Welcome to the most magical week of the year, Crewsmas Week! Here’s a few things you should know ahead of this weekend’s festivities.
Friday, March 11, 6-11pm
Fourth Street Patio Bar & Grill
Join us Friday night before the first home match for our 9th annual Crewsmas Eve party at Fourth Street.
Crewsmas Eve began as an informal gathering of friends the night before the Crew’s first home game. Eight years later and in it’s fifth year at Fourth Street Bar, it’s an official event of Crew Union and even recognized by the club. Old friends reminisce and new friends are made in a joyous celebration of the new Crew season. We’re still working some final details, but this year’s event promises to be another “can’t miss” affair.
The Crewsmas Eve Party is open to all Columbus Crew fans and supporters.
Crew Union will have membership packages available for purchase.
A special thanks to our partners Fourth Street Bar & Grill for helping make our Crewsmas Eve Party possible.
Saturday, March 12
Supporters March: 7pm
Location: Mega-Tailgate Under Crew Union Tent
With kickoff at 7:30pm we expect the tailgate to be going strong by 3pm, maybe earlier. We’ll have match tickets available to pick up as well as 2016 memberships. If you want to get started even earlier Fourth Street will be opening in the morning for EPL. Food wise the Ole Farts are back for the annual Crewsmas Chili cook-off. They’ll will be doing 3 or 4 kinds of Chili and if you have a favorite recipe you want to share bring it along, the more the merrier. As always any sides are welcome but not a requirement to come over and enjoy the food. So grab some friends, come on over to the tailgate, share a beverage or three with friends old and new and get ready to take on Toronto. (there will be a vegetarian choice with the chili).
Our partner North High Brewing is back for another year as Crew Union will be offering up free beer for members at all tailgates starting at Crewsmas!
All of the supporters groups will be marching into the stadium so that our presence is felt by the players during warm ups. The tailgate will end around 6:30pm and the march will begin at 7pm.
All tickets and membership must be picked up by 6:30pm. At 6:30pm tickets purchased through Paypal will be taken to Will Call and any tickets which were reserved, but not paid for will be released for general sale.
After the game, head on over to 4th Street Bar to hopefully celebrate another Crewsmas Day Victory.
Crew Union originally was not going to make MLS Cup tickets available until 11/30 when MLS Cup in Columbus was a reality, but due to the stage opening up, we wanted to give you all a chance to know exactly what you can purchase from us so that you can purchase MLS Cup tickets through other means. We have a very limited number of tickets and although we would like to accommodate everyone’s needs, it’s just not going to be possible.
Earlier in the week we made tickets available to our Season Ticket Members. The window for that has closed. All remaining MLS Cup tickets allocated to Crew Union will be distributed via a lottery to 2015 Crew Union Members. The lottery draw will take place this evening and all 2015 Crew Union members will be entered into the drawing. The members selected in the draw will be notified by email tomorrow. You will have an opportunity to reserve 1 ticket which are $40 each. On 11/30 if MLS Cup is in Columbus, you will be sent an invoice to pay for the tickets. All tickets are pick up only and must be picked up at the tailgate 12/6.
If you are not selected for tickets, we apologize, we value all members and wish we had 1 ticket to give to everyone. However, stage tickets are still readily available which you can purchase at the Mapfre Stadium Ticket Office on Monday.
Glory to Columbus!!!
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
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!!!!