That Crew Religion

The Crew brings together a diverse group of people who celebrate and support, you might even say worship together.

Does Crew SC Got Talent?

Which Crew SC player would be best at karaoke?

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.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

3/20/2011: Columbus Until I Die. The Forgotten Slogan As Of Late.



After watching the away opener to start the season, I hope this guy who posted a comment on
The Columbus Dispatch
isn't right:



From Gilley:


Trust me Bobby - it's gonna get a lot worse.

I think I figured it out tonight - Crew mgmt has given up, they're just going thru the motions, marking time, punching the clock, and have freed themselves from
ambition.

Tonight reminded me of one of those times in the EPL when a
manager gets threatened w/ a charge of improper conduct for fielding a weak
team. It usually happens to small teams, with small squads who can't cope w/
fixture congestion. Bliss and McC couldn't possibly expect this side to compete
in MLS, so I assume that competing in MLS was not their goal.

I think they figured out that, even if they win MLS cup and/or supporters shield,
there's no riches or respect coming their way. In this market, with this
stadium, in that location there's no victory for them to enjoy, because
there's no suitable prize on offer. So like businessmen, they decided to
produce a barely passable product, with a level of quality just barely
sufficient to squeeze the blood from their Columbus turnip.

The Crew has become the Devil Rays of MLS - no ambition except to just open the store every day. They've dropped off the civic radar, and I'm told by political
insiders that they're not even maintaining minimal relationships with
political or local business partners.

I think one path to opportunity is a stadium in a social
location where you can have dinner before the match, and a drink after. Crew
management seemed to share that view in the past, but I'm told that they've
totally checked out of the civic relationships that could help make this, or
anything else, happen.

The Hunts are gonna just barely keep the wheels on this jalopy until
MLS demands the keys, and repo's the franchise. There's no
upward mobility available to the Crew regardless of on-field performance, so
they decided to stop chasing it.

I was all set to go to home matches for the love of
the game, without any expectation of Crew success. But now, to my
horror, I've realized that on many nights this year they'll probably be unable
to even make it an interesting match.


My first reaction is freak out much? But, since Sigi Schmid jumped ship for the Seattle Sounders I can't help but notice that even when I'm optimistic the Crew has bungled every chance in the past few years.

1.) The 2009 Playoffs (First Round Exit)
2.) The 2010 Playoffs (First Round Exit)
3.) 2010 Supporters Shield
4.) 2010 U.S. Open Cup
5.) Not taking Champions League serious this offseason.. Watching RSL, they took it as a big opportunity, I didn't get the same from Warzycha's comments.
6.) No killer ambition to win Champions League group with a real chance of doing so last season.
7.) No ambition to sign any real big names this offseason despite having the cap space. Relying instead on no names such as Rusmir to fill the gap.

And here we are. We went from losing big games to making moves to take ourselves completely out of competition to be involved in big games. Honestly, I expected us to lose deep down against RSL. I expected us to drop this home opener.

Let's be honest 2008 couldn't last forever. But, god I just want some fight and belief from management, the players, and even the fans. Yes, the fans whine and complain, but management, when you ask for "patience from the fans" like Bliss asked in the Dispatch yesterday, maybe you would like to do your jobs first, before expecting any optimism from the fans.

Sorry, but it's honestly been a D+ plus effort at replacing Schelotto and company this offseason.. When you drop all of your big names, you better have an innovative plan B in the books. What we found out this offseason was that there wasn't a plan.

I just don't get what the hell is going on overall? It's like we reverted back to 2005-2006 in a snap of a finger.

Were Columbus! And we need to start acting like Columbus. Everyone is acting lately without any heart or soul. Where's the fight?

I'm just sick of the pessimistic cloud around this organization lately. The fans expect to lose, management makes excuses before the game and expects to lose, and the players look like they lost from the whistle.

No matter what happens to Columbus Crew, I'll never forget the year 2008.. My dad passed away that year and the Columbus Crew's championship run got my mind off of that. I'm eternally grateful for the Schelotto's and Hejduk's. The Schelotto's and Hejduk's who were ushered out. Labeled as now the problem, despite connecting on the third goal in the MLS Cup that sealed the deal in 2008. It was real winners, with real passion, at every level.

Where the hell has that gone? I want Columbus Until I Die back. I want passion back. I want players who play for the shirt, I want managers and staff who stay up 24/7 to make the big deals happen to take us to that next level, and I want the fans at the level they were in 2008/early 2009 when we made Crew Stadium formidable and a place no one else could win at.

