Crew Union will have tickets available for MLS Cup in the event we host Portland on 12/6.  We will, however, not be making those tickets available until 11/30.  We have not finalized how we are going to distribute the tickets we have, but we will take care of Members first.

Playoffs Week 3: Eastern Conference Final Leg 1

Crew SC made history last Sunday with the 3-1 overtime win to advance to the Eastern Conference Final.  Never before have the Black & Gold advanced after losing the first leg game.  And the way they did it was just astonishing.  To come back after a missed offside call that gave Montreal the advantage in the series, then Kei Kamara’s missed PK, and still get the result; it shows the resiliency of a championship caliber team.

The Massive now find themselves two games away from potentially hosting MLS Cup at Mapfre Stadium if Portland wins in the West.  Of course, New York Red Bulls will have a lot to say about that.  The Supporters’ Shield winners are a great team that has played it’s best soccer down the stretch.  In the regular season the Crew lost two of three against the side.  All three games played were 2-1 affairs which could have gone one way or another if the ball had bounced differently.  The NJ based side is probably more stable defensively and least likely to make mistakes as they do not take many risks in the back.  The midfield is the backbone of both teams, especially centrally.  Both teams feature a clinical forward that knows how to make themselves available and get open for shots.

The Red Bull play a high pressure possession style of soccer that has given Crew SC fits this year if they are unable to break the pressure and build out of the back.  In the their last encounter at Red Bull Arena, too many back passes to the keeper lead to mistakes in the back that allowed NY to score two easy goals.  For the team to advance, it has to be creative in how it chooses to play out of the back.  They have to be true to who they are as a team, but at the same time they can’t force things if it isn’t there as they tried to in NJ on that day.  If the mistakes the Black & Gold made in the first leg against Montreal manifest themselves in the series against NYRB, that team will take advantage of those mistakes.

The first leg is crucial for Crew SC.  If they are to advance to MLS Cup, they are going to have to make history again.  The Crew have never won the first leg in a two game aggregate series in the playoffs since the league moved to the format in 2003.  In a lot of ways with this format, MLS puts the higher seeded team at a disadvantage with the first game at the lower seeded team’s stadium and the away goals rule.  At home, the Black & Gold is a team that is capable of scoring a lot of goals especially if it gets on the board first and the other team has to open up to attack.  I expect to see the Massive come out and put a lot of pressure on NY in the opening minutes to get that first goal and, if they do, try to put the series away in one game.

The Nordecke and the Stadium are sold out for this match which is MASSIVE.  In fact, Crew Union’s allotment of 330 tickets sold out in around 21 hours.  Then Crew SC’s ticket office opened section 102 and made it a part of the Nordecke for the game.  We were able to purchase 75 more tickets.  Those were spoken for in less than an hour.  As always, tickets must be picked up at the tailgate under the Crew Union tent.  All pre-purchased tickets must be picked up by 4pm or they will be taken to will call.  All tickets reserved, but not purchased will be released as soon as the pre-purchased tickets are taken to will call.

The ticket office has opened the stage and wants to fill it with supporters.  If you were left out of tickets in the Nordecke or your friends are looking for tickets, they can go to this link to purchase tickets on the stage.  The code is “Supporter.”  The tickets are $25 each for supporters.

As for the tailgate, the Ole Farts will be back with the rare second catered tailgate for a month.  They will be doing their popular chili cookoff which is usually reserved for Crewsmas.  There will be about 4 to 5 different kinds including a vegetarian option, but if you would like to bring a recipe of your own, you’re more then welcome to do so.  We’ll have North High Brewery Beer either in keg or can form for all members to enjoy as well.

