The Crew players were greeted with the oppressive Mid-Atlantic heat and humidity on the team walk today through the Dupont Circle area of Washington, D.C.. There was a chorus of resounding "It's so hot..." statements as the team walked to Mitchell Park for a morning stretch. As you can see from Julius James' back in the photo above, many of the players broke a sweat during the stroll. Chris Birchall came prepared however, using napkins to wipe the sweat off his back throughout the walk.
It won't be much cooler at the time of kickoff this evening. Weather.com predicts it will be 89 degrees Fahrenheit with 55-percent humidity, making it feel like 96 degrees. What's more, the concrete structure of RFK Stadium will trap in the heat for tonight's match to make it even more oppressive.
Tonight will be a test of endurance for the Black & Gold, so look for the Crew to come out firing from the opening whistle just as it did two weeks ago against D.C. in search of an early goal in this muggy D.C. weather.
I'll have more from RFK Stadium later as kickoff approaches.
Greetings from Kansas City,
After going their separate ways for breakfast, the players and coaches gathered in the hotel lobby this morning to catch some Olympic action before embarking on the team walk through the city.
Following their Olympic viewing, the players enjoyed the sights of Kansas City on the team walk.
Eventually, the team found a nice shaded are to stretch and mentally prepare for tonight's match against Sporting KC. Eddie Gaven shared his veteran insight with rookies Ethan Finlay and Matt Lampson.
Finally, before heading back to the hotel to rest, these guys insisted on posing for a buddy pic:
Crew rookie Ethan Finlay was recently honored with the Omaha World-Herald's prestigious Fred Ware Award for his accomplishments playing for Creighton University. According to the World-Herald's website, "The Ware Award is given annually to the four-year college athlete in Nebraska who, in the judgment of the newspaper's editors, made the most significant achievement in sports while representing the best traditions of his or her institution. The late Fred Ware organized The World-Herald's sports department and served as sports editor from 1924 to 1942, and later was managing editor and a member of the newspaper's board of directors."
Past winners of the Ware Award include current Detroit Lions star Ndamukong Suh, Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon, Atlanta Hawks sharpshooter Kyle Korver, and Heisman Trophy winner Eric Crouch.
For the full article, check out the World-Herald's feature on the Crew rookie.
Photo courtesy of Creighton Athletics.
Recently the Crew community lost a member of it's family. Grand Rapids Crew Juniors player Christian Ouding lost his life in a tragic accident. There will be a moment of silence during the June 30th Crew home game in remembrance of Christian Ouding.
“Christian Ouding was not only the heart and soul of his team but was also for the club as a whole. He had a tremendous attitude and work rate in all that he did and a very contagious personality. He was an inspiration to many players and coaches and represented what youth soccer should be about.” - Josh Sheldon Grand Rapids Crew Juniors – General Manager
"We are devastated by the tragic loss of Christian and offer our condolences and support to his family," said Crew SVP Soccer Business Development Andrew Arthurs. "Not only was he a promising young player with a bright future, but by all accounts a well-liked teammate and a fine young man, as well. Words cannot express the sense of loss we feel. We look forward to honoring his memory on June 30 and beyond." - Andrew Arthurs Sr. Vice President Soccer Business Development Executive Director Crew Juniors
For more information and to donate to the Christian Ouding Fund click here.
Crew Brand Ambassador, Frankie Hejduk, stopped by the STH Heroes Cup 6v6 held at Buckeye Lake over the weekend. The STH Heroes Cup 6v6 is an adult soccer tournament that honored Columbus native Shawn Hannon who recently lost his life on April 4, 2012 while serving in Afghanistan.
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!!
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!
Robert Warzycha gave the Crew a break on Thursday and Friday, let's take a look at how some of the players enjoyed their day off with some help from Twitter:
Center back Josh Williams took a drive up I-71 to his hometown of Copley, Ohio to enjoy some downtime:
So good to be back home!!!
— Josh Williams (@josh3williams) May 31, 2012
His partner in central defense Eric Gehrig also made a trip home to Northwest Indiana, or as the locals affectionately call it: "The Region."
Out for lunch with my familyyyyy, maybe some shopping and then hittin Chicago tonight :) #yippeee
— Eric Gehrig (@eGehrig16) May 31, 2012
The pride of New Jersey, Dilly Duka, headed home to the Garden State, but not without a trip to the Big Apple.
— Dilly Duka (@D_Duka11) May 31, 2012
With the Memorial Tournament happening this weekend in Columbus, a few members of the team decided to cheer on the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, and Rickie Fowler.
Great day and beautiful weather out at the @MemorialGolf tournament!
— Aaron Schoenfeld (@aaronschoenfeld) May 31, 2012
— Duncan Oughton (@Oughton8) May 31, 2012
In this edition of Throwback Thursday, we pay homage to the most infamous jersey in US National Team history: the denim kit. Here is Crew assistant coach Mike Lapper's head shot wearing the star-laden uniform. Lapper represented the United States in the 1994 World Cup on home soil.