We all have dropped off as of late and we all need to take a long look in the mirror and re-commit to Columbus Until I Die.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

3/17/2011: Cunningham Is The Man, New Crewture Vid, & More



"For some reason I have a reputation," said Cunningham, whose voice rises and native accent thickens when agitated. "But it's all good. I stopped caring what other people say. I know at the end of the day I can look my daughter in the eye and say, 'Baby, I did good. Your papa worked hard and he accomplished some good things.' "

I think I've done enough with the opportunities that I have been given. My
family is proud of me and that's all that really matters.


My mother is the only person that can say something that can put me in my place.
That's a woman of character right there. Jesus Christ and my mother, that's who
I answer to.


For me to have scored the first goal in the first soccer stadium in this
country is a great memory. Years from now, when I look back, that's something
I'll always carry with me. It was exciting. It still is. When I drive by that
stadium I reflect on the great times I had there. To come back and have the
opportunity to play there again is exciting. I'm really looking forward to
it.


Those were some of the quotes in Cunningham's recent article with The Columbus Dispatch, check the rest out here.

Crewture's Thoughts: I like Cunningham's attitude, he knows himself and he doesn't care about what others say about him, he just looks to do the business. Hopefully this leads to a few goals this year.

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Just a new video I made of supporter's pictures, music mixed up by me as well. Not the best Crew vid ever, just like to get those creative juices following with the season almost here.



Pictures of ultra artwork from the Columbus Crew's ultras in their supporter end in the Nordecke.

1. (Dj Reno Rhino Remix- Pursuit of Rihanna) Pursuit of Happiness- Kid Cudi ft. Steve Aoki vs. Rihanna- S & M
2. (Dj Reno Rhino Remix) Miami to Ibiza Like a G6 - Swedish House Mafia & Far East Movement vs. Loco pops- Bombfunk
3. The Last Episode- Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg (Reepr Bootleg)


******************************************

I'll have a preview of Saturday's game up tomorrow.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

3/10/2011: Crew's Warzycha, Bliss Visit Israel, May Make Move In The Summer


Maccabi Haifa's Gustavo Boccoli (left) and Tomer Hemed (right) may be attacking options for the Crew in the Summer window.

The Crew's signing of Dejan Rusmir appears to suggest that the Crew are content to allow Rusmir, Ekpo, Gaven, and Duka take turns holding down that attacking midfield position behind Renteria and Mendoza.. Well, at least until the Summer time, when the Crew will get a chance to re-evaluate and possibly make a move for an Israeli league player.

As this past week, Crew manager Robert Warzycha and Technical Director Brian Bliss, were in Israel scouting attacking midfield players such as Maccabi Haifi's Gustavo Boccoli and Tomer Hemed, as well as Hapoel Acre FC's midfielder Maharan Radi.

Not much out there on Radi, but Boccoli and Hemed seem to be strong options.

Boccoli has over 200 caps with Maccabi Haifa alone since 2004, with nearly another 200 with other Israeli and Brazilian clubs. The 33 year old has been voted the best player in Israel before.



Tomer Hemed has scored 5 goals in his last 9 outings for Maccabi Haifa. The 23 year old's recent outings have gained the attention of the Isreali national team, Hemed has recently been called up for a friendly.

3/10/2011: Quick Thoughts On Champions League Disaster, Other Recent Crew News



RSL flexed their muscles at home last week. The better team won and rightly so last week. The Crew were out of sorts during the whole first half, came out well for the first 20 minutes of the second half, and then the changes made by Robert Warzycha allowed RSL to retake the momentum.

I can't really tell you why the changes led to RSL's two second half goals; but I can say that when your team is down 2-nil, scores a goal to start the second half to bring themselves back into the game, and starts to play themselves into a game you don't make 3 changes because it has the possibility to change the momentum.

The Crew players who started to link up well in the second half, had to learn to link up well with three new faces, and it didn't work out well; In comparison, RSL who are all used to each other started to take the game over in front of a good crowd.

Stubbing your own toes. The Crew called game over on themselves in this series by playing better than RSL in the home leg but not scoring, and seeming perfectly content to not score and play to a 0-0 draw. Also, RSL finished that game with 9 men compared to the Crew's 10. This team, just like last year's, doesn't seem to have that killer's instinct to put a team away.

Also, chance after chance to win silverware in 2010 and now 2011 is wasted. Here goes another.

This Crew didn't seize the occasion to win the U.S. Open Cup last year and they didn't seize the occasion last week against Real Salt Lake. They lost a Supporters Shield they were running away with last Summer, and plummeted out of the playoffs in the first round for the second time in two years last October.

Losing the big games is just becoming an unhealthy habit for the Crew as of late. And a lack of distraughtness over it is particularly distressing.

No Ratings. I'm going to bypass on rating players for this game, because it would get ugly in a 4-1 loss.

In Other News, the RSL fans came out in numbers for their leg, while only the Nordecke came out in Columbus. Probably the overall reason MLS players rank Rio Tinto as a tougher place to play this week. Got to think overall that has to do with the altitude (with the Rapids also being ranked higher) than the fans.

