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.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

3/28/2012: Forgot Why You Hated Toronto?

Forgot why you hated Toronto? Here's some videos that may help.

Hardcore Toronto Ultras Lying In Wait, Lol:

This Toronto fan is still outside of CCS trying to tie his shoe:

And Another 1,000 reasons:

3/28/2012: Gol-man Vargas & The Crew Try To Make A Run At Cohesive-ness

2/28/2012: Gol-man Vargas & The Crew Try To Make A Run At Cohesive-ness
By Ryan Kozlowski

After a disheveled debut in Colorado, there's probably no better way to ease into a season than with a bye the following week
to sort out what went wrong, then playing a 10-man (new to MLS) Montreal side to gain some confidence in your home opener, and then turning around the next week to face a rudder-less Toronto side to gain some swagger.

Warzycha can thank his lucky stripes that Colorado was followed on the schedule with Montreal and Toronto, instead of let's say Los Angeles and Salt Lake. These two weeks present a fantastic opportunity for the Crew to allow Mirosevic and Vargas to become more comfortable, along with the entire (rather new) starting eleven; As the Crew made some mistakes in their home opener, that Montreal could not capitalize on, that others teams would have been able to.

Similar to Montreal's inability to capitalize, a TFC side with both eyes on Concacaf Champions League could allow the Crew to get closer to cohesive-ness. TFC got spanked at home by Chris Wondolowski and the San Jose Earthquakes 3-nil this past Saturday, while the Crew were taking care of business without much of a sweat.

Toronto F.C. comes into next Saturday's match-up without their directional compasses in German international Torsten Frings and Austrian shot stopper Stefan Frei. Toronto F.C. will be deflated as well, if Santos Laguna takes care of business at BMO Field in the first leg of the CCL Semifinal as most would expect them to.

Even if TFC pulls out a win in their first leg, they'll be tired and may have to sit a man or two against Columbus on Saturday. Either way, another 3 points should be ripe for the picking for Vargas and company.

QUOTEABLE: Bernardo Anor Agrees That Crew Will Expect To Be Looking For Three Points, Expects Attacking Style To Remain Against Toronto
“The energy and the attitude of the team was very impressive. If people play us, they’ve got to be careful this year because we come with a lot of confidence and motivation to win every single game. We’re not going to play in Toronto just to tie the game or get a good result. We’re stepping on the field to win and get three points. That’s a different mentality and that’s how it should be.” — Anor

A Review On What's Good From The Opener

1.) Two new offensive players scored, Mirosevic and Vargas. check.
2.) Good crowd. check. The Crew front office has improved as the 18,197 opening crowd was a better opener than nearly half of MLS teams that opened.

10th out of 18 teams, beating out Chicago, D.C. United, Kansas City, F.C. Dallas, N.E. Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes, Chivas U.S.A., and Colorado Rapids. Houston Dynamo have yet to play at home.
3.) Good Nordecke atmosphere. check.

4.) Nice momento moment that all 18,197 will enjoy and hopefully come back wanting more. Check.

Vargas heading it home with authority:

And a second time:

Saturday, March 10, 2012

3/11/2012: Spotlight On Gino Padula's & His Dedication To Coaching For S&P Academy

Gino puts youngsters through the paces (Pic by: Sam Fahmi)

International Soccer Network Stars of Coaching- March 2012 Winner Gino Padula Presented by Korrio
By ISN Editor- Gary J. Moody

Getting coached by a legend is a special thing. Former Columbus Crew defender Gino Padula certainly falls into the legend category, helping deliver an MLS Cup Championship to the Ohio capital. That being just one of many accomplishments in a globetrotting career that saw him spend time in Spain, France, England, and his native Argentina. Now he has hung up his boots as a player, switching his career to coaching youth soccer as co-director of the Schelotto & Padula Academy. His partner and former teammate Guillermo Barros Schelotto is the other legend behind the venture, adding some star power to a soccer academy started from the ground up less than a year ago.

The pairing is a formidable duo on or off the field. Padula points out that they both have a winning mentality and are fans of attacking soccer.

