Never Quit

Columbus Crew players never gave up last night, symbolically have a lot in common with their fans.

Columbus Crew after Polish winger

Columbus apparently has interest in 23 year old Przemysław Frankowski.

Welcome to Crewture.

Which stands for Crew and Culture, and follows Crew supporter culture. Created around the Nordecke creation and used to follow the rise of the supporters section which is now 10 years old.

Friday, January 20, 2012

1/19/2012: Former Crew Jeff Cunningham Headed To Communicaciones In Guatemala Or Hapoel Petah Tikva In Israel?

Jeff Cunningham became the all-time, MLS leading goalscorer in a Crew jersey, now with that record in the rearview is Jeffro headed to Guatemala?

According to Univision, all-time MLS goalscorer and Crew legend Jeff Cunningham isn't putting up his boots yet and is instead headed to Communicaciones in Guatemala.

The 35-year-old Cunningham is one of four new players the Guatemalan club is attempting to sign to replace Uruguayan goalscorer Carlos Ramirez.

That's if Major League Soccer and the Crew accept the move. The article says that the Columbus Crew still hold Cunningham's rights; apparently because no other MLS team picked up Cunningham, who appears to be on his last legs, in the re-entry draft.

More than likely Communicaciones offer is going to be accepted or denied by Major League Soccer, not the Crew, and more than likely accepted since there isn't a lot of MLS teams looking for Cunningham's services at the moment.

Cunningham had a less than remarkable overall season with the Crew in 2011, but Communicaciones appears to be excited about reviving the MLS all-time leading goalscorer's career again:
"Communicaciones submitted a bid, now we just hope that they say yes, so we can send the airline tickets."
There's worse moves out there than signing any leagues, all-time leading goalscorer. Perhaps Communicaciones is looking for Cunningham to show up out of nowhere again like he did for F.C. Dallas a few years back.

Good luck to Cunningham as he looks to open a new chapter in Guatemala.

UPDATE: According to Soccer 365, Israeli reports have Columbus Crew free agent Jeff Cunningham in discussions with Hapoel Petah Tikva...

If I was Jeff I would choose Israel, prettier women and a much nicer place to vacation to. :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1/12/2012: Crew After Saprissa Striker Jairo Arrieta

According to Pasion Morada, a Saprissa ultras/fan website, that spoke to Jairo Arrieta's agent; Jairo Arrieta had an offer from the Columbus Crew that was rejected by Saprissa.
The striker Jairo continue in the ranks of Deportivo Saprissa next season after the dwelling leadership not to accept the offer of the Columbus Crew of MLS. Jose Luis Rodriguez, agent of the attacker, as well as Mario Segura confirmed that failed to reach an agreement with the purple, so Arrieta will stay until Summer 2012. "No agreement was reached after two times I met for transferring Arrieta to Columbus but still have the option of consolidating all in June," said Rodriguez. In addition, because Saprissa has no players for this tournament is not going to allow another player to leave the ranks.
The 28-year-old Arrieta has been with Saprissa since 2006, scoring in over one-third of his appearances with 22 goals in 61 games for the purple club.

With Vargas and Arrieta both suiting up for Saprissa when Columbus faced off against the Costa Rican club in the 2009 edition of the Concacaf Champions League, it appears that Brian Bliss and company have kept tabs on the two strikers and have decided to dial up Costa Rica on a second occasion.

At 5'8 the speedy, crafty Arrieta can work off of Vargas who at 6'2 can hold a ball up until Arrieta or Renteria, Mirosevic, Duka, and company can join into the attack.

I would not take this article as a conclusion of business in January with Arrieta and Saprissa, apparently from the article Columbus made a second offer, what's stopping Columbus from making a third if they think Arrieta can help?

Arrieta's contract is up in June 2012 and he would be free to join Columbus then, but nice to see that the Crew are not content (such as in the past in waiting) and wants to get their pieces in place now.

If the Crew top brass believes Arrieta, who has been solid as of late for Saprissa, would be a nice piece to the puzzle I hope they keep trying.

Here's Arrieta talking about possibly joining the Crew:

This article from yesterday appears to say that if Arrieta can't get to Columbus in January, he will join the Crew in June on a free contract to partner up with Olman Vargas:
"It would be in Columbus, he is very good for the MLS ... we are trying to close the option of signing a preliminary contract, but there we are, the goal is to bring him right now to Columbus to be co-Olman in the front, we hope to finalize this transfer in the coming months," concluded the agent.

