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, February 13, 2013

2.14.2013: 2013 Ethan Finlay Coming Out Party?

2.14.2013: 2013 Ethan Finlay Coming Out Party?

Sometimes everyone forgets the promise Ethan Finlay had coming into this league in 2012. His pacey play was very different from other attackers we've had recently (such as Alejandro Moreno, Emilio Renteria, Mendoza, Vargas, and many, many others). 

Finlay also seemed to possess above average ball control and finishing. Therefore, a few draft projectors stated that Finlay perhaps would make an instant impact. 

Because of that pace and his impressive college resume (and their own projections) the Columbus Crew drafted Finlay with their first round, 10th overall pick last season. 

First rounders sometimes have an impact immediately; however, usually any draft player, except perhaps that one star phenom or two, take much more time. 

Some Crew fans forgot overall that this is a process and faster soccer or any harder task for that matter, has a learning curve.

Therefore, if Finlay gets himself in a groove in 2013 and becomes a success in MLS it shouldn't be a surprise. 

As overall very rarely do freshman college players start and put up blistering numbers. Just as very rarely do MLS rookies.

And that was about the case for Finlay in his 2012 rookie season. After some starts at the beginning of the year at forward, Finlay was tried on the wing, and suggested at left back.

In the end of the shuffle, the Crew couldn't seem to find a space in the 11 for this young talent yet. Finlay faded into the backdrop a bit over 13 appearances and no one was able to yet define him.

Nevertheless, the Hermann Trophy Finalist had 43 goals with Creighton and appears to be catching up to that form at the next level in 2013. 

Yesterday, Ethan Finlay terrorized the Philadelphia Union with two goals and an assist. 

Of course, Finlay was facing a diverse mix of Union reserves, starters and trialists, including former Crew Shaun Francis; but still Finlay's 61 minutes yesterday put a exclamation point on a good overall performance this preseason.

A preseason that has Crew fans talking.

The chatter has Finlay as possibly the man that can replace the Rogers and the Duka's on the wing, on the opposite side of Gaven.

Yesterday two goals on the wing counts as yet another resume builder to help Finlay's push for starting time in 2013. 

Finlay's two goals and assist can be added to his other bullet points including a wonderful assist on a Sercan Guivenisik goal, against Chicago in an earlier friendly at IMG.

Overall, it appears that Finlay has built on his experience after one year and 426 minutes of Major League Soccer.

"We didn't skip a beat today, if you want to call us the second team. I think the first unit came in and they played well too. We're trying to push those guys to make our team better." 

Finlay appears to be primed to do more than push the starters this season.

If the Crew are truly playing for a championship this season, they'll need to expect as much from players like Finlay as they do from the Sanchez's and Berti's.

Reached at twitter #CrewtureFanzine, email crewturefanzine@gmail.com, or bigsoccer with the same tag.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

2.5.2013: Nothing Personal, Just Business

Nothing Personal, Just Business (An Inside Look At The Duka and Rogers Rights Trade)

You may be saying to yourself, "what the hell do the Sopranos have to do with a trade of Dilly Duka and the rights of Robbie Rogers?"

Short answer not much. 

Long answer, 
In The Sopranos tv series or any mafia movie, there's always a scenario where the mobsters should:

a.) really kill off someone for breaking the code of conduct

b.) but then the mobsters have second thoughts, think about the good times they've had with violator, the business the violator brought in, blah blah blah, and table what they all really know they should do for a few weeks or months

c.) the few weeks or a month passes, it seems like your all friends again and just going on a good boat ride, and then your reminded of there fat lying face, and bam they are traded to Shitcago or the ocean.

In this mobster scenario (turned elaborate soccer metaphor).. This is putting an issue to bed... Or tying up a lose end. Sometimes you don't like to do it, but it just has to be done.

What I like most about the Dominic Oduro deal is it tied up two loose ends in one swoop.

No longer have to hear... what are we going to get out of Rogers rights? Will Rogers come back someday? Will Duka be forced to play and pout under Warzycha? Nope over. Nothing personal, just business. Issue to bed, sleep with the fishes.

Both topics have been overdone and I'm all for putting clarity to the loose ends.. The less distractions the better.

Same with Mirosevic.. He doesn't want to be here? Ok, put the issue to bed. Sort out the locker room.. "Red rover, red rover, whoever wants to stay here, come over."

Some have responded to the call.. And I would've honestly been fine to tie up the loose ends with a bag of peanuts and a Playboy.. But, Oduro and company seem much more palatable and well... responsible. 

They also have promise.

Oduro, for example, had 7 goals in half a season with another Argentine midfielder who could pass (Grazziani who was not as good as Higuain).. With Higuain pulling the strings there's even more of a possibility of getting use out of Oduro (2013) compared to Duka (of 2012) or Rogers (who was checked out mentally from 2009-2011).

