Power Rankings: Guillermo's Back Post All-Star Break

(Ed. Note: We've been hit with a deluge of emails, phone calls, tweets and interpretive dances over the past few months, all asking the same question: "What happened to the GCGBAG Power Rankings and is Guillermo O'Rourke as handsome and witty in person as he comes across in writing and, if so, is he single and, if so, do you think I've got a chance?" To the latter inquiries, the answer has been and remains: "No, he is even more handsome and witty in person, but you don't have a chance because he's married to the game." However, we've had to remain silent on the former inquiry because, as we have learned and can now share publicly, he had been abducted and forcibly detained at what appears to have been a MLS black site.

We reported Mr. O'Rourke as missing on May 6 when he did not show up for the pregame tailgate at MAPFRE Stadium ahead of the match with New England. Law enforcement opened a formal investigation but turned up no leads and we had all but given up hope until we received word he had been discovered this past Sunday, August 6 near Bridgeview, Ill. A couple had called local authorities to report a disoriented man in nothing but boxers who had stumbled out of the woods in their backyard straight into the middle of their son's birthday party. When they asked the man who he was or if he needed help, "he just kept repeating: 'at the soccer Don loves me and knows what's best for me' -- whatever that means." If not for a 7-year-old at the party in a Bastian Schweinsteiger jersey [whom Mr. O'Rourke instinctively RKO'd; the parents have graciously agreed not to press charges], our special guy might have never have been jolted out of this trauma-induced state.

We now know that over 90-plus days in captivity, ex-Blackwater agents, under orders that could only have been approved by highest levels of MLS, attempted to coerce Mr. O'Rourke into disclosing the identities of anonymous league sources responsible for leaking many of the explosive revaluations that have been exclusively reported in this space. Despite their "enhanced" interrogation techniques, which included sleep deprivation, forced ingestion of a "shit-ton" of psychotropic-hallucinogenic drugs and being subjected to the tortuous 2016 MLS Cup Final on a loop for 72 straight hours, our intrepid reporter refused to reveal his sources.

Although authorities were able to retrace Mr. O'Rourke's trail to find the underground bunker where he was believed to have been held, the site was deserted by the time they arrived and most of the evidence scrubbed. We are unable to comment further as the investigation is ongoing, other than to say we are so grateful to have Mr. O'Rourke returned to his friends and family. And now, against the advice of six different medical professionals, he's catching up on all his bullshit.

Power Rankings, largely based on an accumulation of data. 

22. MLS All-Star Team

Four Chicago (sic) Fire players. Three each from Dallas, Toronto and Atlanta (Parkhurst!?). Oh, and we can't forget "Commissioner's Pick" Dom Dwyer -- you know, the guy with three fewer goals AND four fewer assists than Justin Meram. Christ, Don. How in the hell do you expect to beat the team with the "Portuguese Meram" without the original Iraqi Ronaldo? 

21. Rafa "Kingpin" Marquez

Rafa Marquez has denied allegations about being involved with Flores Hernandez's drug trafficking organization. However, the US Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control is confident enough in their investigation to have sanctioned the former New York Energy Drink Star and Mexican International footballer anyway. No bueno, bro.

20. The Worst 20 Seconds In Soccer History

19. MOTHER F*%$IN' TIGER CUBS

18. Chris Penso

In a show a rare ingenuity from MLS officials, Chris Penso used his magic spray to draw a magic line that mysteriously held off the horde of complaining players so that he could have a private conversation with his sideline official. His resourcefulness would be the trait that makes him the unlikely hero for the protagonists in a campy horror film about zombie soccer players.

17. Olympic Diving Team

As the Olympic Diving trials approach for the upcoming Olympics, we've been keeping an eye out for talent around the world. Our scouts informed us that Spaniard Jordi Alba is the one to beat this year, after he recently nailed one of the most impressive dives in recent history:

16. GCGBAG Fantasy

Team Los Angeles Comedian is atop the GCGBAG MLS Fantasy League after last week, with 1,817 points. 

Speaking of fantasy, in case you don't have enough fantasies in your life, we'll also be running a GCGBAG Premier League Fantasy Team through the Fantasy iTeam app. The PIN to join the league is 115735.