Arrieta seems like another positive addition from these videos:

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

1/11/2012: Renteria To Play In Copa Libertadores, As Well As Internationally, To Return In Top Form For Columbus

1/11/2012: Renteria To Play In Copa Libertadores, As Well As Internationally, To Return In Top Form For Columbus
By Ryan Kozlowski

Crew striker Emilio Renteria, beloved by the Nordecke, is determined to re-negotiate with the Crew and return in top form for the 2012 season.

Out of contract since December 30th, both the Crew and Renteria appear to want a new contract in place for the deer. But, despite intentions to rejoin the Crew; there is the possibility of Renteria joining his previous club, Caracas F.C., temporarily for Copa Libertadores to get in top form for the Columbus Crew's MLS debut on March 24th:
"There is the possibility of playing two months in Caracas until the MLS starts," admitted El Venado to . And although he joined the practice of his former team before joining the MLS, Renteria said, "It's just a way of thanks because I played two years here and I have great affection. I trained with them to stay and get well for Columbus. To play and that there is nothing settled yet. "

Renteria's motivation of joining Caracas temporarily for Copa Liberatdores (and perhaps why the Crew will not have a problem with the move) is that it's better competition for Renteria compared to MLS's preseason; Therefore, perhaps as Landon Donovan came into the Galaxy's season in top form after playing with Everton, Renteria can show up in top form for the Crew after a few months in Copa Liberatdores.

Renteria has changed his tune as of late, perhaps because of strong contact and negotiations with Columbus recently, as on December 21st he seemed a bit more uncertain of his future:

Renteria, will end his contract with the American club on December 30 this year. On short-term plans in his career as a professional footballer, said: "Yes, but I want to stay abroad, among the possibilities is the return to Caracas FC, they are part of my family and my agent is looking at some deals."

But, it appears from the January 5th MLS Futbol article that Emilio Renteria is content and happy with a Columbus return. In fact, that he is working on a new three year deal with Columbus:

Next to perform three seasons with the Crew, The Deer Renteria at the time expressed that his goals are straightforward: "I want to get well physically at Columbus Crew because my idea is to be top scorer of the season and together with my colleagues to take the team as far in the championship and become champion."

Renteria is also very happy with the inclusion of Milovan Mirosevic in the Crew side. Being set up by the Chilean national teamer, has the Venezeulan national player estatic for the 2012 season:
"Really, very happy! Good luck and welcome to the Columbus Crew with a big hug. I saw his games and is almost the same set of Guillermo Barros Schelotto, has very good ball handling and it's nice to come a player of his caliber to Columbus."

When asked what was the biggest difference of adding Mirosevic:
"The quality of course. For me, much better."

Therefore, the inclusion of Mirosevic may have helped Renteria want to be back with the Crew for the long term. If the Crew signs a designated player Renteria may have even more talent to set him up from the midfield in 2012.

Renteria has also been selected for the Venezuelan national teams games against the United States (January 21st) and Mexico (on January 25th), excited to see how Renteria plays in those games. Appears to be getting a lot more opportunities from Venezuelan manager Cesar Farias as of late.

Glad to have Renteria back in the fold, or nearly back in the fold, a player that the Nordecke and all Crew fans appear to like because of his hustle and effort.

1/11/2012: Former Crew Player Andres Mendoza Headed Back To Mexican Football With Atlante

1/11/2012: Former Crew Player Andres Mendoza Headed Back To Mexican Football With Atlante
By Ryan Kozlowski

In the light of all the recent positive news out of Crew camp, I'm sure every Crew fan has wondered what's going on with Andres Mendoza these days.

Sarcasm aside.. According to the Daily Aztec, Andres Mendoza arrived at Atlante well over a week ago in a return to Mexican football this time with Atlante.

In the Daily Aztec article titled "12 foreigners arrive to win the league," the middle of the article stated that:
"Atlante buys the return of Andres "Condor" Mendoza. The Peruvian striker
who already played for Morelia and Monarchs, scored 15 goals last season
with the Columbus Crew in Major League Soccer."
Nevertheless, after this article was reported on January 3rd and 4th there hasn't been much mention of Andres Mendoza officially signed with Atlante, or whether Mendoza is only on trial with Atlante; Or whether Mendoza got around the Atlante locker rooms and Atlante decided already to part ways with the Peruvian troublemaker.

Nothing. No mas.

However, it appears that Mendoza is using his 15 goals in MLS as a propeller back into Mexican soccer.

