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.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

10/27/16: Perhaps The Biggest Thing That Needs Resolved, Midfield Production

Meram won player of the month and was a positive this season with 5 goals and 13 assists. Yet, Meram and his plus eight in assists (compared to 2015) aside; midfield production overall down a bit strongly in 2016, compared to 2015.

Between Ethan Finlay, Federico Higuaín, Justin Meram, and Tony Tchani 31 goals were scored in 2015.

That same quartet had 16 in 2016.

With Kei Kamara being traded midseason, most expected his loss to be the big void and major difference as the season progressed. How can Columbus replace his 22 goals from 2015?

Well, at the striker position, Columbus actually did plus one better.

Ola Kamara had 16 goals and pair that with Adam Jahn's 5, and 2016 Crew strikers are not far behind Kei at 21 total.

Throw in Kei's beginning with Columbus earlier this year and Crew strikers had 26 goals in 2016.

In comparison, with Jack McInerney's two and Aaron Scheonfeld's lone goal, Columbus strikers had 25 goals in 2015.

Some might say the midfield didn't hurt us in 2016, it was mostly the defense. However, goals allowed wasn't much more elaborate. 5 more goals were allowed in 2016, 58 to 53.

Yes, the defense is better with a full season of Sauro, Naess, Afful, and perhaps Francis together. Still, despite nearly none of that, wasn't the biggest change.

If the midfield scores 10-15 more goals we win about five more games. Probably what separates us most from 2015 and 2016. It's not it or all. But, with everything else (Kei, injuries, etc.) got relatively less focus.

Monday, October 24, 2016

10/24/16: Positives of Decision Day

1. Hopefully the last time we see this. Were yellow and black, distinct. Not a odd resemblance of the city flag that no one in the city would care about or get.

Talk about too much time on your hands. Was a bad idea from the beginning like this season.

Fake smiling so hard.

Farewell Crew. I'm ready for this offseason and some soccer therapy.

Small side note, there's maybe one player in the above picture I want to see starting next year. And not Kei Kamara lol. Berhalter's move to ship him off I totally support after his random, weird Crew attendance twitters.

2. My positives of the 2016 season in one short sentence.

Ola Kamara period.

Columbus got whipped, but there was one positive moment as Ola Kamara scored again.

That's the only positive from this season. Ola Kamara scoring and playing. I hope Berhalter has caught on, doesn't need to start Jahn every 3-4 games.

Think Jahn has done some good things. But, 65th minute on is fine.

3. Portland Timbers, who beat us in the MLS Cup last year in Columbus, were eliminated from the playoffs as well yesterday.

Caleb Porter is a bit um.

And if no one can oodle the Berhalter praises anymore, guess it's good that Porter hasn't done crap at all this year either.

4. Further, New England were officially eliminated since they didn't win 11-0.

Good thing Kei Kamara could really show Columbus by not making the playoffs either. Too focused on his twitter and whether a Crew game is officially a sell out.

Honestly, here's to him just focusing on his game again next season. Hope he can.

Here's to Columbus doing it as well. Hopefully cutting a lot of dead weight off of this team and making the correct offseason acquisitions.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

10/18/16: New Stadium In Columbus Survey

Somewhere like the Short North would be appealing. If there was any room to put a stadium.

As many Crew fans received yesterday, I received an email regarding possibilities for a new stadium with a survey.

The entire survey is below with my answers if you care. I would pause every time a question comes up if you want to read them:

If a new stadium was to occur in the future for the Columbus Crew and Mapfre was to be replaced.. The debate is on one end, "Yes.  Mapfre, CCS is a bit old and unremarkable, could be much better." "Yet, it's historically the first Major League Soccer stadium and it's also where USA vs. Mexico happens, dos a cero, and does that still happen if it goes?"

I'm between both sides and more into regard to Crew history compared to US National Team history. Although, that's important as well. Not just for soccer fans but for the city.

USA vs Mexico at Crew's Mapfre is bringing people from across the country into Columbus for a weekend every two years. I'm sure it's a nice thing for downtown business that week. Not something they would like to lose.