The Crew did the best they could do.. They got rid of two grey fogs over the club, replaced them with someone who appears to really want to be here, who brings pace and something different..

Oduro overall bagged 12 goals in 2011.. Could he do even better here? I can almost guarantee Higuain and Gaven's distribution is better than what he's had or perhaps will ever have. And he's 27.. Strikers usually peak from 28 to 32, or they say..

If it doesn't work out, well I can guarantee Duka and Rogers never would of for us again with 90 percent certainty.. Nor perhaps whatever we traded Rogers rights for otherwise. 

If it doesn't work then can't hate for trying..

And at the very least, it adds two more logs to the build a bonfire rivalry known as the Crew and the Fire..

Monday, February 4, 2013

2.5.2013: Get Behind Your Players

2.5.2013: Get Behind Your Players

Crew fans have been going back and forth on whether Dominic Oduro was the right deal for what the Crew dealt (Dilly Duka, and the rights for Robbie Rogers). There are still questions about other new additions on top of FreakyFast.

But, I think not only on-the-field will Columbus be stronger, but the off-the-field personality and mood of the team has improved as well.

All you need to know, is the following:

And for other new additions:

Yes, A LOT of players say nice things on twitter when they join a new team... But.... here comes the cliche preseason, new transfer, wonderment and hope talk, drum roll.. it really feels like these new acquisitions seem to mean it.

Crew fan: "Hehe tell me more about my beautiful city Viana.. I'll so retweet and favorite."

If they do.. They should mesh well with other players that seem happy to be here like Eddie Gaven, Chad Marshall, and Josh Williams..

Even if they don't, at least it's a good sign that our new signings are not idiots. Got to give props to Dominic Oduro and Viana especially, they've done well to get on the good side of the fans with some kind words from the get go.. They still have to do it on the field, but there twitter posts are a smart first step..

Nothing gets fans all googly-eyed more than positive ego-inducing twittering and best of all, it takes minimal effort.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

2.3.2012: Thoughts From Fire Preseason Friendly

Ryan Finley has been impressive in preseason.

2.3.2012: Thoughts From Fire Preseason Friendly, & Overall

Did not get a chance yet to see the New York Red Bulls game, but watched the Fire preseason friendly the other night. If you haven't caught it, it's here:

My random thoughts from this game:

**High pressure game plan and the fact that Warzycha kept imploring his side, on the sideline, to play high pressure more and more was a good sign. The Crew starters looked way more composed, and passed and moved better than Chicago. Really should have had a goal or two more.

**I really hope the Fire sign their goalie trialist Neal Kitson, it looked like he was trying to gift the Crew a goal with his distribution. He was god awful. On the other hand, Lampson appears to be one of the more technically gifted keepers I've seen for the Crew and appears to make good decisions.

He did have one hiccup second half, but so did about everyone.

Daniel Withrow seemed pretty good as well, didn't seem to be much of a step down, as long as he's not a Noah Palmer were good as far as a third keeper.

**Ryan Finley, unlike the Vargas types and American forward types that have cycled through the Crew over the past few years, will be useful. Not the most technically gifted, but has an incredible engine for a big guy and will allow you to play a high pressure game. 

He's a nightmare for defenders and hassled the Fire back four. Things will bounce to him and I could easily see him bagging 10 goals if he gets the opportunities this season. Good pick up.

**Viana made a couple mistakes but looked good at other times. Very mobile, can get up and down the field, definitely a box to box type. Appears to be a good pickup. 

Wahl looked pretty solid too and mobile, another good pickup.

**Sercan Guvinisik didn't hurt his chances with another goal. He seems like another cerebral player like Federico Higuain, good passer as well. That may be a good backup just in case Higuain has any injuries.  

**Out of all the trialists, I liked Blake Brettschneider. I think he's definitely one guy you have to sign, especially with Duka out of the picture; I could see Brettschneider making a midfield position his own if he continues to play that well.

**Hyland and Warzycha were not bad, not amazing, but did good things as well. I liked Warzycha's efforts to take the ball off the Fire in midfield, Hyland might be in because we don't have many left backs. 

**Actually the least impressive players against the Fire were Ben Speas and Wil Trapp. Speas looked slow and was dispossessed at times (did a few good things) and Wil Trapp is quick and turns the ball well to jump start an attack but disappeared at times. Perhaps they didn't stick out as much as the trialists because the trialists jobs are on the line.

But, Chad Barson looks like good depth for Williams at right back, and was solid in defense when he came in. 

Overall, a lot of positives to look at and we still have to add Glauber Berti, Matias Sanchez, Jairo Arrieta, Andy Greunebaum, and Dominic Oduro to this group.

It appears the Crew are headed in a positive direction. 

Chicago on the other hand looked like a disheveled, out of shape mess at times. I don't think Larentowicz and Lindpere in the middle is enough to keep the rest of that team up in the standings.