Grantland.com's Roger Bennett and U.S. Men's National Team legend Alexi Lalas have constructed a guide for fans looking to jump on an MLS club's bandwagon. Here's what the two have to say about Crew supporters:
A toasty glow radiated out from this club whose fans revel in the Crew’s past glories and hard-hat work ethic. Yet, at the center its genuine midwestern goodness lies a complexity: This is a team that has learned to savor and celebrate everything and everyone unabashedly. It's a trait that makes this the perfect rooting interest for those who savor the big hugs and musical comedy stylings of Glee. William McKinley High School may be located about 90 miles away in Lima, Ohio, but the Crew shares its culture of upbeat, tolerant humanism. Witness Frankie Hejduk, a fish-out-of-water Finn Hudson type who arrived as a laid-back Southern California surfer dude yet somehow fit right in. That's proof this is a team even Blaine Anderson could love. In his words, “If we all share musical shame with each other, we could all become a more cohesive team for regionals.”
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After a break in play during Easter weekend, the Crew Soccer Academy returned to action to take on their brethren to the North, the CSA Wolves in Michigan. The weekend clash was the only match for the U-16 and U-18 squads. The U-16s fell to CSA Wolves 3-1 while the U-18s played to a 1-1 draw.
Crew Soccer Academy striker Ahinga Selemani showcased the Academy on the international stage on Sunday, as the CSA Wolves product added the final tally in the United States' 3-0 victory over Haiti in group play of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Panama. The U.S. U-17s are back in action Thursday as they take on Guatemala at 7:00 p.m. ET (FOX Soccer).
On the youth levels, Crew Juniors kicked-off their Crew Youth 2013 Spring Season with the Crew Youth Friendlies, with nearly 100 games played across three days. In addition to the soccer action, a used-gear swap was hosted featuring donated soccer cleats, shin guards, soccer balls and soccer clothing exchanged amongst younger players, with surplus items donated to donated to the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.
CREW YOUTH UPDATE ROUND-UP
Carter Richardson returned to net for the Black & Gold after spending the past few months in Bradenton, Fla. with the U.S. U-17 Residency Program as CSA fell to the Wolves 3-1. Hunter Barone netted a first half brace for the Wolves, while Kalenga Selemani added a third in the 65th minute. Devyn Etling scored CSA's only goal of the match. With the win, the Wolves clinched a playoff spot as they sit atop the Central Conference table in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play. CSA is currently in sixth-place after 18 matches.
The CSA and CSA Wolves U-18 squads played to a 1-1 draw as Nate Kohl and Ben Swanson returned to the Black & Gold. Ali Jawad gave the Wolves a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute before Charlie Reymann equalized for CSA five minutes later. CSA is currently in fifth place of the USSDA U-18 Central Conference, while the Wolves trail in ninth-place.
The CSA U-16s and U-18s return to action on April 20 when the squad travels to St. Louis to face the Scott Gallagher Metro and Missouri teams. The CSA Wolves U-16 and U-18s are in action this weekend as they travel to face Milwaukee FC on Saturday at 11:00 a.m. ET and Sockers FC in Chicago on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. ET
Jared Montz, former MLS player and founder of OnlineSoccerAcademy.com, visited Columbus for his series “Soccer Walking America.” The 45-day, 15-city video series tour promotes World Malaria Day and hits every MLS city in the U.S.
Check out his visit to Crew Stadium and club training as he juggles with Black & Gold players Dominic Oduro, Ben Speas, Konrad Warzycha and Wil Trapp.
For more information on Soccer Walking America click here.
The Crew travels to Montreal for the first of three matches with the Impact in 2013 this Saturday. Before the Black & Gold head north of the border, let's look back at the three meetings between the two sides in 2012.
A 16th minute red card to Impact defender Jeb Brovsky, followed by a Milovan Mirosevic penalty kick at the half-hour mark lifted the Crew its first win of 2012 in last year's home opener. A second half goal from Olman Vargas on the end of a Shaun Francis cross put the icing on the cake in the first-ever meeting between the two sides.
In its first trip to Stade Saputo, the Crew saw its 1-0 lead vanish in the final 12 minutes of the match after Zarek Valentin's 78th minute tally drew the Impact level. An 89th minute penalty surrendered by Chris Birchall spelled doom for the Black & Gold as Patrice Bernier converted from the spot to lead the home team to victory.
