Week 26 Matchday 27: 2015 Crew SC or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Offensive Soccer

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2016 Crew SC Season Ticket Membership

I wrote last week that week 25 was a test for the Black and Gold as they went up against two very different opponents.  If I had to grade last week, I’d put it at a solid B.  The defending, especially in transition and on set pieces, has a long way to go to get to championship caliber.  Still, 4 pts from a two game week is a good result.

What’s easy to miss in worrying about the defense is the Massive are on a roll.  Since July, Crew SC are 5-2-2.  Now they have scored 18 goals and given up 18 goals in that stretch, but a lot of the goals against (8 total) were given up in the two loses.  For Columbus fans who for 19 years grew up with the Hardest Working Team mantra, it’s hard for us to take.  The emphasis Gregg Berhalter places on free flowing attacking soccer is just something we have never seen here.  You think back to all the great seasons the Crew have had and for the most part it’s been with stout defensive performances and somewhat of a middling offense; 2008, of course, being an exception to that.  3-2 is a score line that frankly scares us to our very core.  Yes it’s unnerving to lose a 3 goal lead at home or give up by 5 on the road, but maybe we should just go with it.  For the most part, it’s working.  The players understand the system and that chances will be given up in it, but for every mistake there is going to be 2 or 3 more opportunities for the offense to score.  To Berhalter’s credit, he’s sticking with his players through the mistakes which give them the confidence to keep going forward and fight.  If they can get it done with offense, maybe we should stop worrying and just enjoy the ride.  Maybe it will take us farther then we think.

How about our mid-season additions?  Cedrick Mabwati, Jack McInerney, and Harrison Afful have made their presence known since being added to the roster.  Mabwati added the tying goal against NYCFC in a beautiful give and go play with Kei Kamara and his quick footwork lead to the foul for the tying goal against Sporting KC.  McInerney supplied the game winning goal against KC with a classic JackMac goal.  Jack is a true #9 and offers a change of style to that of Kamara off the bench.  Afful has solidified the right back spot in his two starts and offers a mirror image of Waylon Francis for defenses to worry about.  For a team that went close to 2/3rds of the season without a goal from the bench, they’ve gotten 2 in the last 2 games all from players they brought in mid-season.  I’d say our Sporting Director deserves a round of applause and we haven’t even seen Gaston Sauro yet.

So now the Crew head into week 26 August 29th at 4pm with a second chance against NYCFC.  In the first game against the expansion side Wednesday, a lot of focus was placed on the big names coming to town, but it was Kwadwo Poku they just couldn’t stop.  After coming back from two unanswered Poku goals to tie it up, the lightning came and the delay killed the momentum of the game, ending it at a 2-2 tie.  This game starts a stretch where the Crew find themselves on the road for 5 of their last 8 games. Road points are going to be critical for this team as they move toward the post season.

NorOnTour will be taking a Bus and we expect to have a pretty solid group of traveling supporters at the game.  If you would like to get a ticket in the away supporters section please contact Mike Lennon at mike.lennon@nycfc or 1(212)738-5844.  For those staying in Columbus, I hope you’ll join Crew Union at 4th Street Bar and Grill for our away watch party at 4pm.  Remember to bring your membership card for 20% off drinks and 25% off food.  If you’re in the Cincinnati or Cleveland area, check out their bars to watch with other Crew fans. Please go here for details.

Glory to Columbus!!!

Week 25 Matchdays 25 and 26: The Test

sportingkc_logo Sporting KC Nordecke Tickets 8/22

In week 25, Crew SC faces a two match week which will test the team against teams who are polar opposites.  With the bye week come and gone, we now get to see if this week has done anything to solidify the defense and incorporate the new signings into the squad.

