I think this would be a lethal, South American combination:
---------------Hesmer-----------------
Hejduk---Marshall---O'Rourke----Padula
--------------Carroll-----------------
Gaven-----------------------------Ekpo
-------------Schelotto----------------
-------Renteria--------Mendoza--------

What are your thoughts on this signing? Mendoza has 44 caps and 8 goals with Peru, but does his contraversy with getting kicked off the national team for a year for partying before a big game worry you? There are conflicting reports whether that was Mendoza's fault, other players, or a coach. And are you excited with a possible Renteria/Mendoza pairing? Let it be known here.

8/3/2010: Sons Of Crew

Some amusing pictures for the Crew's road trip to Philadelphia:



You can get that one in shirt form by clicking here, in time for the trip:




Hopefully someone is making these into not just t-shirts, but two sticks and banners as well for the game on Thursday.