“We have a good relationship,” Padula commented. “We see the game in the same way. We both love this country, this city.”

Padula’s teammates always knew he would end up as a coach. He was very vocal on the field and was always the first to talk tactics. He enjoyed his 15+ years of professional experience, but knew the calling to be a coach was very strong. He prepared himself for this new life, knowing that a coach worked long hours for a single goal.

“A coach wants to get the best out of every player,” the former QPR, Nottingham Forest, and Montpelier defender commented. “Everyone on a team is important.”

Padula is now involved in coaching all ages of youth, from age U-4 to U-18. The obvious focus is player development and the fostering of skills, developing creativity that is so famous in the Argentinian game. Padula is able to teach and coach in a low pressure environment, where players can grow their love of the game and become better players at the same time. The focus on fitness, tactics, and technique means quality sessions where everyone can improve.

“You have to remember they are kids,” Padula continued. “They are here to have fun too.”

The goal for the academy is to help players get to the next level, whether that be high school soccer, the collegiate game, or even a career as a professional. Padula has the global connections that will help his players get noticed.

The Columbus soccer community has embraced the S&P Academy as over 200 players flocked to the winter sessions. The attention now turns to the spring season, the biggest show in Ohio club soccer, as even more players head to S&P. Padula is quick to point out that honesty is the best policy at his academy. Parents and players appreciate this, always knowing where they stand with the staff and coaches. They are also impressed that Padula and Schelotto actually coach the youth teams, unlike other pros that have turned to coaching.

"The S&P Academy will touch many young players' lives," S&P Academy coach Guillermo Zarate declared. "And I'm sure Gino will help them to reach their maximum potential in the game we love."

The community also appreciates the charitable work of the academy. Padula and Schelotto collected toys for patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital during the holidays after collecting for a local food bank earlier in the year.

“We’re not just playing soccer,” Padula concluded. “There are a lot of people that need help in this community.”

Gino Padula is setting a good example for players and coaches alike, serving as a role model for his work on and off the pitch. A great reason for him to be named the first "ISN Star of Coaching Presented by Korrio."

Korrio understands it is your passion for coaching kids that drives you. We also know that the less time you spend dealing with administrative, communication and automation hassles, and the more time you spend on the field, the happier you’ll be. And because you play a crucial role in our children’s lives, we want you spending as much time as possible coaching our kids. Korrio offers a modern approach to coaching by allowing new ways to communicate and develop a community on and off the field. Congratulations to the ISN Star of Coaching this month!


More information on International Soccer Network and Korrio's National award program: http://internationalsoccernetwork.com/blog/?p=3612

3/11/2012: Colorado Rapids Come Out Wanting Opener More, Win 2-Nil

TOO EASY: An unmarked Drew Moor opens up scoring in a 2-nil rout. (Pic by: Garrett Ellwood)

3/11/2012: Colorado Rapids Come Out Wanting Opener More, Win 2-Nil
By Ryan Kozlowski

"Shoot off the confetti, wave the Rocky Mountain flags, thanks for coming Crew..."

The impending message sent home by Quincy Amarikwa and the Colorado Rapids in the 89th minute as they closed off the game, deservingly, 2-0 against the Crew in their altitude confines.

Amarikwa might have hammered in the final nail, but the Crew lined that nail up for Colorado.

Looking at the Crew's lethargic 4-5-1 formation, all I could think from the outset is man why don't you make it as easy as possible for Colorado.

From the get go, the Colorado Rapids controlled the pace and tempo of the game and the Crew played catch up. But, usually when your playing catch up or working your way into a game, once you gain a little confidence going forward, that's when the other team sneaks in a counter and takes all the breath out of what your doing.

The Colorado Rapids did that twice on Saturday late in each half.

First, Drew Moor found himself comically unmarked in the six yard box in the 43rd minute and finished his header with aplomb.

Then more comical marking, or rather un-marking, led to the game sealer by Quincy Amarikwa; as every Crew defender felt calm with the pacy midfielder taking his sweet time, a good 7 to 8 seconds to line up his sights with the top corner of Andy Greunebaum's net.