3/10/2011: Crew Down Revs 3-1 In Preseason, Don't Count Heinemann Out Of Starting 11 Just Yet



The Crew's big 6'4 striker, Tommy Heinemann, who terrorized the USL- scoring 13 goals last season with the Charleston Battery and Carolina Railhawks, made a statement against the New England Revolution yesterday not to count him out of the starting eleven this year.

Heinemann scored two goals in the Crew's 3-1 route against the Revs in the final round of preseason training in Kennisaw, Georgia. For a Crew team, who could only manage one goal in 180 minutes against Real Salt Lake (25 of those minutes against a 9 man RSL) anyone with a hot foot could find themselves up top in the starting eleven.

With Cunningham and Mendoza making all the headlines, but not being overly impressive in their two outings, Heinemann at least made a statement yesterday for Warzycha not to totally forget about the "Caveman."

Here's a couple clips of yesterday's game, Duka makes a good run here:


And the Crew's defense falls asleep on Ilija Stolica's Revs goal in the 62nd minute:


Probably the worst defensive effort I've seen in a while leading to a goal, some of these lapses on defense (also seen in the away leg against RSL) are a bit concerning.

3/10/2011: VIDEO-The Columbus Crew Experience Past & Present Videos

Here's a clip on the Columbus Crew in their first season in 1996:


And here's a promotional clip for the Columbus Crew for the Crew's 15th season in 2011:


Glad to see the change with more of a focus on hardcore support in the corner with the Nordecke instead of little kids doing the macarana (as was seen on one part of that first video in 1996). Still the first video is very cool, like the beginning clip and find it funny to see Jay Crawford (now on ESPN) talking about falling in love with the Crew.

3/10/2011: Crew Sign Dejan Rusmir



Serbian attacking midfielder Dejan Rusmir (working out above before the RSL home game earlier this season) was officially signed yesterday by the Columbus Crew. Rusmir, 31, has been with the Crew since late January. Rusmir may have the Crew midfield to thank for his signing, as the lackluster play at the attacking midfield position as of late has led to the Crew officially making the move for the Serbian playmaker.

Rusmir has some tricky playmaking ability (the following two videos are from his best days with Romanian Premier League club Ceahlaul from 2006-2008):



Rusmir's best years were from 2006 to 2009 with Romanian Premier League clubs Ceahlaul and Farul. In this past 2009-2010 season Rusmir had a bit of a falling out with Farul, as the club was relegated and Rusmir only made 10 appearances for the club in the Romanian second division this past season.

That led to Rusmir's move stateside. Rusmir is a good passer who sees the field nicely. Rusmir could be considered possibly as a poor man's, Eastern European (taller) version of Schelotto in that respect.

The main concern is that at 31, Rusmir has just 102 professional appearances to his name. The Crew's Eddie Gaven at 24 has double that number with 207 professional appearances.

Considering Rusmir's career and his above videos, do you see him making a positive impact on the Crew's 2011 lineup? Vote in the poll to the right.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

3/1/2011: Nordecke Featured In 614 Magazine



The Columbus Crew's "Nordecke" supporters section was recently featured in 614 Magazine. 614 Magazine is a hip, trendy magazine that covers different stories throughout the city of Columbus and puts it together for a monthly magazine. The feature called "Cult of Crew" can be read here.

It's a good breakdown of the section for those unfamiliar with the "Nordecke" throughout the world or in Columbus.

3/1/2011: Preview- All Comes Down To Tonight In Second Leg Of Crew Vs. RSL


The Crew will have to replace Emilio Renteria, facing a red card suspension, with Jeff Cunningham. However, the Crew should not expect too much of a drop off considering Cunningham's previous success in Salt Lake.

3/1/2011: Preview- All Comes Down To Tonight In Second Leg Of Crew Vs. RSL

The Columbus Crew surprised and delighted Crew fans in the first leg of this CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal by having the better play compared to a more stablized Real Salt Lake team; As Real Salt Lake was one of the strongest team's last season and only made one roster move this offseason compared to the Crew's 15 and counting roster moves.

Yet the first leg, last Tuesday in Columbus, still ended in a 0-0 tie. The Crew, still in preseason mode on the offensive side of the ball, couldn't capitalize on their more promising offensive forays and defense's stronger play. The inability to score last Tuesday at home, hopefully not a carryover from the 2010 season, puts the Crew in the underdog slot tonight away at RSL's Rio Tinto Stadium.

The underdog status intensifies when one also considers the Crew have yet to win at altitude in Real Salt Lake's Rio Tinto, 0-3 since the opening of the stadia.

Add to that 7 players, most of them starters, will be missing in action once again for the second leg tonight... And mix in a suspended Emilio Renteria, for added grimace.

