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Columbus Crew

25 February 9:39 am

Dilly Duka doing work for the U-23's last night in San Antonio. Dilly scores in the 62' as the U-23's win 3-0 in a scrimmage.

21 February 10:20 am

Crew players try to pronounce Pączki, a traditional Polish treat associated with Fat Tuesday.

 

17 February 10:18 am

In honor of the Columbus Crew's new jersey sponsor, Simon Borg takes out the razor and shaves with a can of Barbasol live on the set on ExtraTime Radio. Listen to the entire show here.

15 February 4:46 pm
14 February 9:55 am

What's up everyone, checkin' in from Bradenton, Fla. Been down here for about a week and a half now, training very hard for our upcoming season. We lost a tough one to Malmo FF on Wednesday, which I'm sure everyone knows. We controlled most of the game and, for the most part, played attractive one-two touch soccer. That's something that, as a team and with the personnel we have, we are determined to do. Being able to attack and build from the defense forward. We have a very talented and deep team this year, as guys are pushing each other hard for spots, which will only bring out the best in all of us and more importantly, the team. The rookies have come in with positive attitudes and are willing to learn. And of course there are the vets (Chad [Marshall], Will [Hesmer], Danny boy [O'Rourke], etc.) leading by example, speaking up when needed. The additions have been great teammates from the get-go, as well. Guys like Milo [Mirosevic], Carlos [Mendes] and Olman [Vargas] all possess great character, which is awesome. Makes ya wanna really lay it all out for each other. I want to, that's for sure!

Off the field, as some of the rookies mentioned in their blogs, guys have been playin FIFA, Settlers of Catan, and other games, including shuffleboard. Visits to the hot tub from time to time have also been much needed and refreshing. I've been able to meet a lot of senior citizens, too, as our apartment complex is loaded with retirees from all over the world! Glad to see them winding down and just livin' it up! When we have meals on our own, we usually spoil ourselves with some goodies. Sushi, Outback Steakhouse and First Watch are a few of the places we've enjoyed. We play credit-card roulette from time to time, too, and Justin Meram was the most recent unlucky winner at First Watch. Thanks for the free meal, boss! Cole [Grossman], Danny, Josh [Williams], Chad and I sure appreciated it! Weather, of course, has been beautiful. Lots of us with burnt faces, but we aren't complaining. I looked like Casper before we got here!

We face the Seattle Sounders in another preseason game on Wednesday, before heading back to Columbus on Thursday. Hopefully we'll take more steps towards becoming better, and if that includes a couple of wins we will take it! We are excited for the upcoming season and hope the Capital City and its fans are too! We sincerely appreciate all the faith and support! Much love!

P.S. -- Shout out to our Head Athletic Trainer, Dave Lagow, and his new assistant Phil, a.k.a. Philly, Philadelphia, Philson Watson as they are doing a great job taking care of our knocks and bruises. Can't forget the great Tucker Walther, either, doin' all the behind-the-scenes work!
 

09 February 3:50 pm

As we landed in Florida, it made me realize how much I missed it – 76 degrees, tropical breeze, palm trees and, most importantly, sunlight… something I haven't seen in a while. It felt like a vacation more than a preseason camp. Our bus trip to Bradenton from Tampa Airport lasted 45 minutes. Right away, we were assigned our rooms and then off to the IMG Fields for a light training session of 5v2s.

So far being a pro has been an amazing experience both on and off the pitch. The coaching staff, new players, veterans, down to the trainers, have all been very welcoming and helpful in the transition from being a collegiate athlete. Everyone seemed very friendly although, on the field, the organization lives up to its creed as the "hardest working." It was as if the sound of a ball transformed everyone into work horses. Every day we work harder and harder and push ourselves beyond limits in the Florida sun to achieve the ultimate goal as MLS champs this year.

After a long session, we cool down, stretch, and do all the necessary things to prepare us for a second session in the afternoon or the following day. One thing that has stood out to me has been the emphasis on diet and rest. After each session, there's a shake and a meal ready for us in the cafeteria. For each  individual, treatment/exercises are tailored to fit your needs. For instance, to maximize peak fitness we use heart monitors, which is something I have never used before.

There are players that I've played against in my college career (the likes of Aubrey Perry for USF) and some from club soccer (such as Andrew Bulls and Ethan Finlay), but we haven't reminisced much about those times yet. The day will come when bragging rights will arise in our conversations, though.

Every day in training has been a fight. The coach has been demanding consistency and quality every day which brings intensity and high speed of play. The vets have been encouraging on and off the field. I have been lucky to establish a relationship with a few of the older guys and they have been giving me good advice that will definitely help me out moving forward.

Off the field, it has been very low-key. Most of my time has been spent either hanging out in our living room watching TV with the roomies or playing FIFA in Aubrey's room. There isn't much to do for fun around Bradenton, so we tend to stay around the apartment complex most of the time. I just stay up to date with Twitter and Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family.

08 February 5:44 pm

After working hard on the field a couple guys decided to take their talents to shuffleboard. Ethan Finlay, Kirk Urso and Rich Balchan (pictured below) are in a heated battle for shuffleboard supremacy.

08 February 11:51 am

1st 60 Minutes Starting XI: 30 - Andy Gruenebaum, 36 - Aubrey Perry, 4 - Carlos Mendes, 14 - Chad Marshall (captain), 35 - Lance Lang (non-roster invitee), 13 - Ethan Finlay, 18 - Kirk Urso, 19 - Cole Grossman, 11 - Dilly Duka, 10 - Milovan Mirosevic, 20 - Emilio Renteria


2nd 60 Minutes Starting XI: 34 - Matt Lampson, 23 - Korey Veeder, 3 - Josh Williams, 16 - Eric Gerhig, 35 - Shaun Francis, 9 - Justin Meram, 5 - Danny O'Rourke, 6 - Tony Tchani, 7 - Bernardo Anor, 15 - Olman Vargas, 32 - Tommy Heinemann

08 February 10:08 am

Time has arrived to play against someone other than your own teammates and the guys are excited to matchup against Malmo FF today in preseason action. The team will play 3 - 30 minute periods in Bradenton, FL. Unfortunately there will be no live video or audio from the match. Follow @ColumbusCrew on Twitter for score updates.

 

07 February 6:10 pm

Crew Strength & Conditioning coach, Brook Hamilton, putting the guys through a pool workout/regeneration in preparation for the Malmö game tomorrow. Much deserved break after a good morning session on the field.