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, July 3, 2011

7/3/2011: Former Crew Legend Guillermo Barros Schelotto's Last Days On The Pitch, Or Were They? (Video Diary)

Schelotto returns to Columbus on July 10th to work on his new Schelotto & Padula independent academy, hopefully there is something Crew-related going on during Schelotto's return next week (Pic By: Sam Fahmi).

Crew legend Guillermo Barros Schelotto teared up (below) at the end of his "expected" final game before retiring from professional soccer on June 30th, 2011.

Schelotto a legend wherever he went (Gimnasia, Boca Juniors, Columbus Crew) ended his career where it began with Gimnasia. Schelotto and the Gimnasia's fans emotion was overflowing (in the above video) partly because it was Schelotto's last game and partly because of the result; as Gimnasia's 1-1 tie in a playoff for promotion against San Martin on Wednesday was not enough for them to stay in the Argentina Primera.

Gimnasia will play second division, Argentinian soccer next season for the first time in 30 years. Schelotto is the type to be much more disappointed about failing to achieve a goal, in this case sucessfully helping Gimnasia avoid relegation, then focusing on his last game.

However, despite missing out on their goal of staying in the Argentina Primera. Guillermo's club Gimnasia fought hard at the end of the season to give themselves a chance of staying up in Argentina's Primera Division. As over the last few weeks, Gimnasia spanked Huracan 2-nil and followed that up by going 2 goals up on Boca Juniors out of the gate.

Guillermo scored that second goal on a penalty (the whole goal sequence begins at 3:56):

Guillermo had no qualms about celebrating against another former team (as Guillermo played for Boca Juniors from 1997-2007). That may have motivated Guillermo's former teammate Palermo and his teammates to steal a vital two points from Gimnasia (as Boca came back to tie the game 2-2); Those three points could have steered Gimnasia to safety from relegation.

Speaking of Palermo. Schelotto wished his fellow teammate at Boca Juniors (and Crew transfer rumor for years :-) Palermo luck as he leaves Boca as well (10:53), Schelotto also appears in the first minute of this video celebrating goals on many different occasions with Palermo:

And if you thought Schelotto's fairwell was extravagent and an emotional tearjerker, they really know how to say goodbye to a player at Boca Juniors

What's next for Schelotto? Well back to his second home (or as I like to call it first home :-), Columbus. As Schelotto expects to return right away on July 10th to Columbus, Ohio to work on his new Schelotto & Padula Academy.

Maybe while he's in town someone can convince Guillermo to sign a one game contract for a testimonial fairwell. Or a half season contract, since he's been doing a lot of half-season mercinary-like work as of late :-). Or some sort of coaching position. Or at least a chance to do a lap around the field to cheer one more time with all the Crew fans (a chance Guillermo never really got before to say goodbye).

Knowing the Crew they'll probably blow the second opportunity to keep Schelotto around, just like they did the first.

Friday, July 1, 2011

7/1/2011: The Crew Puts Premium On Messing Up In U.S. Open Cup

Matthew Delicate slammed home the heading winner in the 85th minute against the Crew on Tuesday, to give his third-division Richmond a 2-1 win at Crew Stadium, knocking the Crew out of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

The Columbus Crew front office contends they put a premium on the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, named after their late owner.

If that was the case, then there would be a premium lineup contending in the game. Right?

Crew Lineup for 2-1 loss against Richmond~ GK Gruenebaum; D Veeder (Iro 88th), Gehrig, Burns, O’Rourke; MF Prim (Heinemann 59th), Grossman, Rusmir, Rogers (Anor 87th); F Meram, Cunningham.

Grossman, Veeder, Rusmir, Gehrig, Prim, and Burns have barely seen a field all year. O'Rourke and Gruenebaum haven't seen a field all year due to injury. So, what did Head Coach Robert Warzycha expect? Apparently a resounding win.

"They have to wear this crest," Crew coach Robert Warzycha said of his team
afterward, pointing to the Crew logo on his shirt
. "I don't think they know
that. I am so disappointed. So disappointed."

I'm really not. It isn't much of a stretch to expect Richmond's players, who've been playing all year and doing well (won their first two Open Cup contests by 8-2 margin, second place in USL-Pro), to play better than a lot of untested guys that may not even be USL-Pro capable (Veeder, Prim, Gehrig, Grossman, etc.).

But, let's not fib coaching staff, front office; you can't really be disappointed about something you didn't put a premium on. Well, you can be disappointed but only mildly since you're more than likely partly to blame for the result.

I definitely commend Warzycha for the last two league wins, the team looked much better. But, wouldn't you want to keep that going by at least fielding half-starters on Tuesday, grabbing a early lead, and subbing out the most valuable from there. Nothing kills momentum and fan praise from two league wins better than an extremely early exit from the U.S. Open Cup at home against a third division club (that's like Chelsea losing to Milton Keys Dons in the League Cup); and it's sad because Warzycha almost sets himself up to fail and you can see it coming from a mile away.

Honestly, I would like to see Warzycha become more selfish with his selections, it's his job on the line in the next few years. Warzycha built a younger, faster club this year which, although it wasn't the key point, could hopefully deal better with fixture congestion. So, I don't see why for one week, early-20 something guys like Anor, Balchan, Gaven, etc. couldn't have a 45 minute run out against Richmond (even if it meant appearing in 3 games in 7 days).

A few starters could have made the difference and Warzycha's club could still be alive to win another trophy and one of only two Champions League birth's still available this year; as there is no way the Crew are catching up with the Galaxy and the rest of the West this season for the Supporters Shield birth, only way back in the Champions League this year for the Crew now is by winning the MLS Cup.

But, it appears by Tuesday's lineup selection, the coaching staff were playing the "what if so and so gets injured in this Open Cup" game (which is the way injuries happen anyways, when you overthink preventing them). Now Warzycha gets to do the "what if I played a few starters for the first half and I was still alive for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup", which just happens to be named after our late owner and something the Crew apparently put a 'premium' on.

Fans want trophies and any silverware helps. So, yeah Warzycha's starting eleven has played better as of late. But, in my opinion, if I was the coach I wouldn't turn around and play a lineup like that against a third division club so I could lose to them at home and disqualify myself from my best chance to win a trophy (and a Champions League birth). Just isn't smart, if I was trying to impress the fans and ownership by all the silverware I won.

Blame Robbie Rogers fitness from being with the national team (sure Rogers should be fit, but is he motivated after not playing in the Gold Cup and coming back to play against third division Richmond in front of 1,000 fans at Crew Stadium, for a side he's disillusioned with anyways and has asked for a trade away from earlier in the season). Sure blame the whole lineup for Tuesday saying they didn't play for the crest? When that was the first competitive game for Gehrig, Veeder, and Prim (what do you expect, for them to ball out against Delicate and a good Richmond side with 15 games under their belt this season). Or blame O'Rourke and Greunebaum and expect them to have great games after returning from injury and haven't seen a game since last year. Or blame Rusmir who was a total waste of a signing but your coaching staff signed him. Or blame Cunningham, who as the second leading goalscorer in MLS history was never going to be motivated to play well as a reserve player and a super sub.

The only people I blame is the front office and the coaching staff for not putting any premium on this game. Could have at least sprinkled in a few players in a good frame of mind. Mendoza, Gaven, Anor, Balchan to at least give Tuesday's "Bad News Bears" side a chance. I don't expect a big premium to be set on these games, especially early on, but at least give your side a chance to win.