O'Rourke had an interesting way of explaining the two goals, “Defensively I think we’re all right – we just had to defend too much."

Nope. Thanks for playing The Price Is Wrong For Defensive Excuses, Danny.

Defensive Soccer 101:

1.) You can't lose a marker in the six yard box (Drew Moor goal).
And that was baaaaaaad, four Crew defenders only had Drew Moor to mark and all four lost him.

2.) You have to eventually close down a guy with acres of space, 20 yards out, or he'll make you pay (Quincy Amarikwa goal).

I even teach my high school players these fundamentals. One can only hope that Warzycha didn't find the defense "alright" and stresses the fundamentals on both goals allowed by O'Rourke and company.

The defense showed their timidity in both goals allowed. The offense showed a similar timidness.

The Crew, as rookie winger Ethan Finlay (who didn't have a bad debut) stated, played too far back so much so that it didn't "play to our style."

Have to agree with that.

The Crew would snuff out a Rapids attack, have most of their eleven players in defense, and have to make four or five passes to break midfield, and by the time the Crew did the Rapids had numbers back and the Crew found trouble creating anything that was, well, creative.

Warzycha went to two forwards in the 85th minute, when some Denver journalists were probably already attempting to meet deadlines by beginning their Rapids opening day, victory articles.

Warzycha at least saw the errors in the 4-5-1 in the after game presser, and that the Crew were probably a little too possession orientated in their own half of the field:

"We were trying to keep the ball even in situations when we shouldn’t and that’s probably what hurt us a little bit.”

That's the timidness offensively, or rather a lack of urgency.

The Crew's Milovan Mirosevic, dubbed the next Schelotto by some, made a commendable effort; but still has mucho communication issues to iron out to pull the strings with his other midfielders in a similar way.

The whole midfield looked on four different pages at times, and late in the game was sometimes bypassed all together in an attempt to hoof the ball up to Emilio Renteria.

Nevertheless, the opener was about what I expected. None of this starting eleven has had a chance to play together as a unit and they looked like it, unsurprisingly. In addition, the Crew had plenty of other injuries with Gaven ailing, Mendes, Balchan, etc. out and Duka leaving early.

Therefore, I'm not worried yet. Let the Crew have two weeks of preparation for their home opener against a weaker Montreal Impact side and I think the team will have a chance to come together better and gain a much improved result.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

3/7/2012: Recent Playoff Nemesis Colorado, Still Thorn In Crew's Side Even With New Unfamiliar Faces

Columbian Jaime Castrillon is one of the talented, new players the Crew will have to contend with on Saturday against Colorado.

3/7/2012: Recent Playoff Nemesis Colorado, Still Thorn In Crew's Side Even With New Unfamiliar Faces
By Ryan Kozlowski

The Colorado Rapids have knocked the Crew out of the playoffs the past two seasons. If Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha expects a better end result this year, why not start by beating the team thats ended it all for your side the past two seasons.

Thankfully for the Crew the Rapids are in a bit of a transition coaching wise and have lost a couple key players; Unthankfully there new pieces may make them an even better side.

The Rapids have lost English striker Caleb Folan, 6 goals in 26 outings, to English Championship side Birmingham City. English coach Gary Smith also moved along to English League One side Stevenage.

However, the big pieces of the recent Rapids, success puzzle are still intact- mainly meaning the attack duo of Jamaican speedster Omar Cummings and American bruiser Conor Casey are still terrorizing MLS backlines.

More pieces have been added as well by new Columbian, Rapids Head Coach Oscar Pareja. Pareja played on the Columbian National Team and has six years of MLS experience under his belt as an assistant at FC Dallas. Pareja has used his Columbian connections already to bolster the Rapids side.

Luis Zapata

In defense, Pareja has called on the services of former Millanaros defensive star Luis Zapata (pictured above). The 31 year-old Zapata, in his prime, had 162 appearances for Millanaros and four goals, before recently bouncing around with different South American teams. The lanky Pareja helps to bolster a backline that includes Hunter Freeman and Drew Moor.