Also, I think this is a very good point by Chris LaMacchia as well; as it would be nice if one place in MLS stayed a bit historic.

Renovations? Without a doubt. Replacement? Never.

Think of it this way: Mapfre might not be a shining jewel of a stadium, but no one was clamoring to replace Fenway or Wrigley after 20 years. And if they had, what cathedrals would baseball have now? Look at what the Steinbrenner kids did to The House That Ruth Built - its a parking lot now. Not to mention the Polo grounds and Ebbits and all the rest. Do history and character mean nothing to anyone anymore?

Also: If Mapfre goes away, that will make the StubHub Center (or whatever it's called now) the oldest stadium in the league. Talk about the antithesis of cathedral.

Unless the Crew put in a ridiculously beautiful canopy stadium downtown in the right location with the Nordecke still in a north corner of a stadium. FYI, Nordecke is German for "North Corner" so watch them put the supporter groups in the South bleachers of a new stadium lol. If all those weren't right, would be less keen on it.

Especially considering it's debatable whether Columbus would just make it worse compared to getting it right.

Perhaps, just build roofs on Mapfre Stadium and improve it to a grand degree. Put $50 million more into the stadium. Maybe get a bit more creative, better with ticket sales, although that happened apparently this year despite bad results and what a certain Kamara says on his twitter lol.

If you need a comparison, look at the renovations at BMO Field it looks like a grotesquely better stadium than the one we went to as Crew fans in 08, 09.

Also, if you want bars, shopping. Buy the land or work out something with the city to just put it around the current stadium. Why not. I'm sure that area could use it.

Further, Rock on the Range must be a cash cow for them with how much it was in this survey. Question do they want two of those? Just put an EDM festival there on another weekend.

Sure it would work out the same and might be cheaper actually. Have no interest in Rock on the Range but EDM festival. Yeah. Ohio University has one every year in some crap field. Crew Stadium would work better.

Overall, of course, I'm interested in a new stadium. Has completely changed Sporting KC for example. But, has to be right or might be better to renovate the current dramatically instead.

I liked that Short North was included. I find that a bit interesting with the nice restaurants and bars in that area, if you somehow could nestle a stadium in there. That would be excellent.

I went to The Short North to eat at The Pearl Restaurant before the season opener with my mom. A personal favorite.

Another poster mentioned:

The lease is up in eight years. A renewal would be for 25 more. USMNT or not, it's great that they're already starting.

I don't expect a new stadium to come up anytime soon, if perhaps ever. So, when in the survey they asked for additional comments I put additional comments on how to improve the current stadium and experience.

Some backdrop. Since 2008, just walked to games with other Nordeckians. Never drove to the stadium or had to deal with the parking lot, walked, went to Ruby's or the tailgate in the parking lot beforehand, didn't usually go crazy but had a few drinks.

I never could understand why other parts of the stadium were so empty. I'm like this is a blast!

Well, this year I went to the season opener like a normal sober fan, family. Two midfield seats, me and my mom, we drove into parking lot, went to team store.

What I wrote

"The new entrance to the stadium right after Lowe's was a bit awful for the season opener. Traffic seemed to run a lot smoother when everyone entered the second entrance to the stadium on that same road. But, looked closed off.

We were directed into VIP parking. I don't know if it was on accident or on purpose. But, I'm like yeah were not supposed to park in here. But, the exits were blocked with cones and it took us 15 minutes to get into regular parking.

It was really a bit confusing, and started an argument between us. And I figure I know Crew parking a bit better than most so wonder what arguments it starts for people new to the stadium.

Once we got that down. We had about two hours before the game so we went to the team store (or rather team closet). My first time in there actually and I've been going to games since 06'. Perhaps now last time, lol, wasn't good.

First off, probably a 40 minute line. If you guys do build a new stadium how about making that a half wing of the stadium and perhaps make the prices a bit more reasonable.

I came in with the direct intention of buying something with the new Crew SC logo. Because although I would consider myself quite a fan I have nothing. But, some sweaters were 120 bucks.