The Columbus Crew released Andres Mendoza at the end of the 2011 season for attitude and hustle problems at different parts of the 2011 season, despite 13 regular season goals (15 overall).

1/11/2012: Crew's Robbie Rogers Signs With Leeds United

1/11/2012: Crew's Robbie Rogers Signs With Leeds United
By Ryan Kozlowski

Columbus Crew's Robbie Rogers has formally signed with Leeds United until 2014, on the condition that his English work permit goes through.

The Columbus Crew winger who electrifyed Crew fans in the early parts of 2008, had a down tick in form with the Crew in parts of 2009 and 2010, before upping his game once again for the Crew in 2011.

That upping of Rogers game in 2011 has led to U.S. National team appearances for Robbie Rogers, from former Orange County Blue Star teammate and national team coach Juergen Klinsmann.

Rogers (mostly) positive performances for the U.S. National Team and his improved performances for the Crew domestically in 2011 has led him to test out the overseas waters once again this offseason. As Rogers was out of contract with the Crew and showed more interest in pursuing Europe first, and if that didn't work a contract with the Crew second in these last few months.

Leeds United showed an interest in Rogers as early as mid-December. Rogers declined earlier that he had signed for Leeds United, despite staying in Leeds and trialing at Elland Road (below). But, it appears that Rogers and Leeds were just working out the contract formalities and have come to an agreement today.

Leeds Manager Simon Grayson on the Rogers deal:

“He has been playing in the MLS, where he has done well, he wants to
continue his career in Europe, and we believe he will make an impact here. As
soon as the work-permit business is complete, he will be an immediate part of
our plans and have an opportunity with the first team.”
Rogers will have the chance to help propel Leeds United (currently 8th in the English Championship, sitting one point out of the promotion playoff) into the Premiership for the first time since 2004.

Rogers said the following on joining Leeds:

“I am obviously extremely excited to be joining Leeds. These next few weeks
I will have to work extremely hard to get fit and hopefully make my first
appearance at Elland Road very soon.”
As for Leeds, they'll hope to get an interested and lively Robbie Rogers on the wings, such as the Crew had for the most part in 2011. They shouldn't have the problem of a disinterested Robbie Rogers, as seemed to be the case in parts of 2009 and 2010 with the Crew.

This shouldn't be a problem for Leeds, as Rogers will have an interesting challenge to help Leeds into the Premiership.

As for Crew fans, Robbie Rogers departure hasn't been met with a lot of sadness or joy, perhaps indifference. Rogers was a great player at times for the Crew, had to be to have 106 appearances. However, at times he played okay and didn't fulfill his great potential. Hopefully at Leeds he will.

Crew fans wouldn't of minded Rogers as a starter on the wings again in 2012, but now we can move past the pipedream of adding Rogers to the lineup and focus on players who definitely want to help the Crew win a championship this upcoming season.

Another positive is Rogers can get a lot more use out of his scarf look in chilly, wet England.

1/11/2012: "I Only Would Leave For Crew," Speas Signs Homegrown Player Contract

1/11/2012: "I Only Would Leave For Crew," Speas Signs Homegrown Player Contract
By Ryan Kozlowski

Ben Speas stated today that he would not have left North Carolina early for anyone but the Columbus Crew. The Stow, Ohio native grew up watching games at Crew Stadium; “I remember seeing Brian Maisonneuve and Robert (Warzycha) and all them and Jeff Cunningham. I’ve been to quite a few games in my time," said Speas. Because of Speas connection to the Crew both in the stands and on the field as a former Crew academy star, it's only natural that Speas would want to spend an indefinite ammount of his career in the Crew black and yellow.

Crew Technical Director Brian Bliss believes that the Columbus Crew pulled off a coup, as Ben Speas dramatically improved his game at North Carolina in his junior year, was phenomenal in the national tournament, and would have improved greatly enough in his senior year to possibly head to Europe.

As Bliss opined;

“If we didn’t come up with a package that makes sense, I don’t think he
would’ve gone to Europe but he might’ve elected to stay in school and if he
had stayed in school for another season then there might’ve been a better
likelihood of him going to Europe because he would’ve had more time to set
up something like that,” Bliss said. “I wasn’t afraid he was going to go to
Europe now, it was more if he stayed in school he might leave next
Instead, the Columbus Crew's top brass (Warzycha, Bliss, and McCullers) can add another feather to their crowded cap next to Mirosevic and Vargas, in Speas. Bliss even could take a moment to congratulate himself today.