15. Josh Sargent

With goals like this and his most recent strike (below) at the U-20 World Cup, the 17 year old (along with Zach Steffen) just might be the future of the USMNT.

14. New and Improved Soccering-Ability-Enhancing Genome Thereapy... For Kids!

Apparently a Miami-based company claims they can sequence your child's genome to make them become the ultimate soccer star!

13. Bourussia Muchengladbort

12. First Pitch Pipa

Pipa tossed an exquisite first pitch in Cincinnati recently; though we're not concerned about him pulling a Tim Tebow and heading to the minors anytime soon.

11. Reasonable Soccer Parents

10. One for the Future

Lights out. 👟🕯💨 🙌 TAG @leomessi @cristiano 🙌 Licensed by Jukin Media

A post shared by Korbin Jackson (@korbin_jackson) on

Crew SC better put him on the discovery list if he's dropping passes on top of candlesticks with mini soccer balls at this age.

9. The Lads (↗️)

Some GCGBAGs including Rick & Rick hit the road to cheer on the boys in Salt Lake and San Jose. You can find some photos of their wee-little-shenanigans on Instagram, Facebook, and the Twittersphere.

#staygolden

A post shared by GCGBAG (@gcgbag) on

8. Pipa Megs

As Rick & Rick might say... ANKLES! ANKLES ON 'EM!

7. Brad's Stuvers

6. Drogba Thunderstrike

Drogba's gonna Drogba.

5. West Side Casuals

We've devoted a good chunk of this space to talking up the GCGBAGs and other Nordecke supporters' groups -- and rightfully so. But in this week's installment of the "Hunt for the Golden Crewzer," we hear from a member the #roughest supporters' group in MAPFRE Stadium (along with some team spin Crew SC's corporate celebrity fan, whom we were contractually obligated to include).

4. Ola Volleys

Unfortunately, I was held in captivity for months and wasn't able to enjoy Ola's sublime volleys, to which you all were treated. So we might as well re-live them now:

3. ACES

Based ACES earned the three spot this week, as conductor of the cash splashin', into-the-Lord-Guillermo-Sun, Crewzers SC hype train, for his signing of the newest attacking piece of Crew SC...

2. Pedro Santos!!!!

I'll just leave this here:

1. Columbus Crew SC

The Black & Gold take the top spot this week for taking the league by storm with their business acumen, breaking the club record for largest transfer fee on a new DP, and of course, for the Josh Williams and Justin Meram bromance moments.

Power Rankings: Week 9

By Guillermo O'Rourke

Power Rankings, largely based on an accumulation of data.

22. DaxStreet Boys

Burn. Them. All. 

21. Kei Kamara's Role With New England

We're not still [as] sour about the way stuff went down with Kei [as some of the fanbase]. We're just stating an objective fact: Kei Kamara's has been a heart-shaped-hands-shaped peg in the round hole since arriving in New England.

The lesser Kamara won't have the chance to prove anything otherwise Saturday because he's with his wife awaiting the birth of their second child. How convenient! 

20. New England Revolution  

Uh, where to start? How about their owners, Jonathan and (that) Robert Kraft, who by several accounts is the worst owner in MLS, has secret casino holdings, wants to watch the world burn and generally sucks. Yep, that'll do for now. 

19. #Parkhursting

Look, we don't hold any animosity for the former Crew SC captain. He's just... well, we'll just say, Atlanta United fans, we know what you're going through

18. The Street Megger

Savage.

17. Emre Can

Savage.

16. Fightin' Snowmen

Also savage. Like, we might have to think of a new schtick because the Fightin' Snowmen are running away with the GCGBAG Fantasy League. 

15. The 2017 Crew SC Gear Sale

Oh look, if it isn't our official Corporate Celebrity Fan trying to tell us how to deal with the annual Crew gear sale, like, three weeks after it happened.

This guy? Can you believe him? 

14.  Outbreak SC

If you're looking for a team aside from Crew SC to follow in the U.S. Open Cup, look no further then Outbreak SC. Why? 1) They're a team of 30-something-year-old SoCal bros playing against professionals. 2) Well, just take it from forward Jason Cambell:

“We don’t train, we don’t talk about training, we just show up and hope the last six days of the week didn’t ruin our fitness too much.”