Castrillon has made 29 appearances for Columbia.

Even more impressive is the Columbian Pareja snagged to be his midfield general, Independiente Medellin's former star midfielder Jaime Castrillon. The 28-year-old Castrillon will likely be the Rapids version of a smaller Milosevic on Saturday; as Castrillon will conduct the show for the Rapids as well.

The Crew will have to be in top notch form to deal with Casey and Cummings receiving the ball from a Castrillon who had 53 goals in 276 appearances for top Columbian side Medellin.

Rapids steal one out of the RSL playbook by picking up young Argentine, Martin Rivero, on loan.

The Rapids, had just as busy an offseason snagging smaller gems too, as they also added a young midfielder slash striker in Martin Rivero. The 22-year-old Argentine has already made 53 appearances for Argentina Primera B side Rosario Central.

Along with Castrillon and Rivero as midfield options, the Rapids continued to add to their midfield depth and speed this offseason by adding J League 2 player Kohei Yamada (pictured above). Yamada had 34 appearances the past two years for Thespa Kusatsu and came as a foreign player acquistion in the MLS Draft (below).

Overall, the Crew should have their hands full and need to be in top form at altitude against the Rapids to prevent another disappointing result; as the Crew would like to avenge coming up short against the Rapids these past two postseasons. The Crew will likely wish they could of gave their starting eleven a run out against DC United last Saturday in the Carolina Challenge Cup, but mother nature prevented that. It's a shame because the Rapids might be even better than the 2011 version, but so hopefully are the Crew.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

3/6/2012: A Fan's Look at the 2011/2012 Off-Season

Warzycha and Crew set sights now on March targets Colorado and Montreal

A Fan’s Look at the 2011/2012 Off-Season
By Nick Menard

The 2012 season is just around the corner. To hold you over until then, let’s take a look at how we got to this point.

The Crew announced the signing of Chilean midfielder Milovan Mirosevic on January 4th. With the departure of Robbie Rogers to Leeds United, the Crew had a hole to fill in the attacking midfield. They did just that in signing Mirosevic, a crafty midfielder who loves to find his shot near the top of the 18-yard box. Mirosevic was a key player with his former club, Universidad Catolica, where he netted 46 goals in 108 appearances.

Days after signing Mirosevic, the Crew announced they had signed Costa Rican forward Olman Vargas, filling a void left by former designated player Andres Mendoza. Vargas, who played for Saprissa was loaned to C.S. Herdiano where he netted 19 goals in 53 appearances.

The Crew absolutely hit the ground running. Not only did they sign a proven midfielder with a knack for scoring spectacular goals, they went out and got a veteran striker. They may not be done just yet. There have been hints at a potential summer transfer window signing for a Designated Player. With growing interest among aging vets in Europe, Columbus may be just the place for players like Didier Drogba, Alessandro Del Piero, Dejan Stankovic, or Filippo Inzaghi.

The Crew announced another huge signing this off-season when they inked Ben Speas as a Homegrown Player on January 11th. This essentially means he had the opportunity of being signed directly by the Columbus Crew, or entering into the MLS SuperDraft. Arguably the most dominant player in the college ranks the last two seasons, Ben won titles with Akron in 2010 and UNC in 2011. The Crew now has some serious depth at forward with Vargas, Renteria, Heinemann, Meram and now Speas.

The MLS SuperDraft on January 12th saw the Crew add even more emphasis to the attack when they drafted Creighton forward Ethan Finlay with the 10th overall pick. They also added depth to the defense and midfield when they drafted South Florida defender Aubrey Perry and Central Florida midfielder Kevan George.

Not only will the Crew be donning a completely new look in the 2012 season, but will do so with a new sponsor, announcing on February 15th a partnership with Barbasol.

This Saturday, the Crew will invade Colorado and kick off their 17th MLS season. Two weeks later, it’s Crewsmas in Columbus when the Crew welcome MLS newcomer the Montreal Impact into the unfriendly confines of Crew Stadium.

3/6/2012: Updates- Trialist Auvray Out & More

Auvray Back To Sporting Kansas City?