“I think these are three significant and worthwhile signings that I think the fans are going to grab onto,” Bliss said.

Worthwhile. Yes? Significant? Will see. I believe all three, along with the tidy little signing of Mendes and a healthy Tony Tchani will fill the void left behind from Ekpo and a Leeds United-bound Rogers. But, significant depends upon how fast Speas takes to the MLS game, if Vargas is worth his salt, and if Mirosevic still has the legs on him to get back to his form in 2009.

But, all three are promising, especially in their attitudes.
“I’m so excited to get the chance to play with these guys and learn from
the veterans,” Speas said. “Guys like Eddie Gaven and Chad Marshall, I’ve
been following them since they joined the Crew. I’ve been lucky enough to
train with them here and there a little bit. Just to be able to line up next
to them is going to be a dream come true, definitely. I’ll soak it all

It's nice to have another local (along with Danny O'Rourke) that takes it as a honor to be lining up as Columbus Crew. It's nice to see the Crew academy shaping up to do what it's supposed to do by giving us an advantage to sign local talents such as Speas. It's nice to see a positive attitude from players coming into the side.

Likewise, Mirosevic said "I can't wait to try to win a championship for a great team such as the Crew," never heard that out of Andres Mendoza's lips.

Positive attitudes lead to positive results.

Three positive signings in Merosevic, Vargas, and Speas. A chance tomorrow to add another possible starter in the MLS Draft first round with the #10 pick.

Then the top brass needs to focus on getting a positive, designated player. Done well so far filling those seats for 2012, let the lineup help you by adding a Stankovic or Forlan to the list of impressive pickups.

But, I understand that type of designated player signing is unlikely here in Columbus. However, I just want a designated player more positive, more concerned with Columbus as Mirosevic, Vargas, and Speas all seem to be.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

1/9/2012: What Designated Player Can Fill The Ekpo/Rogers Void On The Wings?

1/9/2012: What Designated Player Can Fill The Ekpo/Rogers Void On The Wings?
By Ryan Kozlowski

The Columbus Crew have stated to their fans that they are courting many "well-known" players as a possible designated player option in 2012. The front office has confused "well known" for players such as Andres Mendoza or Sergio Herrera in the past. Crew fans want someone better known in the world of soccer, who will make a splash. And I hope it doesn't mean that the Crew sent Dejan Stankovic a facebook message like "would you want to play for us <3." I hope this is the real deal type of feelers.

The Crew need some firepower this season. Chile national teamer Milovan Mirosevic is a great start, but if the Crew can combine that with a big time DP, it will make one wonder where the front office who's flashiest signing last year was Tommy Heinemann went.

We need a Maciej Zurawski type rumor (Zurawski not moving to Columbus actually turned out to be his biggest mistake as his career went down the crapper by choosing Cyprus instead). But Zurawski was playing for Celtic at the time, that gets fans pumped when you have a player transferring from a big club such as Celtic or Inter Milan.

Designated player targets that have been thrown out by (overly) optimistic Crew fans are Stankovic, his Inter teammate Deigo Forlan, Humberto Suazo, Miguel Sabah, Juan Arango, and many more.

The front office is on steroids this year so far (with Mirosevic, Vargas, possibly Speas already, better ticket sales) they need to keep this momentum going by signing someone that will make fans jaws drop.

The Crew also should focus that designated player signing on someone who can play on the wings if Rogers or Ekpo do not re-sign.

Dejan Stankovic can play on the wings or just about anywhere in the midfield. He is the perfect match for Columbus if he does comes to Major League Soccer.

Stankovic has been rumored recently to be headed to Major League Soccer (since the Serbian only has 10 appearances, 5 from the bench so far this season for Inter). He's been connected with the obvious (and if you ask me plastic) clubs of the LA Galaxy and New York Red Bull.

I think Stankovic would enjoy his football more at Columbus.

First, he's a loyal type. He's only played for three clubs his entire career (Red Star Belgrade, Lazio, and Inter Milan). You know who else only played for three clubs, Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

He also strikes me as having a lot of the attributes of a Guillermo. Short, stocky, tough, no frills, lets his playing do the talking, never takes a game off. Attributes that the Nordecke would love; and might be more ignored in a place such as Los Angeles, when you got Beckham waltzing around and a half-interested Robbie Keane up at striker.

Further, he may be able to build a nice friendship/partnership with Mirosevic in the middle, since it appears Milovan Mirosevic is of Serbian descent as well.