Lastly I would like to mention the NorOnTour trip to NJ for the second leg on 11/29.  In a common theme for this series, the bus has sold out…in 4 days.  MASSIVE!!!!  We are leaving Columbus at 6am Saturday 11/28 and returning immediately after the game on 11/29.  NorOnTour is taking deposits for a wait list if someone on the trip decides they actually can’t make the trip.  Additionally, if the demand is there, we will look into adding a second bus.  If you have any interest in going, please go here and put a deposit down.  If a spot doesn’t open up or a second bus isn’t viable your deposit will be refunded to you.

If you plan to travel to NJ for the game on your own and need tickets, you can get tickets by going to this link.  The code is “crew103.”  If you need hotel accommodations contact NorOnTour we can get you a room at our group discounted rate. The hotel is Element by Westin Harrison-Newark in Harrison, NJ across the street from Red Bull Arena and right by a Path station going to NYC.

Glory to Columbus

MLS Playoffs Week 2: The Second Leg

No one said the road to MLS Cup was going to be easy, but in order for Crew SC to advance to the conference final, it must do something it has not done in it’s history.  The Black and Gold have now played in six 2 leg aggregate goal playoffs series since the league moved to the format in 2003.  In those series, the Crew has never won the first leg game.  The only time they have tied was in 2008 and it was also the only time they have ever advanced.  The closest Crew SC has ever came to advancing after losing the first leg was in 2010 when they lost 1-0 to Colorado before winning the second leg game 2-1.  With the aggregate tied at the end of regulation, the Crew played a scoreless “mini-game” before losing the series on PKs.  Of course if that were to have happened today, the Black and Gold would have lost the series on away goals tie breaker.  So while the 2-1 loss to Montreal isn’t a result to panic about, the Black and Gold have a tremendous task in front of them

What helps is the away goal the team scored.  Crew SC can advance to the finals if they win 1-0 on the away goal tiebreaker.  If the Crew win 2-1, the game would then go to two 15 minute overtime periods followed by PKs if the score remains tied.  If Montreal were to score 2 goals, the Black and Gold would need to win the game by a two goal margin to advance.  Any draw and the Crew can not advance.

The interesting aspect of a 2 leg series is the 2nd leg often starts with goals.  The Crew will need to attack at home to get back on even terms and get ahead, but in doing so they open themselves up to Montreal’s potent counterattack.  They will certainly need to play a lot better then it did in Montreal last Sunday.  They did a good job of staying behind the ball and limiting the Impact’s chances, however, it came at the expense of the offense which never seemed to get on the same page.  More importantly is to not let mistakes beat them the way they allowed them to in the first leg.

Tickets in the Nordecke are sold out for the game.  Tickets purchased through the webstore must be picked up at the Crew Union tent by 4pm.  All tickets not picked up by 4pm will be taken to the will call booth.  The Ole Farts will grace us with another catered tailgate serving up steak sandwiches.  Crew Union be bringing back cans of North High Brewery beer for members to enjoy as well so remember to bring your Crew Union coozie.

Glory to Columbus!!!!

MLS Playoffs Week 1: Decision Day


 Nordecke Tickets 2nd Leg 11/8/15 Conference Semi-final

Nordecke Tickets 2nd Leg 11/8/15 Conference Semi-final

Crew SC entered the week needing a win to secure 2nd place in the east and a bye to the conference semi-final.  What it got was probably the most impressive performance by the team in the Gregg Berhalter Era.  The Massive missing it’s two best offensive players to yellow card accumulation suspension, hung a 5 nil result on the hated DC United scum.


Let that sync in for a moment.  Think of all the players that usually don’t get the chance to make an impact in a game and think of what they did to a playoff side in the most important game of the year.  Mohammed Saeid, who has played most of the year as a defensive midfielder in the Wil Trapp role filling in for the incomparable Federico Higuain, playing an amazing through ball to Jack MacInerney for the game winning goal.  The aforementioned McInerney, who joined this team on a trade midseason and has been battling injury the last few weeks on the field for Kei Kamara who has had one of the finest seasons in Crew history, getting the game winning goal and an assist.  Kevan George, who at best is our 4th string central midfielder, coming in to spell Saeid after his injury and locking DC’s midfield down.  All the starters like Ethan Finlay, Justin Merem, Tony Tchani, and Wil Trapp, that elevated their game to make up for the lose of two impact players.  Think of the embattled defense that has had to endure criticism after criticism all year for the amount of goals they have let in, posting their second shutout in a row.  This was a performance for the ages.  It was a true total TEAM win.  The win meant everything to the 2015 regular season, yet now, it means nothing as the team enters the playoffs.

