Ohio Soldiers from the 37th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and their coalition partners on Camp Mike Spann, Afghanistan, offer up encouragement to the Columbus Crew for the upcoming 2012 Military Appreciation Night. From all of Crew Soccer Nation, thank you for your service and come home safe! Go Crew!!
A limited supply of tickets remain for the supporters' trip to Bridgeview this weekend. As of Wednesday afternoon, only five bus spots were open on the two buses the NorOnTour is taking to watch the Crew take on the Fire, according to Kevin McCollough, a member of Crew Union leadership. In all, the supporters groups have sold 205 of the 250 seats in Section 134 at Toyota Park.
To purchase your tickets, head to CrewUnion.com. Tickets will be sold until Friday at noon.
Since its debut on March 31 in Toronto, Robert Warzycha has earned style points among the Black & Gold faithful for the sleek black Adidas jacket he's sported on the touchline. Every time the Crew head coach wears the jacket, tweets begin to roll in from fans asking where they can purchase the latest piece of outerwear in Warzycha's wardrobe.
The bad news for Crew fans: Warzycha's jacket is the only one of its kind that exists.
When I asked Warzycha about the jacket's origins, the Crew head coach replied, "It's one of a kind. I can't say."
To learn more of the jacket's mysterious beginnings, I consulted defending MLS Equipment Manager of the Year Rusty Wummel for answers.
"It's a one of a kind jacket," Wummel explained. "When the whole line changed over, because everything goes through a cycle and it will change over again in the next couple of years, that jacket was a prototype presentation suit jacket to be used for travel, appearances, and also for games."
"Somewhere along the way, that jacket was switched to our yellow hoodie jacket," he continued. "It was a prototype jacket that never made it through production"
The Black & Gold is currently undefeated in the five away matches (Toronto, Portland, San Jose, Seattle, and New England) that Warzycha has worn the jacket. Though Warzycha claims he's not superstitious, he admits he'll have the jacket handy during the summer months when it won't be needed due to the 90 degree temperatures currently blanketing Columbus.
"Some of the guys wear scarves even in the summer," Warzycha said with a laugh. "I'm at least going to have (the jacket) in the locker room."
Whether or not the jacket is responsible for the Crew's success doesn't take away from the jacket's flair.
"Superstition or not, we're doing well as a team right now," Wummel said. "But it is a cool jacket."
Crew fans get ready to "Put out the Fire" not only on the pitch but also on Twitter! Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #VoteCrew to help spread the word and get out and vote for the Black & Gold for MLS All-Star on July 25th in Philadelphia. The Chicago Fire will be using the hashtag #VoteFire during the same time and just before kickoff on Saturday, June 23rd we will calculate the results between the two teams to see who is the winner.
To vote for your favorite players log onto MLSsoccer.com/allstar or text the player’s last name only to 22442.
Twitter Voting for the First XI players to be named MLS All-Stars will run from 12 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 21 through 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, June 22.
The terms for Twitter voting are as follows:
- An eligible vote consists of #MLSAllStar and the player's full name (first and last required), with or without a space.
- A user may vote for multiple players in a tweet; however, a user may not vote for a single player multiple times within one tweet.
- All users must follow @MLS for their votes to be eligible.
The tweet doesn't actually count as a vote, but the hope is that other fans will be encouraged to participate and vote.
Use the button below to tweet your support!
The Black & Gold battle to a scoreless draw at New England. The current winning streak makes 12 points in the last 6 matches dating back to May 5th. The Crew currently sit alone in 4th place in the Eastern Conference with 19 points.
The editors at MLSSoccer.com have made their picks for this weekend's matches, and yet again, it seems the Crew is the underdog. Five out of six contributors think the Black and Gold will lose this weekend, with editor Andrew Wiebe being the outsider by predicting a draw between the Crew and Revolution.
However, I don't think Crew fans should worry. Let's take a look at these guys' picks from past weeks, shall we?
5/26 vs. Chicago:
Give credit to Nick Firchau and Matt Doyle for going against the trend and picking the home team.
5/23 at Seattle:
5/19 at San Jose:
Just like the editorial staff at MLSSoccer.com, we all make mistakes. I think it's needless to say Robert Warzycha and the Crew enjoy flying under the radar.
Costa Rican Olman Vargas rejoined the Crew at training in Obetz on Thursday after spending the past week and a half representing his country in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. The striker feels he has grown with his experience on the International level.
"It was a really good experience, especially with World Cup Qualifying," Vargas said Thursday through a translator. "The games are different. It made me grow as a player. I hope I can help the team and be called-up for the next qualifying games."
The transition from the Costa Rican national team back to the Crew is a smooth one, Vargas said.
"It's not really difficult, because I know the way that Robert wants me to play," he explained. "The way the team plays is like the way the national team plays. It makes it easy because I was here earlier in the year and adapted to the system and with the group. The transition isn't that complicated."
Vargas came on as a substitute in La Sele's 2-2 draw against El Salvador last Friday, but was unused in Tuesday's win in Guyana.
The striker is fit and says he's ready if called upon by Robert Warzycha on Saturday night.
Following his wedding on Saturday, Crew midfielder Chris Birchall returned to training in Columbus on Wednesday. Birchall traveled to England two weeks ago to help his new wife Lucy help prepare for their nuptials. The Trinidad & Tobago International admits there were some nerves leading up to the big day.
"I was the one that was kind of calm, until the morning and then it really hit me," he said. "(Lucy) was nervous throughout the whole week that I was back, and understandably. She had organized everything so just wanted it to all come together for the day."
"It's quite a blur, because so much happened in the day," he added. "It's a day we'll never forget and that's the way it's probably how it's supposed to be."
The newlyweds are planning their honeymoon for the offseason and Birchall hopes Lucy and their three-year-old son Ashley will be able to move to Columbus within the next 4-5 weeks.
Sporting his new wedding band at the training grounds in Obetz on Wednesday, Birchall was happy to be back to business as usual.
"For me, this is my bread and butter. It's what I get paid to do," he said. "I'm glad to be back here and now concentrating until the end of the season."
The MLS Digital staff has sung the praises of Crew 'keeper Andy Gruenebaum and defender Sebastián Miranda in their MLS All-Star campaigns, check out the opinions of Armchair Analyst Matt Doyle and MLSSoccer.com Editor Greg Lalas in the videos below.
It was a busy weekend around Crew Nation, here are a few things you may have missed:
- In Reserve League action, The Crew took down the New England Revoulution 1-0 on Sunday behind Bernardo Añor's 84th minute goal. Ben Speas assisted on the strike in his first action as a professional. Jairo Arrieta also made his debut in Black & Gold, starting up top with rookie Ethan Finlay.
- Olman Vargas came on in the 89th minute of Costa Rica's 2-2 draw against El Salvador on Saturday night. La Sele will play in Guyana Tuesday night before Vargas returns to Columbus in time to join the team for its trip to New England.
- Crew midfielder Chris Birchall got married over the weekend in England. Birchall is expected to return to Columbus with his new wife and three-year-old son this week.
- Robert Warzycha was in attendance for the opening match of Euro 2012 on Friday in Warsaw. He will check out the Poland and Russia match on Tuesday before heading back to Columbus on Wednesday.
- Finally, on the Crew Soccer Academy side of things, Gahanna native Wil Trapp and the United States Under-20 National Team fell to Uruguay 2-0 in Montevideo on Friday. The U-20s will play in Chile on Tuesday before heading to Northern Ireland for the 2012 Milk Cup where the team will play Denmark and Turkey on July 21 and July 23.