When mentioning Dominic Oduro to any Crew supporter, they usually think of two things – his blistering pace and his love of Papa John's pizza. Today, while his speed was not on display, Oduro managed to share a few slices of his favorite pizza with a group of appreciative supporters in front of Crew Stadium.
“I took off a half-day to come down here”, said Chris Welsh, who enjoyed a piece of pizza with his wife and fellow Columbus Crew season ticket holder, Heather. Oduro joined the couple shortly after they were seated, thanked them for their support and encouraged them to grab another slice.
Oduro, who is not shy about relating his fondness for Crew supporters and his own fans alike, remained humbled by the opportunity to give back after working a personal endorsement with the official pizza of the Crew and Crew Stadium.
“I appreciate the fact that some people are coming from work just to be here for a bite – that really makes me feel happy and proud,” said Oduro at the event, which previewed the special $11 Crew Pie – an extra-large pizza conveniently priced after Oduro’s jersey number – set to launch next week.
“I want to thank Papa John's for making this thing happen.”
Even though the turnout was impressive, as more than 150 slices were distributed in the lunch-hour event, Oduro insisted that he was happy with the idea of a low-key event, for the fans.
“I just want to show my appreciation, at the end of the day, to all of the fans out there. It doesn’t matter how many are in the crowd,” said the 27-year-old Ghanaian. “I’d be excited if just one person showed up.”
Complementing the pizza party, the Crew’s leading goal-scorer also made a personal donation to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank as the culinary-based event called for recognition of helping the less fortunate.
“I’m just trying to give back to the community – it’s just another way for me to try and carry it forward. Hopefully my donation to the Mid-Ohio Food Bank can help to feed a couple of people out there. My hope is that people will see what I’m doing and try to do the same.”
Black & Gold veteran defender Chad Marshall has been a part of every Crew Fest the Black & Gold have hosted since 2005. Marshall again signed autographs and took pictures with fans and he enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the fans this year.
“It’s great. They are spending their hard-earned money to come and support us so anything we can give back to them, whether it be our time or anything, is cool,” said Marshall.
“It’s always great to interact with the fans, you couldn’t pick a better day than this, 75 and sunny, and it’s awesome to be out here.”
Every member of the team joined Marshall on the field at Columbus Crew Stadium, some of whom participated in the individual events. Midfielders Tony Tchani and Kevan George showed their gamer skills in the EA Sports’ FIFA 13 tournament, Matias Sanchez competed in a two-on-two tournament, and defenders Eric Gehrig and Drew Beckie were repeatedly submerged in water at the Crew Fest Dunk Tank.
Aside from FC Dallas forward Kenny Cooper's five tallies, no other player has scored more goals against the Philadelphia Union than Crew striker Dominic Oduro since the Union was added to MLS as an expansion side in 2010. Oduro has scored four times in eight career appearances against the Union, joining Cooper and former Crew and current San Jose Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart as the only players to record four tallies versus Philadelphia. Three of Oduro's four strikes against the Union were scored during his spell with the Chicago Fire during the 2011 and 2012 seasons, while his latest tally versus Philadelphia came back on April 6 when the Black & Gold tied the Union 1-1 at Crew Stadium.
MOST GOALS AGAINST PHILADELPHIA UNION
|Dwayne De Rosario||3|
|Marco Di Vaio||3|
Josh Williams, Justin Meram, Ethan Finlay, Chad Marshall and Eric Gehrig caught some of the First Round action at the Memorial Tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club on Thursday. Along with Brand Ambassador Frankie Hejduk, the players took part in a short Q&A with 610 WTVN and FOX Sports Ohio personality Dave Maetzold before heading to the Nationwide Digital House to shoot a video with our friend Ashleigh Ignelzi.
After the players' media duties were through, they were able to take in some of the tournament play. For some of the players, it was a nice change of pace to be a spectator at a sporting event for once.
"It's unique," Gehrig said. "Golfers carry such an aura about them. It's such a hard sport and there's only a select few who can do it so well. You can't really replace the feeling or the environment of seeing it in real life. It's pretty cool.
"I encourage anyone who hasn't been to a PGA Tour event to definitely get out to see one."
— Cody Sharrett (@CodySharrett) May 30, 2013
The latest smash hit from Sloan and the Keepers, featuring the one and only Federico Higuain.
Crew forward Dominic Oduro appears on the latest episode of PitchPass, where he talks about the addition of New York City FC, his love for Papa John's pizza and hopes for joining the Ghanaian National Team.
Listen to the full episode which also features former Crew midfielder and NBC Sports commentator Kyle Martino.
In case you missed, Tuesday night served as a talent show of sorts for Crew players on Twitter. First, following a long day of band practice, the @YellowSwagBand handle was launched to start promoting Sloan and the Keepers, a band made up of guitar players and karaoke all-stars Shawn Sloan, Daniel Withrow and Andy Gruenebaum. The band later tweeted the video for their first song, a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful" dedicated to defender Tyson Wahl (above).
Wahl's thoughts on being the muse for the band's tune?
"First of all, I was shocked that they even thought of me," the defender said. "When writing a song, to spontaneously think of me out of everyone else is flattering. It was kind of stupid and funny at the same time. I thought it was hilarious."
The band is profiled in this week's Columbus Alive!, available for FREE at various locations around the city.
— Shawn Sloan (@ShawnSloan) May 14, 2013
If you prefer Hell's Kitchen to American Idol, Ethan Finlay and Ryan Finley later took to the social media website to showcase their cooking skills and debate who the really deserves the title of "Chef Fin."
@ethanfinlay13 Debatable. Need to see the finish product.
— Ryan Finley (@Ryan_Finley9) May 14, 2013
@ethanfinlay13 kids got potential
— Ryan Finley (@Ryan_Finley9) May 14, 2013
The 2013 edition of the Trillium Cup rivalry kicks off on Saturday (5:00 P.M./FOX Sports Ohio) between the Crew and Toronto FC at BMO Field in Toronto. The Black & Gold have owned the rivalry having only been defeated once in 16 meetings since it began with the Reds' expansion into MLS in 2007 and the Trillium Cup started as a bet between the cities' mayors in 2008. The teams have had a similar number of MLS All-Stars and Best XI selections, and though the Crew's large-market competitor has had twice the number of Designated Players, the Ontario side has yet to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs while the Black & Gold have won an MLS Cup and has been to the playoffs four times in the past six seasons.
|Head-to-Head Goal Differential||+9||-9|
|Overall Record (Pct.)||84-62-52 (.555)||46-93-59 (.381)|
|MLS Supporters' Shields||2||0|
|MLS Best XI Selections||4||2|
*All stats, 2007-2013
Crew Brand Ambassador Frankie Hejduk joined local sportscasters Clay Hall, David Wilkinson and Matt Barnes, along with Max & Erma's President Steve Weis, in the “Monster Meat” eating challenge benefitting the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus with Max & Erma’s & Ringling Bros. Thursday afternoon at the Schottenstein Center.
Hejduk and the others went head-to-head with seven Asian elephants in the competition, with the humans eating Max & Erma's sliders and the elephants devouring carrots, bread, watermelon and lettuce.
Lacking appetite, the former Crew and U.S. Men's National Team defender only finished four sliders to finish well-behind the sportscasters. The real winner in the end was the kids of Columbus as Max & Erma's donated $18,000 to Boys and Girls Clubs.