The memory of a 2-nil Columbus Crew SC win against the 2018 MLS Cup champion Atlanta United from March 30, 2019, seems like a lifetime ago. Although, given the ‘Waterworld’-level of water from that match (see above), most people who sat through that miserable weather in MAPFRE Stadium probably prefer it stay in the distance memory category of “a lifetime ago.”
Some of these fans are still drying out.
The Crew added a 1-nil victory against the New England Revolution the following week before a 10-game stretch in MLS competition that would see Columbus earn a grand total of four points out of a possible 30 points. This stretch is highlighted by one win, one tie and two particularly embarrassing losses against the worst two teams in MLS.
Unlike in baseball, losing eight games out of 10 is a big deal, particularly since 10 games make up about 1/3 of the MLS regular season.
Perhaps since tonight’s round 2 between Columbus and Atlanta in MAPFRE Stadium is part of the Round of 16 knockout phases of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the Crew will be able to channel a different kind of dynamic energy to recapture its winning ways from a few months ago.
FYI – Tonight’s forecast, interestingly, is a 30-40% chance of rain.
The Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup is different than the MLS regular season, especially for Columbus. Because of how Lamar Hunt worked to bring professional soccer to Ohio’s capital city, the team should prioritize this tournament above most in MLS.
And given the horrible 10-game stretch against MLS competition, the Crew has looked discombobulated in nearly all areas of the pitch. Injuries are a factor, yes, but these injuries are absolutely not an excuse for the uninspired performances on the field since early April. There is enough talent for Columbus to be winning at home and on the road. At this point, it would just be nice to see the Crew simplify its tactical objectives to (re)gain confidence.
As my old club soccer coach used to say, “let the ball do the work.”
Cohesion is simply (and surprisingly) not the name of the game for Porter’s Crew thus far in 2019, despite the team’s roster familiarity and success during the past couple of seasons.
This “Respect Your Roots” painting is located just blocks from MAPFRE Stadium. Ladies and gentlemen, there’s no greater “roots” for the Columbus Crew than Lamar Hunt. We’ll discover tonight whether Porter’s Crew will respect the team’s roots by ensuring a win — no matter the obstacles — in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup game against Atlanta United.
If there’s any year for Columbus Crew SC to respect its roots and shine like never before, you’d think it’d be the season immediately following the remarkable #SavedTheCrew movement. The new Crew stadium being built for the summer of 2021 will be special, but this season unfolding now is a once in a lifetime moment in sports, especially with the backdrop of the USMNT’s humiliating failure to qualify for the 2018 World Cup and this massive soccer city specifically.
It’s long past due for the Crew — and its Columbus fans — to embrace a #ForLamarHunt movement for the man who helped put this amazing thing into motion back in the mid-90s, seeing it through with the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States of America built in Columbus, OH back in 1999.
Porter’s Crew needs to unite not only to win against a formidable Atlanta United this evening but also to show (or remind) Columbus that this team is capable of new growth beyond established roots.
Maybe tonight, Columbus Crew SC will begin the necessary process of saving its 2019 season by winning one for Lamar Hunt’s vision of soccer in America.
2019 MLS Preseason: Check.
2019 MLS Regular Season Kick-off Hype Video for Columbus Crew SC hosting New York Red Bulls on Saturday, March 2: I’m glad you asked…
While it would be fun to hear a certain chant for a certain former owner during tomorrow afternoon’s game, it feels far better knowing the Crew is here to stay in Columbus with a future as bright as the team’s signature banana kits.
MAPFRE Stadium will be electric. And with the fan giveaway being a Crew SC captain’s armband, it’s a fitting gift for the Columbus faithful who were part of and led the #SaveTheCrew movement being able to sport this badge of honor proudly declaring, “Oh captain, we are the captains.”
Be sure to watch Columbus Crew SC vs. New York Red Bulls on SportsTime Ohio at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Sports fans in Ohio and around the country:
The Modell Law–decades after it was enacted after former Cleveland Browns owner Art Modell sleazily moved the Browns to Baltimore back in 1996–has succeeded in helping to keep the Columbus Crew in Ohio’s capital city in 2018.
This lawsuit brought by Ohio Attorney General–and Governor-elect–Mike DeWine several months ago against Major League Soccer (MLS) and then sleazy Crew owner Anthony Precourt, was officially dismissed earlier today. In the case of the Crew, the Modell Law gave new owners time to make a legitimate bid for the team. And it worked. This leads us to today with an exciting announcement that was more than a year in making for fans of the original Black & Gold in MLS:
New owners have officially reached a deal (in principle) to keep the Crew in Columbus.
These aforementioned new owners are the Haslam Family of the Cleveland Browns and the Edwards Family of Columbus. The latter was led by now former Crew doctor Pete Edwards. And while these new owners have been known for a while now, it’s a considerable relief to know that legally there are no more hurdles to jump.
While I could post statements from MLS and a certain former owner on this development, I won’t. There are no apologies included and no recognition of the reality of this embarrassing and frustrating ordeal caused by Commissioner Don Garber’s MLS and a certain former owner of the Columbus Crew.
All that matters right now is the fact this special movement just #Lawyered a professional soccer league like Marshall Eriksen from ‘How I Met Your Mother.’
And it was legen-we don’t have to wait for it because the day has finally arrived when we legally #SavedTheCrew-dary!
P.S. The Ohio legislature should draft and pass a Precourt Law, if for no other reason than to make Anthony Precourt even more synonymous with Art Modell’s shameful legacy as a sports team owner.
Sigi Schmid, an accomplished collegiate and professional soccer coach in America, died yesterday in the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center at the age of 65. He had been hospitalized for three weeks. The reason for his hospitalization was that he was in need of a heart transplant.
For soccer players who were guided by his wisdom of the beautiful game, as well as countless fans, this is devastating news. Sigi Schmid was a dominating force in MLS specifically and American soccer broadly. His coaching resume includes UCLA, a couple runs with the United States U20s, the LA Galaxy, the Seattle Sounders and the Columbus Crew.
As a lifelong Crew fan, Sigi Schmid unforgettably led the original Black & Gold in MLS to the club’s first-ever MLS championship in 2008. In addition to watching that title team play in Columbus throughout 2008, I was lucky enough to watch the Crew defeat the New York Red Bulls 3-1 in Los Angeles with my parents.
That game and celebration were massive.
As is the legacy of Sigi Schmid for the sport of soccer in America. His roster for the 2008 Crew was full of players that weren’t household names in the U.S. yet they became just that when Mr. Schmid was done with them. Moreover, according to ESPN, he holds the honor of “the winningest coach in MLS history.”
Another part of his legacy was wearing a Crew scarf, regardless of the temperature. This tradition revealed his sincere embrace and lifelong membership in the Columbus Crew community.
RIP Sigi Schmid.