From The Daily Wiz, it appears defensive midfield trialist Stephane Auvray has already moved on:

Auvray had previously been on trial with the Columbus Crew and played 64 minutes in their preseason match against Chicago on Wednesday. The coaching staff there wanted more time to assess the Guadaloupe defensive midfielder but apparently he was already heading off for a trial at Sporting KC.

Warzycha and company probably will not lose much sleep over the missed opportunity, as the defensive midfield position is probably the Crew's deepest with Tony Tchani, Rich Balchan, and Danny O'Rourke able to play there.

**MLSSOCCER.com gave the Columbus Crew a B- compared to the D.C. United's B in an evaluation of the team's preseason performances in the Carolina Challenge Cup.

D.C. United won both of their games, outscored the Battery and Fire 4-1, and had their designated player Hamdi Salihi (pictured below) score two goals without having the service of Dwayne De Rosario.

Hamdi Salihi: A type of DP striker the Crew could probably have used.

In comparison, the Crew were outscored against the same two teams 3-2, with a loss to the 2011 playoff missing- Chicago Fire and a tie to USL-Pro side, the Charleston Battery.

Should of called those rankings the let's not offend anyone rankings, as it goes sometimes on MLSSoccer.com. I would of gave D.C. United an A and the Columbus Crew a C minus.

**This past weekend was a good week for former Crew goalkeepers as Bill Gaudette signed with the L.A. Galaxy and Chris Konopka signed with the Philadelphia Union.

**A designated player update via Fox Sports Ohio and Pat Guldan:

Even though the offseason is drawing to a close, the coaching staff hasn't stopped looking to improve. They continue to search for an offensive game changer who would take up one of the team's Designated Player slots. The Crew don't currently have a target, but the money is there for the right player.

Monday, March 5, 2012

3/5/2012: (Video- Crewture CCTV) 3000 Individuals, 1 Nordecke

In lue of the lack of Columbus Crew action this preseason weekend, on Saturday night I put together the following video highlighting the fans in the Nordecke called 3000 Individuals, 1 Nordecke:

Not the most brillant video ever, but gets me amped to be back in that corner surrounded by sweaty hooligans and creepy people in masks.

3/5/2012: Crew Cancelled But Desert Diamond Cup Garners Attention To MLS

Desert Diamond Casino Cup drew nearly 10,000 per game for MLS preseason contests.

3/5/2012: Crew Cancelled But Desert Diamond Cup Garners Attention To MLS
By Ryan Kozlowski

The Columbus Crew wanted to give their starting XI a run out against D.C. United, in preparation for their MLS opener against the Colorado Rapids on March 10th, but torrential rain and thunderstorms cancelled that opportunity for Warzycha's Crew charges on Saturday.

Disappointed. I checked out the Desert Diamond Casino's Preseason Challenge Cup on MLSSoccer.com late Saturday evening. I was blown away and impressed at the crowds in Tuscon, Arizona for what was essentially a MLS preseason scrimmage (pictured above).

In the finale and for most of the tournament, crowds of over 10,000 packed the former baseball field, Kino Sports Complex, to watch glorified scrimmages- concluding with a finale where the Galaxy's B team saw off the Revolution's B Team.

I couldn't believe my eyes since the Crew, once in a while, struggle to get 10,000 for that once off regular season game that happens on Wednesday.

Overall, these healthy preseason crowds are a good sign as MLS clubs are a draw nowadays in even non-MLS areas such as Tuscon. Also, similiar to Major League Baseball, it's refreshing to see there are towns staking a claim to be a permanent MLS preseason destination by hosting major pre-season MLS tournaments.

Currently, either a MLS club goes to Tuscon, Charleston, or the Disney Challenge in Orlando, Florida for their final tune up before the MLS regular season. 5 years ago destinations for MLS preseason were hap-hazard and on and off, today there nearly set in stone and bringing in more fans. Thumbs up.