Battling back from a 1-0 deficit at home, Federico Higuaín provided assists to Chad Marshall and Emilio Rentería to lift the Crew to its fourth-straight victory. Rentería's stoppage time tally was the Black & Gold's third-straight winner to come in the final 10 minutes of play.
Following Saturday's 1-1 draw with the Philadelphia Union, the Crew Reserves returned to action Sunday morning to face the Michigan State Spartans at Crew Stadium. The Black & Gold Reserves were victorious 4-0 behind three first half goals from Konrad Warzycha, Ryan Finley and a penalty kick from Jairo Arrieta. Shawn Sloan added a fourth tally in the 80th minute.
The Crew Reserves are back in action May 4 against the New York Red Bulls following the First Team match at 4:00 p.m. ET.
CREW VS. MSU
Lineup: Matt Lampson (Daniel Withrow, 65' ); Chad Barson, Eric Gehrig, Kevan George, Drew Beckie (Kyle Hyland, 20'); Ethan Finlay (Beckie, re-enter 78'), Matías Sánchez (Shawn Sloan, 46'), Konrad Warzycha (Wil Trapp, 60'), Justin Meram (Bernardo Anor, 46'); Ryan Finley (Aaron Schoenfeld, 60'), Jairo Arrieta (Lucky Mkosana*, 46').
CLB - Warzycha 5'
CLB - Finley (Meram) 15'
CLB - Arrieta (Penalty) 33'
CLB - Sloan (Hyland) 80'
From Burkina Faso to Malaysia to Finland, today's match between the Crew and Philadelphia Union will be broadcast in 88 countries worldwide. Of course, for fans in Ohio the match will be telecast on FOX Sports Ohio. It is also available online via MLSLive and as part of the Direct Kick package.
Here is the full list of availability around the world:
Nex Media: (Indonesia)
Canal + Scandinavia: (Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden)
Sport Klub: (Hungary)
TEN Sports: (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka)
Sport TV: (Slovenia)
Setanta Africa: (Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Comoros Islands, Congo Brazzaville, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, St. Helena, Swaziland, Togo, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zanzibar, Zimbabwe)
Al Jazeera: (Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE and Yemen)
Arena Sport: (Former Yugoslavia - except Slovenia)
Astro Supersport: (Malaysia, Brunei)
U.S. Soccer celebrates its 100th anniversary Friday. While the Crew has only been involved in the past 18 years, the organization has left its mark on soccer in the United States.
Through the Crew's 18 years, 37 players that have donned the Black & Gold either as a player or coach have also earned a cap with the U.S. Men's National Team at some point during their playing career. Forward Brian McBride (95 caps), Frankie Hejduk (85 caps) and Brad Friedel (82 caps) have represented the U.S. more than any other Crew players past and present. McBride scored 30 times in his International career, the most of any Crew player to wear the Red, White and Blue.
Chad Marshall and Eddie Gaven are the only current players to earn a call-up to the USMNT.
Famous for hosting three U.S. versus Mexico FIFA World Cup Qualifiers - all 2-0 victories for the United States - Crew Stadium has become the go-to venue for hosting the rivalry when it matters most. Crew Stadium will once again welcome the U.S. and Mexico for a 2014 World Cup Qualifying Hexagonal round match on September 10, 2013.
In total, the Yanks are 6-0-3 in Columbus. The United States has only surrendered one goal in nine matches at Crew Stadium.
The U.S. Women's National Team has also seen success in Columbus. The U.S. Women are currently 4-1-0 in Crew Stadium. Crew Stadium was also selected as one of the host venues of the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup. 22,828 fans were in attendance to see the USWNT to a 3-0 victory over North Korea.
Heading into Final Four weekend, rookie Wil Trapp owns a seven point lead over Aaron Schoenfeld after correctly selecting four out of the Elite 8 teams in the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship bracket. However, if Louisville beats Wichita State, Drew Beckie could win the 2013 Crew Bracket Challenge. Every player chose exactly one of the Final 4 teams, and Beckie is the only one that has a National Championship hopeful with Louisville.
- Wil Trapp - 183 pts.
