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MLS 101: Columbus Crew Edition

The Columbus Crew are coming off the franchise’s most successful season ever which culminated in them achieving the MLS double by winning the Supporters Shield and the MLS Cup. Prior to last year though, they had been mired in poor play and had only captured two major trophies, the 2004 Supporters Shield and the 2002 US Open Cup.

Sigi Schmid and Guillermo Barros Schelotto were the impetus behind their turnaround, but Schmid has left now for Seattle’s fat paycheck. The Crew should still be one of the best teams in the league in 2009 though. How could they not with GBS, rising star Robbie Rogers and defensive stalwarts Chad Marshall and Frankie “Jesus” Hejduk.

The Crew have always had great players on their roster though. Just a sample of former players includes: John Harkes, Brian McBride, Jeff Cunningham, Stern John, Brad Friedel, and Robert Warzycha. Warzycha, who spent seven years with the Crew (and holds the team’s all-time assist record), is now their manager and wants to repeat as champs in 2009.

The Crew play their home games in one of America’s first soccer specific stadiums, Crew Stadium. If they keep playing well, it probably won’t be long before a sponsor gets tacked on to that name. If I may make a suggestion, how about J Crew Stadium? I am sure the notoriously loyal supporters group, The Nordecke, would disapprove though.

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