Such a formula of lineup disaster is unlikely to equate to a Crew debut in the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals after 90 minutes tonight.

But, then again, when the Crew debuted four new players on defense last week out of five positions, a clean sheet and a tie seemed unlikely in the first leg. So, let's play the game before crowning RSL Champions of the North American soccer world.

Crew Legend Jeff Cunningham Slated To Make His First Crew Start Since 2004

RSL knows all about Jeff Cunningham. The U.S. International from Montego Bay has scored 19 goals in 32 games with the club from the land of milk and honey.

Sporting a unique hairstyle at the time, which probably helped with headers.



Warzycha is unsurprisingly looking at Cunningham to fill the suspended Renteria's starting spot. Probably not a bad move considering Cunningham has scored over 1 goal a game in every two appearances he has made in Utah.

Hopefully Jeff can get one over on a Real Salt Lake club that shipped him to the unforgiving tundra of Toronto F.C., where Cunningham had the worst form of his successful MLS career.

Is RSL Focused On Winning This Series Or On Creating Docu-drama's?

For the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal RSL has logged in over 40 minutes of docu-drama coverage, full with awe inspiring intro music and a creepy narrator for part 1 and part 2 of the series.

This past week, parts 3 and 4 were shot. The documentary is pretty good and interesting as a fan of MLS soccer, who wonders what goes into the preparation for these games. However, I wonder if the Crew can use any of this to get a feel on RSL's prepping for tonight's matchup?




Here's part 1 and part 2 if you want to hear the most painstaking voice over ever.

Another issue I have with this series is that we know who MLS headquarters is rooting for tonight; As MLS didn't decide to cover both teams in this series, only RSL. So, if the Crew beat RSL tonight, MLS will no longer be able to do this series on RSL's CONCACAF Champions League run and it would look cheap to switch over to the Crew midstream.

With some money and production invested in the filming of RSL, how nice would it be to give another "forget you" to MLS headquarters. The Massive club gets snubbed again, you would think that MLS could at least do this series on Columbus, since we won't be on ESPN all year.

"No one likes us and we don't care."

Ok.. I kind of care otherwise I wouldn't of wrote about it.

Crewture's Lineup Prediction:

-------Mendoza-----Cunningham---------
--------------Ekpo--------------------
Rogers---------------------------Gaven
-------------Grossman-----------------
Gardner----Iro------Balchan----Miranda
--------------Hesmer------------------

William Hesmer has declared himself ready to play on Tuesday, and I would like to see that happen.

Newly installed backup Ray Burse didn't do a bad job last Tuesday, but Burse also wasn't challenged often by RSL. I see a stark contrast on the horizon at RSL's home turf, as I'm afraid Burse (or whoever starts at goalkeeper) won't have a similiarly boring night out.

Dilly Duka may also be fit for tonight's match up. If Duka was a little more game fit, I would not be surprised if the U.S. youth international got his chance at attacking midfield; As Emmanuel Ekpo was unconvincing at that position last week.

As far as the defense, same chorus, second verse. Most of our starting defense from last year is still injured but Miranda, Balchan, Gardner, and Grossman all took some names and kicked some ass last week in their debuts.

More of the same will be crucial in winning on the road and advancing to the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals.


Tripped Up: The Crew are going to need much better performances out of their midfield trio of Ekpo (above), Gaven, and Rogers to advance to the semifinals.

Keys To The Game: Crew are going to need a repeat "standing O-hio like" performance from their makeshift backline. The Crew are also going to have to get Ekpo, Rogers, and Gaven to step up and become more involved in the game. Further, Cunningham's veteran goalscoring experience is going to be key in slotting one past RSL; were going to need a focused Cunningham tonight otherwise I don't know if we score.

Prediction: Crew 2, RSL 1

Tonight will not be as preseason-like as last week for both clubs. Both clubs have 90 minutes of soccer that matters underneath their belts and I have a feeling it will get intense tonight; as both clubs are staring elimination from this tournament right in the face.. A huge contrast compared to last week which was more of a feeling out process in bone chilling weather.

I believe last week wasn't an albatross for our new defenders, I think they'll show up once again. Nevertheless, RSL is going to be more threatening offensively at home, it will be a battle, and they will score.

The question is whether the Crew's offense is going to show up tonight past the first 25 minutes of the game; as that was around the time the Crew attack started to shut down last week.

A similiar shut down and the Crew goes home. However, I have a feeling Cunningham will put the Crew on his back this evening. I'm saying two for MLS's second leading goalscorer...

Unfornately those two are not coming in a MLS matchup :-), which will delay Cunningham taking over first place on the MLS scoring charts. However, I don't think Cunningham or the Crew will particularly mind as long as their headed for a Semifinal matchup.