- Aaron Schoenfeld - 176
- Drew Beckie -169
- Eric Gehrig - 159
The Scoring System:
- 3 points for each team correctly picked to advance to the Round of 32.
- 5 points for each team picked in the Sweet 16.
- 10 points for each team in the Elite 8.
- 25 points for each team in the Final 4.
- 50 points for each team in the National Championship.
- 100 points for correctly picking the National Champion.
The Crew welcomed Zimbabwean forward Lucky Mkosana on-trial with the club on Thursday. Mkosana most recently spent time with the Harrisburg City Islanders of USL-PRO, where he scored seven goals in 16 appearances last season. As a trialist with the Philadelphia Union last fall, Mkosana scored against the Crew in a Reserve League match.
Mkosana was drafted 23rd overall by the Chicago Fire in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, but was not signed after preseason training.
Photo: The Dartmouth
The following story is in reference to Sirk's Notebook: Medeival Times.
‘Twas a night intended for glory. Two months into the epic anguish known as “preseason,” the figurative Black and Yellow Knights of Columbus desired an evening of majesty, excitement, and copious amounts of medieval fare. The greatest warriors of the lands convened in the mysterious realm known as Orlando. Little did the young squires know, this…was a night of fate and destiny.
With per diem weighing heavy in their pockets, the (figurative) Knights of Columbus felt the manly urge for meat and mead. After much deliberation and angst amongst themselves, it was determined that an evening watching the greatest warriors of any dinner show in the mysterious land of Orlando, and stuffing their faces, was in order. The small brigade of eight (figurative) Knights of Columbus boarded their great white carriage which happened to be a large Chevy passenger van. Escorted by their fearless leader, Andrew of House GreenTree (more widely known by his war name ‘The Hebrew Hammer’) the (figurative) black and yellow Knights of Columbus made their two mile journey to the castle of Medieval Times Orlando. As they disembarked their great white chariot, their eagerness as they sauntered across the moat and through the castle gates was palpable.
After a small amount of waiting in a line full of peasants and peons, the (figurative) Knights of Columbus had their chance to order their tickets. Fully expecting a lofty price of entry per person, the Knights were pleasantly surprised by the generous group rate with which they were given. Following the purchase and the less than necessary and fully creepy comments from their ticket wench, the knights realized the gravity of the seats they were assigned. The knight with which they were now linked to, in both honor and allegiance, was indeed the Black and Yellow Knight. This twist of fate only heightened the excitement for the young brigade. As the knights made their way inside, they were stopped by some wizardry which captured their images which could later be purchased for $9.99 plus tax. The image has since been recognized as one of the greatest depictions in Columbus Crew lore.
The waiting area was full of common folk buying expensive and useless trinkets. The knights’ throats were dry, and needed quenching. The barkeep had a familiar dialect to one of the knights. Young Konrad of House Polandia (more commonly known by his war name ‘The Polish Pistol’) was more than willing to converse with the bar wench in their common tongue of Polandia. After acquaintances were met, the (figurative) black and yellow Knights of Columbus patiently waited for their group to be called into the arena…group yellow 4.
The King’s Herald beckoned for the yellow 4’s and the black and yellow (figurative) Knights of Columbus made their way to the arena. They found their places and patiently waited for their feast to begin. By this point, it was clear that the devotion to the Black and Yellow knight held no equal comparatively to the other crowds. Daniel of House Withrone (known by his war name ‘Otto’) staked his claim as the black and yellow section leader through his extroverted loyalty to their cause. He let his voice be heard throughout the arena, and spurred his companions to voice their support. By this point in the challenges, whether it be jousting, swordplay, horse-riding, or spear throwing, it was clear that the black and yellow knight was far superior to his competitors. The (figurative) Knights of Columbus took every chance they could to ensure that everyone in the arena was aware of their knight’s superiority. One may even go so far as to classify it as “yellow swag,” as there is no basketball or football team in the Land of Columbus. Soon it became evident that even the other opposing knights themselves had come to recognize and spurn the black and yellow section. Some may have classified the black and yellow (figurative) Knights of Columbus’ support as obnoxious…and it probably was. However, the knights themselves could feel their support truly making a difference. Young Eric of House Gehrigan took it upon himself to even provide our knight with the war name, “The Hammer.” It only seemed fitting due to his overwhelming power, girth, and work ethic. Young Eric of House Gehrigan even went so far as to start chants of “Hammer! Hammer! Hammer! Hammer!” which surprisingly enough, everyone in the Black and Yellow section willingly joined.