Stankovic would be a star in Columbus, and just another act in the circus at Los Angeles or New York. Stankovic would be around the age of Guillermo when he came over and for some reason I would see Stankovic as an excellent match if the Crew could ever find the money. Plus we could all do the stanky leg if he scores.

The Crew have however said they were looking mainly at players from Peru, Chile, and Uruguay. Hmm.. Uruguay

Diego Forlan has been connected with the Seattle Sounders before extensively last season. He would also fill the Steven Lenhart void in the Nordecke (don't believe me type Diego Forlan in Google Images, reminds me so much of Lenhart). Also, another player with heart, lots of goals in him, and who would probably enjoy his football in Columbus.

Forlan in Copa America 2011:

But, likely it will be a lesser known player than Stankovic or Forlan, someone such as Mexican national player Miguel Sabah.

100 or so goals in 280 games. Not a blow you away type player, but someone the Crew could afford and someone that would still have success scoring in Columbus Crew Stadium (despite playing for the Mexican national team :-0). But, I see it being a Sabah-like name but from South America, someone capable with hopefully better overall attributes compared to a Mendoza or Herrera.

So, what type of designated player do you think will pick up in 2012?

1/9/2012: Crew Academy Star Ben Speas Having Last Second, Second Thoughts Of Joining Crew?

The most highest guarded secret in Crewland at this moment is Ben Speas contract status? Has the College Cup champion with the University of North Carolina and Crew academy product signed a senior contract with the Columbus Crew or has Speas had a last minute change of heart.

Otherwise known as twitter jitters apparently in the case of Speas. Teammates congratulated Speas yesterday and Speas girlfriend got a little over excited (as girls tend to do), and allegedly posted a picture of her and her man on her twitter account in Crew gear.

When Speas saw this he must of ran to his phone, sort of like this (without the smile of course)->

And said not so fast, please take that down hunny and bros.

Well, since Saturday at noon when Mark Hedges posted and the girlfriend put up the picture, both hints towards the Crew have been taken down. Come on someone had to save the picture yesterday, would be a nice one if Speas ends up at TFC. :-)

Anyway, what's going on here? Why the cloak and dagger? I know the solution, the front office will tell us what's going on here.

Ermm... I know Bliss will drop the ball.

Well that's a little blunt, tease us a little Bliss.

For f**ks sake, when all else fails go with the source 10 hours away from Columbus. The D.C. United reporter Steven Goff:

Saturday, January 7, 2012

1/7/2012: What's Your Solution To Our Winger Problem?

Hesmer is off taking a poop because our defense is that good.

Robbie Rogers and Emmanuel Ekpo will likely not be back, and even though Mirosevic and Vargas are big steps in the right direction neither address our winger problem. Further, Gaven may be still working out the kinks of his concussion this past season. So, I want you the Crew fan to address our winger problem.

Who can we trade for in MLS to solidify our wings?
What designated player would you pick up as a winger?
What player in the MLS draft could we get in the first round that could start as soon as possible on our wing?
And what funny thing (or serious thing) can the Crew or it's fans do to entice Ekpo or Rogers into signing another contract?

Doing a big write up on this tomorrow. Got some ideas, need your ideas. Go at it. Please comment.

1/7/2012: Vargas CONFIRMED; Big Target, But Quick, Good Attitude Says McCullers

The Columbus Crew made the signing of Olman Vargas official yesterday on their club website, marking the second high profile signing by the Crew this week. The Crew will try for the trifecta this weekend, as they also offered Tar Heel maestro, Ben Speas, a homegrown player contract.

Crew head coach Robert Warzycha and Crew General Manager Mark McCullers had a lot of positives to feed to the press yesterday on why the duo are high on Vargas.

My favorite quote about Vargas (and Mirosevic) is when McCullers was asked if he thinks there will be an adjustment period for the new internationals:

“That’s always a possibility with any international signing. I think we’ve learned over time a lot better hw to do our research and mitigate those types of situations, although recent history would tell us that were still not perfect at it. But I feel confident in these two guys and their character and their attitude. That goes a long way in terms of how they’re going to acclimate.”

Character and the right attitude isn't something that some recent Crew internationals have had, namely Sergio Herrera and Andres Mendoza. It appears the Crew have learned their lesson, and that lesson is 1.) sometimes a player may have a nice resume 2.) but before you get all excited and dump a truckload of cash on him 3.) check how he is in a locker room, how much he cares about your club, and why no team wants him.