I can get shoes or pants at H&M for $30. So, not interested in going to pay $120 bucks for a meh sweatshirt no matter what's on it. Should get Homage or some other downtown store that sells shirts in charge of your team store and direction.

Tried to leave. The only way to leave was through a checkout and they were like all confused when I didn't buy anything. I was like uh just want to get out of here.

On the way home, exiting was no better. We were directed through some run down neighborhood despite the highway being right there."

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

10/12/16: Gaven, Schelotto, Hejduk's

Gaven, Schelotto, Hejduk's: Are posts on twitter that are either interesting, fascinating, amusing, and transfer or Crew team related. Mainly of the soccer world. But, once in a while comedic or political. (Fun video example of what is a Gaven, Schelotto, Hejduk).

From possible England manager to Aston Villa this month. Hopefully it works out for Villa they could use it.

Credit to Matt Lampson, lol. That's funny and I believe it.

Crew ticket office could at least have a computer database that these days would fit on a kindle fire even. A previous season ticket holder facts bio to I don't know perhaps point out at least that he is a former player. :-)

I had a call about a year ago, an attempt to enlighten myself by the ticket rep on everything going on at Crew Stadium including new signing at the time Harrison Afful. Don't mind I've run this blog for the last 8 years and came up with the Nordecke name.

But, then Matt Lampson's funny comment turned into something hella weird. As of course, new MLS attendance analyst Kei Kamara was around on twitter to chime in, reply to Matt Lampson.

Could someone confirm for me that Kei Kamara plays for New England?

Perhaps the most sucktastic atmosphere in MLS throughout the history of MLS. Right? Someone should let him know. Not much of a foot to stand on.

I'm thinking Indians vs. Cubs World Series. With our droughts, it only makes sense for us to extend theirs.

Probably right.

10/12/16: Crew May Have Another Homegrown

Crew may have another homegrown player next year.

One 6'5 Alexander Crognale who plays for the University of Maryland and previously for the Crew Academy.

Height wise with an ability to move doesn't come often to the Crew defense. So, yes sir sign him right away.

Looks a bit more dangerous than a few other recent homegrowns.

Dispatch article on Crognale.

10/12/16: What To Watch For Against Chicago

From the other side, Fire head coach Veljko Paunovic:

“What I expect is a reaction, a reaction from the last game,” he said. “I think the last game…losing against one of our rivals that is very, very important for our supporters, the performance wasn’t good, especially in the second half. The first half I would say was good, but the only thing was that we have to convert opportunities, the opportunities we had. I expect a reaction and I expect to see the team playing with pride.”

I wouldn't expect too much Veljko. It seems as a MLS coach that you have to be a glaring optimist at all times. As some clubs appear to fear the soccer mom fans if the team isn't being rambunctiously spiritful enough.

I get you have to say some positive things to keep a job. But, there was nothing positive or good or anything that would make one expect a reaction or pride.

Crew have had several bad performances as well in 2016. But, at least one could expect the team can do better? Perhaps.

I'm unsure after the last game if the Chicago Fire can do much better. They deserve that bottom spot.

And for Paunovic. A lot of new coaches get an uptick of results from being the new guy. At least for a little while.

His team is three points worse than the Chicago Fire from last year, who were in last place as well.

So, in closing, it could be always worse Crew fans.

This Time Against Chicago, Harrison Afful Likely Out

A bit of a factor. Considering this set the tone in the last game:

Afful started both games for Ghana during the FIFA break. A World Cup qualifying 0-0 tie against Uganda and a 1-1 friendly tie against South Africa.

Afful created just the one goal for Ghana over the FIFA break as he was fouled in the box causing a PK for Ghana to take the lead over South Africa.

Then he left the game in the 62nd minute with a bit of an injury. Yet, whether serious unlikely that Afful would've been around Thursday either way, unless he is a cyborg, with playing in Africa on Tuesday.

All that aside. Probably unlikely to matter much unless all results go this way.