In the first of two meetings with expansion side NYCFC the Black and Gold face a side that has a lot of high priced talent that is still trying to find its way.  Offensively, NYC brings  alot of notable names to the table with David Villa, Frank Lampard, Andrea Pirlo, and Mix Diskerud.  In an interesting twist perhaps their best attacking player has been an unknown signing from NASL side Atlanta Silverbacks, Kwadwo Poku.  Defensively, the team has been a train wreak which isn’t all that unusual for an expansion side.  City haven’t exactly put all the big and little puzzle pieces together yet, but with a 3-1 victory over league leading DC United last Thursday, perhaps they are showing that they can.

The Black and Gold find themselves playing NYCFC at an interesting time for both clubs.  Columbus has their own defensive problems and against a team with the offensive options of City that could be a problem.  Of course with the amount of chances the Crew are able to generate, NY’s defense could be in just as much trouble.  This is an important test for Crew SC.  City is a team the Crew can beat, maybe even should beat, but they must stay focused for the full 90 minutes.  Against the kind of offensive talent NY is able to bear, they can score at any moment as DC United found out last Thursday.

The second game of the week offers a completely different challenge.  Kansas City is a top team in this league.  They are a top team offensively.  They are top team defensively.  The high press they employ is just the kind of thing that gives our team fits.  Sporting are every bit an MLS Cup contender and could even be in position to win the domestic treble.  This game is a chance for the Black and Gold to test themselves against the very best MLS has to offer.  And it’s the first of many to come for Columbus as the final two months of the season come to a close.  Of the final 10 games for the Massive, 6 are against teams which currently have more points.  If the Crew are to make the playoffs or better, it’s going to have to compete against the best to get it done.

Tickets for the Wednesday game are sold out at this time, but tickets for the SKC game are still available.  The tailgate on Wednesday will begin at around 5:30 to 6:00.  As it is a weekday game there will not be a keg available for members.  Ticket pick up at the tailgate for Wednesday will be by 7 PM.  After that time tickets will be taken to will call.  Saturday the tailgate will begin around 4 PM.  The Ole Farts will be back with another catered tailgate.  They’ll be serving up ribs this time.  There will be a keg of North High Brewery Beer for members to enjoy as well.  All are invited to enjoy and bring a dish to share with everyone.

Glory to Columbus!!!!

2016 Crew SC Season Tickets Now Available

2016 Crew SC Season Tickets in section 101 of the Nordecke with Crew Union are now available in our webstore. With season tickets through Crew Union you get all the benefits of buying through the front office plus some additional exclusive benefits including your 2016 Crew Union membership.

FULL-SEASON – $306

  • Includes all 17 regular season MLS matches and 1 special game ticket (Opponent and Date TBD)
  • No black out days for trades (subject to availability)
  • Includes a 2016 Crew Union membership with membership items
  • Discounts on additional Nordecke day of game tickets for friends and family
  • Discounts on CSU Merchandise
  • Priority access to all NorOnTour Trips
  • Reimbursement for Away Game ticket purchases through NorOnTour Link
  • Will receive a Columbus Crew issued membership card loaded with their season tickets and an online account allowing you to
    • Print your tickets at home
    • Make payments to your account
    • Transfer tickets via email to a friend
    • Exchange tickets to Crew Union
  • Additional benefits granted by the Crew to the Social Membership Community

DEPOSIT -

  • A Crew Union representative will contact you once the deposit has been placed to discuss payment plan options.

Please contact us with any questions

Week 24 Bye Week: Course Correction

NYCFC NYCFC Tickets Wednesday 8/19

sportingkc_logo Sporting KC Tickets Saturday 8/22

Week 22 was about as bad as it can get for Crew SC.  The 5-2 defeat to Orlando showcased everything that can go wrong for this team.  The Black and Gold, with another road game against Colorado in Week 23, absolutely had to get back on the right foot defensively.  Gregg Berhalter made minimal changes to the starting lineup opting to keep the central defense pair from the previous game.  There was a small tactical change as the Black and Gold seemed to somewhat abandon the possession at all cost style, opting to give the attack challenged Rapids much of the possession.  Yet, the Massive still found themselves down 1-0 at the half on a play where again the team lost a moment of focus on a set piece.  It had all the feelings of “here we go again.”  However, there was no quit in the Crew SC players as they clamped down defensively in the 2nd half and rode two Kei Kamara goals for the comeback win.  Kei deserves a lot of praise for his excellent finishes, but Tony Tchani  in particular grabbed the team by the scruff of the neck and led them to victory.