The Crew are like a guy who has been in a bad relationship, and has decided to settle down with the right girl (or rather girls lol) in Vargas and Mirosevic. You can just tell there guys who will just do the business on the field and won't be like "me, me, me" all the time.

That's important.

I also wonder if this duo of new signings will demonstrate to a Robbie Rogers or Emmanuel Ekpo that the right pieces are in place to win a championship, and may make negotiations easier for at least one of the two to come back (I'll have a thorough breakdown of the options for the Crew on the wings tomorrow).

But, if the Crew can add an Emmanuel Ekpo and Robbie Rogers on the wings, Mirosevic/Duka/Speas in the middle, Renteria and Vargas up top, Marshall/O'Rourke/Mendes/Balchan in defense then the Crew are going to be pretty hard to beat in 2012. Further, other players like Tchani, Meram, James, Francis, etc. are capable replacements. Throw in a designated player striker in the mix, or rather another central midfielder as designated player to combine with Mirosevic, and the possibilities make me want to go in my basement and make a banner right now.

So, back to Vargas, who I'm re-labeling the Central American Brian McBride. Other positive attributes of Vargas include:

*Age is 26, in his prime
*Nice Frame -> Both usually bode well in MLS
*Has No Problem Being Physical
*Hustles on defense
*Good Header Of The Ball (Nearly every goal I've seen of his has been a header)
*But Even Though A Bigger Guy, Quicker Than One Would Expect

Welcome to Columbus, Olman Vargas! Score lots of goals and the Nordecke will be singing your name soon enough. :-)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

1/5/2012: Chilean National Team Player Mirosevic Confirmed Signing, Similiar To Schelotto?

Chilean National Team Player Mirosevic Confirmed Signing, Similiar To Schelotto?
By Ryan Kozlowski

The signing of Milovan Mirosevic was confirmed earlier today on the Columbus Crew's official website. The Chilean striker was recommended by Crew defender Sebastian Miranda, who played with Mirosevic at Catolica. The Crew hope to receive the same effort from Mirosevic in the midfield as they received from Miranda in defense in 2011.

Mirosevic is coming off of a 2010-2011 campaign filled with injuries; as out of 40 competitions Mirosevic played in 19 games and scored only 5 goals. Players do have off years and Mirosevic was in comparison excellent in the 2009-2010 campaign. In 2009-2010, Mirosevic scored 19 goals to lead the Chilean First Division in scoring. What was even more remarkable is that Mirosevic mainly played midfield and withdrawn forward at that time, Mirosevic has been mentioned as more of a no. 10 maestro in the Catolica midfield compared to an out and out forward.

Sound familiar? Mirosevic has already been compared by Crew fans to another former Crew midfield general in Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Nevertheless, Warzycha tried to leaven off some pressure on Mirosevic's expectations by saying,

“[Mirosevic] is going to be one of the most dangerous guys in the box, whether it’s a corner kick or a free kick,” Warzchya said, “but I don’t want to compare him to Guillermo or anybody else in the league.”

Warzycha reiterated this in multiple quotes today. But, most Crew fans would be fine if Mirosevic ends up being 70% percent as good as Guillermo was in 2008 and 2009. Mirosevic doesn't have to be Guillermo, he just has to be Mirosevic and try to mimmick his best form from 2009. Because if Mirosevic even gets close or halfway to those numbers, he will likely be a success.

Another interesting aspect with Mirosevic is that even though he has seen strings of limited opportunities with the Chilean national team, Mirosevic has been put back in the picture as of late under Chile's new manager Borghi.

Mirosevic played a good 30 minutes overall as a substitute in Chile's two World Cup qualifying games this previous November, in a loss against Uruguay and victory against Paraguay.

It waits to be seen if a move to MLS helps or hinders Mirosevic's progress with the national team. However, the 31 year old Mirosevic will likely be looking to get back to his best times with La Roja, such as when he scored in 2003 to start a 2-2 comeback tie against Argentina (at 5:13 in video below).

A good start with the Crew in 2012, with some goals and form should help keep Mirosevic in the national team picture. Crew fans would like to have national team players but won't likely care either way as long as they get goals from Milovan. 19 celebrations in 2009, wouldn't be bad to have 19 celebrations in 2012 in front of the Nordecke.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

1/5/2012: Ben Speas To Bypass Draft, Sign As Homegrown Crew Player?