Nevertheless, just wanted to thank Hernan Grana for leaving early last year. That worked out a bit. A guy that's a out and out starter for Ghana, 65 Caps or a guy that currently plays for a second division Argentinian team.

Anyways, whoever plays in Afful's position Thursday. Nowhere as good. So, hopefully someone else steps up around the field.

Opponent Fan Take:

Just a new thing in the "What To Watch For" post. Actually a comforting read considering there's not many others doing worse than us.

Prediction: Columbus Crew 2 (Ola Kamara if he plays 57th minute, Meram 72nd minute) Chicago Fire 1 (David Accam sometime)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

10/8/16: Playoff Best Case Scenario

The season could end like this if every result goes the Crew's way. I have a breakdown of the results that would cause the season standings to look like this on October 26th, below the standings chart. Maybe not as extreme, impossible as one would think:
Now it's unlikely that the Impact, DC United, and Philadelphia will all finish the season with two losses. But, the Crew need one of the three to do it and they need to win all three that they have remaining to gain the last playoff spot.

With their up and down seasons, it's foreseeable that one of those three will finish with two losses. So, it's just up to the Crew really if they can win the last three.

Here's where we currently stand:

Columbus must win out first off. Starting with a obviously navigable second game in a row vs. the Chicago Fire this upcoming Thursday at their place.

Columbus 3- Chicago Fire 1

Followed up by a Sunday match at NYRB.

If the Crew win out they will have 44 points and could eclipse Philadelphia, DC, and even the Impact. To get past the Impact, Montreal would have to get a couple goals worse on GD while the Crew improves.

But, if the Crew were to win 3 and Montreal loses two, that would occur.

Crew on Sunday October 16th would prefer a loss for DC United and Montreal. As well as at least a tie for the Revolution game. Further, a win for Orlando City over the Philadelphia Union.

Chicago Fire 2- New England 2
NYCFC 3- DC United 2
Columbus Crew 2- NYRB 1
Toronto 2- Montreal 1
OCFC 3- Philadelphia Union 2

Orlando City, tied with us on points currently would then have 38 with a win, but we would hopefully have 41. All Orlando City can achieve is 41, we can still get to 44. So, if they beat Philadelphia, the Union would then go into the last week at 42.

The next week, October 23rd the Crew would like to see Orlando City win again at home against DC. Philadelphia lose or tie. New England can lose, tie, or win.

Orlando City 4- DC United 2
Columbus Crew 3- NYCFC 2
NYRB 1- Philadelphia Union 0
New England 3- Montreal 0

If those magic results were to occur.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

10/6/16: Gaven, Schelotto, Hejduk's

Gaven, Schelotto, Hejduk's: Are posts on twitter that are either interesting, fascinating, amusing, and transfer or Crew team related. Mainly of the soccer world. But, once in a while comedic or political. (Fun video example of what is a Gaven, Schelotto, Hejduk).

Yesterday was Crew legend's Stern John's birthday.





Tuesday, October 4, 2016

10/4/16: Thoughts vs. Chicago

Duka joins goal charts of Crew SC in 2016, thanks in part to one hell of a pass. Picture by Greg Bartram

The Crew played well enough on Saturday at home to saunter off with a 3-nil win against a legitimately shambolic Chicago Fire side.

In comparison, hopefully we were just pretending to be shambolic for a while. Yet, despite win as usual found something to disagree with.

How Many Goals Does Ola Have To Score To Start Every Game?

If I was Ola I would be rather annoyed with Saturday. Sitting the bench against Chicago. Like sitting a sizzling T-Bone in front of a German Shepard with an electric fence around it.

Just enjoy watching all the space and opportunity Ola. And your opportunity to get to the top of the goal scoring charts go bye-bye.

4 or 5 goals watching Saturday wouldn't be impossible over two games against this Fire for him. Could've put himself very close to the top of the goal scoring charts. Hell, he still almost had one in his limited minutes.

I don't think Adam Jahn is terrible and makes chances occur in a different way. But, if you need to start someone new give either Clark, Parkhurst, or Meram a deserved break. Not someone still fighting for something.