That performance might just be the most important result of the year for Crew SC.  It could prove to be just the course correction it needed, at just the right period in time.  They can now approach this bye week with confidence to incorporate their mid-season signings into the team and continue to work on the defensive problems that have plagued the team for several months.

Speaking of mid-season signings, the secondary window was full of win for this club.  The Black and Gold basically filled every area of need they had with quality players.  Harrison Afful is a World Cup experienced right back that fits right in to what Berhalter wants from an outside back offensively and defensively.  Jack McInerney is a proven striker at the MLS level to back up Kamara.  At 23 years of age and in his 6th MLS season, we also might not have seen the best of him yet.  Then on the last day of the signing window, Berhalter filled perhaps the Crew’s biggest mid-season need by signing Argentine Gaston Sauro.  The 25 year old experienced central defender checks every single box this team needs at that position.  These are players that can help this team now and for years to come.

By the time Crew SC take the field in week 25, we could see a vastly different and improved squad.  Tickets for the two home games are available in the webstore as always.  Let’s welcome them in in style as Crew SC make their push to the playoffs.

Glory to Columbus!!!!!

Week 22 MatchDay 23: Orlando again

NYCFC NYCFC  Nordecke Tickets 8/19

NorOnTour_580x280 NYCFC Road Trip 8/29

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, what makes Soccer so compelling is how quickly the whole game can be turned on it’s head in a moment.  For 5 minutes after going up 3-0 against TFC, Crew SC lost focus and allowed Toronto to get back into the game 3-2.  Once that happened the game was on.  The Black and Gold had chances to put themselves back up by 2 goals which could have changed momentum back, but ultimately they squandered those chances and the game was decided on a late penalty.  That’s now 6pts the Crew have lost this year after the 89th minute.  Just for perspective, those 6pts would have us 1pt behind on the Supporter Shield race.

At a certain point of the year, a team is who it is and you just have to accept it as a fan.  The Crew are a team that moves the ball around beautifully at times.  They are a team that can score a lot of goals.  You will be entertained by watching this side play.  They are also a team that will lose focus at certain points during games which will cost them points.  It is what it is.  I don’t know if personnel changes will fix it, but with the transfer window open, it wouldn’t hurt to bring in a few defenders to shake things up.  One thing is for certain, if they can some way find a way to change their stars, this is a team no one in MLS wants to play.

Crew SC next travel to Orlando to face this side for the fourth time this year.  Their last meeting in Orlando was a 3-0 USOC loss which featured a full second team lineup against Orlando’s first team.  In the previous MLS meeting the sides played to a 2-2 tie while the Black and Gold was down a man.  It was one of the 3 games the Massive gave up 2pts after the 89th minute.  Orlando is not playing well right now having gone 0-3-1 in their last 4 MLS matches.  City had an offensive outburst against fellow expansion side NYCFC the last game, but lost the match 5-3.  Before that game, they had scored just 1 goal in the previous 3 matches.

I hope you’ll join Crew Union at 4th Street Bar and Grill for our away watch party.  Remember to bring your membership card for 20% off drinks and 25% off food.  If you’re in the Cincinnati or Cleveland area, check out their bars to watch with other Crew fans. Please go here for details.  Tickets for the August 19th NYCFC match are on sale in the webstore as well.

Also I hope you’ll check out the NorOnTour trip going to NYC 8/29.  Deposits are as low as $40 to book your spot for the trip.

Glory to Columbus!!!!