Ben Speas To Bypass Draft, Sign As Homegrown Crew Player?
By Ryan Kozlowski

The Columbus Crew have signed Milovan Mirosevic, are on the verge of signing Olman Vargas, and could get another big boost by having Ben Speas accept his homegrown player tag with the Columbus Crew. The Crew have to be looking to make Speas priority number one, with Mirosevic and Vargas already gift wrapped underneath the Crew's orthodox, Christmas tree. Especially since Speas homegrown player tag would allow him to bypass the 2012 MLS Draft and sign for the Crew.

Speas has played academy football for Columbus for most of his career, as well as featuring for the University of Akron and most recently the 2011 National Champions- the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

Speas beautiful, individual effort in the 2011 College Cup Final for the game winner, would look even better in the confines of Columbus Crew Stadium:

Speas played in all 26 of the Tar Heels games in 2011, starting in 25. Speas collected 7 goals and 10 assists in the 2011 season.

The Crew academy product also has 50 appearances with Akron in his freshman and sophomore years in college. Speas would be another attacking option if he does take the Homegrown Player tag with the Columbus Crew.

According to the Columbus Dispatch, Bliss said he sat down with Speas and his family about a week ago to discuss the Crew academy product becoming a member of the Crew senior side and bypassing the draft. The deal for Speas, a definite potential first rounder would be huge, as the Crew would virtually be receiving two first round talents, Speas and the 10th pick; that's if the Crew can iron out a deal with the UNC attacker in the next week and nothing's definitive as a better contract sometimes outweighs a player's loyalty.

Nevertheless, it would be quite the slight or missed opportunity if the Crew cannot work out some sort of deal with Speas.

OTHER MEDIA: Speas also did an interview in December with Crew Communications discussing his game winner in the 2011 College Cup Final.

1/5/2012: Olman Vargas Says He Has Agreement In Place With Columbus Crew

26 year old Olman Vargas is headed to Columbus based on his word and all accounts out of Costa Rica, Vargas comes to the Crew with experience at top Costa Rican clubs Saprissa and most recently Club Sport Herediano.

Vargas appears to be gaining in confidence as he's getting into that striker form, from the age of 26 to 29, when a striker usually has his best years.

During the 2010-2011 season Vargas had a career high 11 goals for CS Herediano in Costa Rica. Vargas has continued that form at the beginning of the 2011-2012 season; as can be seen in the following goals from November 2011.

Vargas appears to be a big, but quick target who is excellent on headers in that 12 yard area from net:

With Milovan Mirosevic confirmed signed (A Chilean league leading 19 goals in 2010, Captain of Catolica, and Chilean National Team player), along with Olman Vargas who also seems to be in the best goal scoring form of his career; Crew fans have to like the aggressive approach the Crew have taken so far in this offseason to remedy it's attack to go along with an improved defense.

The deals will especially make Crew fans feel warm inside since neither Vargas or Mirosevic are counting as a designated player, while Warzycha stated the team is still vigorously looking for a designated player by the start of the season in 2012. All in all a lot better than an offseason of signing Jeff Cunningham and finding out a non-passionate Mendoza was going to be our designated player in 2011.

Thumbs up.

1/4/2012: Chilean Midfielder Milovan Mirosevic Close To Joining Crew's Ranks

According to PrensaFutbol in Chile, who have had conversations with Mirosevic's club officials at Universadad Catolica, 31 year old Milovan Mirosevic is very close to joining up with the Columbus Crew in this offseason.

The Crew have gone to Chile on a few occasions for foreign signings and if this deal is done the Crew will hope it doesn't have the failure of former Chilean midfield signing Sebastian Rozental (20 appearances, tons of fitness issues). Or other midfield foreign flops as of late such as Sergio Herrera (1 appearance from Columbia) or Dejan Rusmir (18, mostly as a sub appearances).

Haven't had a good foreign signing since Guillermo in midfield. But, hopefully isn't another Rozental (above), Mirosevic would be coming over at 31, Rozental was 30 when he came to the Crew.

But, rather the Crew will be hoping Mirosevic mimicks the success of Chilean defensive signings Marcos Gonzalez and Sebastian Miranda (35 appearances in 2011).

Here's Milosevic scoring against Gremio last year in the Copa Liberadores:

Mirosevic did have 19 goals in 32 games in 2009 from midfield for Universadad Catolica. But, Sergio Herrera also had an impressive goal scoring streak in Columbia before coming to the Crew and faltering here.