Ola deserves a chance at the charts. The guy had two months on the sideline to start the season. So, he doesn't really need that time compounded on the bench undeservedly at the end of the season.

For Ola, two more goals wasn't unfathomable with a full 90 Saturday. The entirety of the game for the Crew was wide open; as wide open as it gets. There couldn't be a better chance for a striker to score in MLS.

His replacement Adam Jahn tried but his touch on the ball killed three attacks first half. I'm guessing Berhalter is hoping that Jahn morphs into a more friendlier Kei with his height. But, when Berhalter complains about a small Ola drought Jahn doesn't fill the void, any lingering questions with goals.

Further for Berhalter, you would think that having Ola near the top, if not at the top, of the charts would help him. No?

If anyone says "Hey Berhalter, man getting rid of Kei was a terrible idea!" He could say "uh well, his predecessor Ola won the goal scoring charts" and walk away.

Ola was 5 goals back of the goal scoring lead on a cooling BWP. But, with him sitting the bench now he's 6. Credit to whoever could argue that a start Saturday would hurt his figures.

Other Than That Good I Guess

The 3-0 win could be slated as much to the Chicago Fire roster and coach being utter crap by MLS standards; as it could be slated to a 'wonderful' Crew performance.

I thought it was okay. Yet when Afful's rocket went in the most rando assortment of MLS players (Chicago) put their heads down and it was all Crew.

Credit to these guys for showing. God almost melted saying that:

Not much of anything to cheer about on their end. Hopefully they all had an extra $500 laying around to waste.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

10/1/16: What To Watch For Against Chicago

After Wednesday night, playoff dreams are relatively ready for their bedtime read followed by a siesta until October 2017.

DC won against us.
Montreal won.

That means either Philadelphia at 42 points, Montreal at 41, or DC United at 40 would have to decide to go winless in their last three remaining games; while the Crew would have to win all four that we have left.

Speaking of the Philadelphia Union, if Columbus just won the two games they lost to them at home this season we would be at 38 points and they would be at 36.

That slight change alone in this mucky season would put us in 6th today.

Is what it is. Can't change it.

Chances of making are 1.4% again, so lets put it to bed and just focus on playing well for the rest of the season.

Good Enough and Here's Why

If the Crew continue their new form of winning 50% of their games, would be a vast improvement and build into next season.

I could see Columbus finishing in this way:
Better than the prior twelve:

Being competitive again and making some small tweaks in the offseason is a step in a better direction for 2017, compared to where we began 2016.

At Least Were Not Our Opponents

Before you become like me as a Crew fan, a miserable complainer...

Thank the good lord you're not a Chicago Fire fan or a Section 8er. Well, in general, because if you were god bless.

But, Chicago this season and then last:

We've been rather bad this year. But, in that same time span we've had MLS Cup in Columbus.

So, let's take that thought in. Could have two seasons like this.

Chicago is always the best sort of rival as they always make you feel better.

Furthermore, that Eastern Conference win against them was one of the best games I've been to as a Crew fan and Nordeckian. Was electric.

What I Want To See On The Field

Some have asked to give Zack Steffen a run. Perhaps others such as Christian Martinez.

I believe if Steve Clark is 99.9% the man in 2017 he should see it out.

He has been good as of late. His 30th minute save against DC United could've been season saving if Columbus played the second half even better than they played the first.

I would be okay with Martinez getting a start somewhere instead because he could have more of a say definitely next year.

But, I just want Berhalter to do what needs to be done roster wise to give us the best chance to win today and in the next four.

That is most important.

If we could end 2016 as positive as possible. 2017 has a better chance to start off as positive as possible as well.

Crowd Color Demonstration

I don't know if this demonstration got enough push to happen throughout the stadium.

But hope it's at least achieved or tried in the Nordecke; as the section alone would look cool enough yellow, black, yellow, black.

Prediction: Columbus Crew 2 (Ola Kamara 17th & 65th) Chicago Fire 0