On Wednesday and Thursday, 4 teams will square off in a one match knockout round which will determine the Black and Gold’s next opponent.  The only certainty is that Crew SC can not face Toronto FC in the Conference Semi-Finals as New York Red Bull is assured the lowest seeded pairing.  If Montreal beats TFC, the Crew will face them in the two leg aggregate goal series.  If TFC beats Montreal, the Crew will face the winner of the DC vs New England Revolution match.  Montreal is a team that has been on the rise since Didier Drogba joined them late in the year.  It’s not a team the Black and Gold have had success against this year, even without Drogba, losing both of their games to the Quebec side this year by a combined score of 5-1.  They are a team that likes to sit back and counter at speed and that is the type of team that has given Crew SC fits all year.  NE is a side that has played up and down all year.  They are a very capable team when they are on and clicking as a unit.  The Crew has never won a playoff series against NE, having last been eliminated by them in the previous season on their run to MLS Cup.  Likewise, DC is a team the Crew have never defeated in the playoffs, having lost 3 straight years in the Conference Finals in the early years of MLS.  Should they be matched up, this would be their first playoff meeting since 1999.  The Crew are 2-1 against United this season on a combined 7-3 aggregate goal.  DC is a team on a downward spiral and I would be shocked to see them advance past the knockout round.

The first Leg of the Eastern Conference Semi-Final will be Sunday November 1st.  The time is still to be decided.  As always Crew Union will be hosting a watch party at 4th Street Bar and Grill.  I hope you’ll join us.  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 2nd Leg game Sunday November 8th are currently on sale in the webstore.

Glory to Columbus!!!!

Week 34 Matchday 34: Playoffs

Playoffs!!! Nordecke Tickets

Playoffs!!! Nordecke Tickets

When I last wrote Crew SC was heading into a final four games with Portland on tap then 3 East division opponents with the East and Supporter’s Shield on the line.  Two disastrous losses later against Portland at home and NY Red Bull away put the Black and Gold out of the running for top of the East and the Supporter’s Shield race. Going into Week 33 with a road game against Toronto, who had already clinched their first ever trip to the playoffs, the entire season was in jeopardy.  With the 2-0 victory in Toronto, The Crew turned in a gutsy performance for the ages as good as any in club history.  It was their first shutout since July and was exactly the kind of response one would want to see from a team coming off a bye week after two straight losses.

The win, coupled with a New England loss to Montreal, put the Massive in control of their own destiny.  A win against the hated scum of DC United on the final week means the Crew will finish 2nd in the East and earn a bye to the Eastern conference semi-final round.  A loss could see them finish as low as 5th place with Crew SC having to travel to play a one match play in game.  Make no mistake, this final game is a playoff game as important as any in the actual playoffs.

Crew SC has played DC twice this year and we should expect nothing different from this group Sunday October 25 at 5pm.  They are a veteran team who play compact and take advantage of any mistake teams make against them.  What hurts is the Black and Gold have to play this crucial game without two of it’s best offensive players as Kei Kamara and Federico Higuain serve yellow card accumulation suspensions.

Tickets as always can be pick up at the Crew Union tent in the megatailgate spot.  Tickets must be picked up by 4pm.  Any tickets not picked up by 4pm will be taken to will call.  The Ole Farts will be back with their final catered tailgate of the season.  All are welcome to come and partake.  North High Brewery will also be back with a keg for all members to enjoy.

Glory to Columbus!!!!