Nearing the later portion of the festivities, it was clear the opposing knights were getting annoyed. The Blue Knight (presumably from Montreal) went so far as to make gestures to the (figurative) Knights of Columbus as they heckled him. No one had ever believed it possible, but not only had the (figurative) Knights of Columbus managed to rattle the Blue Knight, they had managed to get him to break character. Challenge after challenge, the Black and Yellow Knight imposed his dominance over his competitors. In the final sword duel, while there were times that he looked in dire peril, the young (figurative) Knights of Columbus were there to support him on to victory. The Black and Yellow Knight was the Champion of Medieval Times. What an incredible twist of fate. The Knights of the Columbus Crew immediately came to the realization of how incredible this night truly was. Not only were they destined to represent the same colors with which they embody on the field of battle, but those colors evoke undying devotion from their supporters at Crew Stadium as well. And above all, the Black and Yellow Knight was crowned the champion, the ultimate goal that these young men strive for every single day.
Following the exodus out of the arena and into the common room once again, all of the defeated knights were there to mingle with the common folk. As the troop of (figurative) Knights of Columbus made their way through the people, they were tickled to overhear comments such as, “Not THESE guys again,” and “Oh geez, it’s THOSE guys.” They took those comments as endearing compliments, and continued our search to convene with their champion. By happenstance, the young men ran into the Blue Knight. After a laugh, the Blue Knight ensured the knights that everything was predetermined, and that they had no sway in the outcome of the evening. Joshua of Kleve Land advised us all to blow these comments off entirely, as he had both sensed and labeled the Blue Knight (presumably of Montreal) as a sore loser. And then, like an angel coming from the heavens, the Black and Yellow knight emerged. He had an aura, an ambiance about him. After the young men rushed him to show their gratitude and support, it became apparent that the (figurative) Knights of Columbus legitimately embarrassed this man. However comical it was, the brigade implored for a group photo. Everyone stood proud to be in the presence of the champion. Justin of the Meramese Islands and Kyle of the High-Lands may have even shed a few tears of appreciation and admiration. Following the Tebowing in front of the King himself, the (figurative) Knights of Columbus took their leave.
They frolicked to their great white Chevy carriage, already reminiscing one of the greatest evenings of their lives. With flags, cups, and crowns in hand, Andrew of House GreenTree lead them back to Castle Embassy Suites. With the taste of victory and fare still on their lips, the atmosphere was rather energetic on the two mile return venture. The young men of the black and yellow disembarked their motorized carriage already recollecting upon their exploits. As the (figurative) Knights of Columbus scampered briskly up the steps of Castle Embassy Suites, they had heard a foreign ruckus that caught their ear in a nearby living quarters. Eyeing that the door to this area was ajar, full of both zeal and excitement, the young men burst within the room. Much to their incredulity and anticipation the room was filled with fellow Black and Yellow (figurative) Knights of Columbus. These particular Black and Yellow knights, however, were representative of the faraway lands of Sudamericanos (known for their technical skills, questionable attire, and uncanny ability to all fit in the same vehicle). The immediate interaction was full of shouting, astonishment, and uncertainty. After the photographs were shoved in the faces of the Sudamericanos, they began spewing questions to the (figurative) Knights of Columbus in some strange language. One Sudamericanos (figurative) Knight of Columbus seemed to take the lead over the others in his bewilderment. He was later determined to be the legendary Sir Frederick of House Eegwhyeen (known by his war name ‘Pipa’ and distinguishable by his strange resemblance to hobbits in stature). After it was clear their conversations were taking them nowhere, the young (figurative) Knights of Columbus scrambled out the door just as they had entered it, hastily and awkwardly. It was at this time that the young warriors of the Black and Gold went their separate ways, to relive, revel, and dream of what they had accomplished that grand evening.
Was everything that happened coincidence? Was it just chance that they represented the Black and Yellow? Was it happenstance that the Black and Yellow Knight was crowned Champion of the realm? That is for you to decide, but as a lowly scribe and witness to that night, I happen to think it is indeed a vibrant symbol for things to come.
Mathyew of House Lampsonite