New club: Tuscon FC Est. 2012

In Tuscon in particular, I'm surprised they only have a PDL club with their healthy numbers for a preseason MLS tournament. However, a lot of clubs with higher aspirations start off at the PDL level to downgrade costs until they can build a dedicated fan base

I worked for a Dayton Dutch Lions FC club (that was PDL at the time, now USL-Pro) and I doubt currently they could (or a lot of similiar level teams could) pull off a tournament of the caliber that FC Tuscon made happen in partnership with Desert Diamond Casinos.

Therefore, I wouldn't be surprised if this Tuscon FC club at least moved up to USL-Pro or NASL in the near future; 10,000 for MLS preseason even makes Tucson not a bad option for MLS in the distant future.

**In lue of the lack of Columbus Crew action this preseason weekend, on Saturday night I put together the following video highlighting the fans in the Nordecke called 3000 Individuals, 1 Nordecke:

Not the most brillant video ever, but gets me amped to be back in that corner surrounded by sweaty hooligans and creepy people in masks.

**As the slow Crew soccer news week continues, Columbus's Business First, broke the news of some new Crew advertisement to be adorning downtown Columbus on High Street.

The following will be a 660 ft square mural on 34th North High Street:

The design doesn't impress me much, as I think some Nordecke artists could have come up with a better rendering that may have led to more hits at THECREW.COM; But, any advertisement is better than none, especially when it's 660 square feet.

So, kudos to the front office for getting the Crew some more face time.

**Even if it looks like Orange Barrel Media took less time putting it together than it took me to write this article**

Thursday, March 1, 2012

3/1/2012: Crew Disappoint In Final Minutes Again, Good Day For USMNT, Auvray & More News

The Columbus Crew follow a disappointing tie against weaker opponents Charleston, with an even more disappointing 1-0 loss against rivals, the Chicago Fire, on Wednesday.

The Crew started off with an array of solid opportunities, including a Chad Marshall shot that hit the post in the 5th minute, but as in past year's finishing was the Crew's main issue.

The Crew couldn't capitalize, but the Fire's Uruguayan sensation Federico Puppo did when he got into the Crew's box and had his one chance in the 80th minute, the South American buried it; This latest result leads to more questions on whether Warzycha's side has the offensive firepower to compete without an attacking designated player in their ranks to start the season?

Warzycha has said that winning was not the main issue for the Columbus Crew going into this Carolina Challenge Cup, it's about making progress game-to-game. Nevertheless, the Crew shouldn't make disappointing ties and losses a habit going into the regular season. Further, against MLS sides, the Crew are already having trouble finding goals.

Warzycha in the upcoming games may want to look to build team chemistry and player-to-player familiarity more, which isn't there yet, instead of giving starts to new and unfamiliar trialists.

Warzycha was pleased with trialist Nemanja Vukovic's 45 minutes against Charleston and gave the trialist the start against the Chicago Fire.

**Warzycha also gave another trialist, who arrived out of thin air, in Stephane Auvray(pictured below) the start as well against the Chicago Fire.

Auvray, 30, plays mainly defensive midfield. A position where the Crew are stacked with Balchan, O'Rourke, and a couple of others.

Auvray had over 150 appearances for French Ligue 2 side Vannes OC from 2004-2009 and has logged minutes for other French clubs such as Nimes Olympique.

However, since 2010 Auvray, the Gaudeloupe captain, has struggled to make a name for himself in MLS.

In the 2010 season, Auvray made 27 appearances for Kansas City, and then was traded to New York in 2011 where he only made 6 appearances, before being released this December.

**One bit of good news yesterday was the USMNT team's shock win against Italy in Italy, followed up by the U-23's solid 2-0 win over the Mexican U-23.

The United States beat the Italians for first time in U.S. Soccer history. Even more impressive was it was in Italy, in Genoa where the Italians have never lost.

What was impressive, on the field, was no freaking out on the ball when there was defensive pressure, not always taking the first option but sometimes the second or third, as well as solid defense and good communication on offsides trap. I like what I'm seeing from Klinsmann. Shea, Johnson, Willaims are solid additions. Edu, Altidore are maturing. Dempsey, Bradley possibly world class along with Donovan.

Good positives for the U.S. program as they continue to build towards World Cup qualifying.