Mirosevic is also involved in World Cup qualifying for Chile, taking part in the 2014 World Cup qualifiers that took place this November against Paraguay and Uruguay. Mirosevic came on as a late substitute in both games.

Monday, January 2, 2012

1/3/2012: Artists Could Use The Nordecke As Their Next Canvas

Brooklyn artist Craig Anthony Miller has used Brooklyn as his personal canvas just as we use the Nordecke as ours:

I was flying back from the NAIA Soccer Championships in December and I was reading Airtran Airways tacky GO magazine. But, there was one good story about this writer who visited New York, and met all these different artists and art galleries; one guys artwork really caught my attention as very soccer ultra-like, this Miller guy.

AirTran's Go Magazine Article and Picture of Miller's artwork:

Here's a video on Miller.

His story in that magazine inspired me so figured why not shoot him a message on facebook, as most mom's give as advice, "you never know until you try." So sent him a message:

The guy added me on facebook. But, no reply. Possibly if some others who have done artwork in the Nordecke sent him there stuff.

But, doesn't have to be this guy.

Instead I think it wouldn't be a bad idea for the Nordecke to search out local artists here in Columbus, Ohio and send them some artwork from European crowd displays, along with our attempts.

Could be a win-win. They see an outlet where they can display there artwork, we say will help them with manpower and half of costs as long as they make it about the city of Columbus or the Crew or both; or if it's a really cool piece of art, just tell them to make it mostly yellow and black (then we make a railing banner to go with it or something).

There are some artsy types and art galleries on High Street.

That could be an efficient way to make a crowd banner for once that covers the entire Nordecke. We have had good attempts in the past but just haven't had the money or time to make one that covers the whole section or half of the section. So, you put our time and money as supporters groups and combine it with the time and money of Craig Anthony Miller's collective or a similiar collective of artists in Columbus and we have a beautiful, ultra banner to start the 2012 season off with.

1/2/2012: Crewture Back Daily in 2012

Crewture Editor Ryan Kozlowski (above) has spent the last two years saving trees.


Sometimes in life you get a little sidetracked, other opportunities show up, you get frustrated, shift your focus, or lose motivation. Probably a combination of that, along with an internship with Dayton Dutch Lions F.C. in 2010, started to take away my time from making Crewture an interesting website to visit.

But, I want to bring it back, and will try my best to put an interesting story up daily in 2012. There is no competition or better ideas anymore, there will be no more crying on my soapbox.. There are many other great Crew websites that have filled the void since Crewture's downtick, such as Massive Report and Crew Xtra-Not-so-Xtra, and I'm much the outsider since 2010.

Not sure how many games I'll get to in 2012 and how many banners I'll make, ran into some personal problems that makes it impossible for me to be some sort of leader. Crewture just was a part of the magical 2008 season and it's a part of Crew fan history, along with much else, and want to keep it going for many years to come.

Open to all insight on how to make it better. Open to some new writers.

Overall, no matter where I'm watching the games from in 2012 I'm going to try harder to make contact with different soccer types (fans, players, figures who lurk in the shadows) and get some interviews to make this interesting again, along with less copying of other websites.

Crew fans haven't always been politically correct. This never was a politically correct website. What Crewture is and hope will be is somewhere where people can be real. If I get an interview I want something that someone wouldn't usually say (Brian Dunseth gave me an interview sort of like that back in 2008), not what is fed cliche into a microphone after a game. I want writers with real thoughts and balls, who will not sugar coat everything. This is a man's game, the Nordecke is a badass section, we all should be able to take compliments along with constructive criticism.

In life there are tabloids, there's Jose Mourinho type coaches who say whatever they feel like saying, and there's real hard hitting journalism. I hope for a combination of the three with not too much of either.

Also got to thank a few comments similiar to this over the last year, which helps in the motivation to get Crewture back to where it was. So, thanks for the comments:


Hey man, you probably don't know who I am, but I used to follow your website almost religiously. All the things you did for the club were pretty sick, especially your numerous banners and two-sticks.

I can't remember what made you kinda stop, if it was the backlash you got for trying to start that Ultras group, or because you moved back to Pennsylvania. I just wanted to say that the Nordecke kinda needs someone with your passion again.

I mean, Rick makes a lot of stuff like always, and then there's probably a small group of less than 10 other people that make stuff. I've tried to do my part. I just completed my third two-stick and am working on my fourth. I'm hoping to get season tickets for next year and I just want the Nordecke to be as powerful as it used to be. Thinking about coming back at all?

Well were back.. Online at least.