13.  Jack Ryan

Crew SC have been linked with Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack for a week or so now, and he has even reportedly been urged to follow his "American Dream" to Columbus. We don't put much stock in transfer rumors, but it did get us thinking... about "Patriot Games." 

12. Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Crew SC's kinda farm team delivered last week with a 30-yard thunderstrike (courtesy of Victor Souto):

But wait, the digital media team followed up with this gem, which is almost better:

Prettay, prettay, prettay campy. These guys are alright. Well, for Pittsburgh. 

11.  Golden Boy of the Week

 You can't un-see it.

10. Philadelphia Union 

It's hard to hate on the Union when they're putting out A+ content like that and are otherwise comically inept

9. Sporting-Event Propsals

On the whole, we agree with the consensus that you shouldn't subject a captive audience of thousands of strangers, who don't know and frankly don't care about your relationship, to sit through a contrived, awkward display of your personal commitment on the Jumbotron. That being said, if there is a Right Way to do a sporting-event proposal, Our Dude Ryan pulled it off last weekend at the MEGATailgate.

Mazel tov! 

8. Dinosaurs and Gluten

Translation: ALL THE GOOD STUFF THIS WAY!! 

7. May the 4th

Sorry NERDS *cough* Vancouver, Houston and especially New England *cough* this has nothing to do Star Wars so you can put your light sabers right back in your pants. No, May the 4th is special because it was on this day in 1973 that Greatest That Ever Was Or Will Be came into being. We're writing, of course, about our God-King Guillermo "el terrible" Barros Schelotto. We certainly understand why LAFC is interested in the MASSIVE CHAMPION and Boca Juniors manager, but -- and we mean this sincerely John Thorrington -- if you sign him, we hope that the person you cherish most in this world pushes you off whatever the tallest building in Los Angeles is...

Wow. Sorry fam, that got a little dark, but needed to be said. Anyway, here are a bunch of Tweets and videos to commemorate this MASSIVE occasion.

6. #BuildThatStadium

Also featured in this week's Drunken Crewzer Postgame Show: a challenge to one William Alexander Trapp. 

5. Alex Crognale

CROG NAIL picked up some major Internet hardware earlier this week when he was name the SBI MLS Rookie of the Month for April. We imagine a lot of teams are envious of the options Greggggggg will have at centerback if everyone could get healthy at once. 

4. #DosHiguains

No sir it wasn't. And that's not even including Pipa's All-World Dummy last weekend. 

3. Steven Lenhart

We pour one out for The Cabbage Patch Assassin Steven Lenhart, another MASSIVE CHAMPION, who his hanging up the boots after an 11-year professional career. Lenhart was a rookie on that glorious 2008 team and cemented his place in Crew lore when he scored in stoppage-time to secure a 1-1 draw for Columbus in the opening away leg of of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Kansas City Wizards (they don't want you to remember they were the Wizards).

In addition to the 2008 Cup, Lenhart also nabbed a pair of Supporters' Shields and carved a niche as MLS's premier super sub over three seasons in Columbus before being dealt to San Jose on the eve of the 2011 draft [for a pick that turned out to be Justin Meram ¯\_(ツ)_/¯]. He went on to play six seasons in San Jose, but had his career derailed after a string of concussions (fuck concussions). He had recently signed with the Japanese side FC Iambari. 

2. Prince Kendrick Afful

As we bid farewell to one MASSIVE CHAMPION -- but seriously, Steven, if you're ever in town hit, us up -- we welcome a FUTURE MASSIVE CHAMPION, King Harrison's newborn son Prince Kendrick Afful (yesssssssss!).

We are so beyond stoked for the Royal Family! Seriously. Like anyone who knows us knows we love (in no particular order): Prince, Harrison Afful and Kendrick Lamar.  

1. Columbus Crew SC

The rains blessed MAPFRE Stadium a little too early last weekend. New England may have tried to co-opt "The Battle Hymn of the Nordecke" but on Saturday, The World's Greatest Team will no doubt reaffirm why they are Toto's Favored Team.  

Power Rankings: Week 8

By Guillermo O'Rourke

Power Rankings, largely based on an accumulation of data. 

22. Cuauhtemoc Blanco

How many of you would be surprised to learn that the former Chicago Fire and Mexican national team striker was elected mayor of the town of Cuernavaca?

*All hands go up* 

How many of you would be surprised to learn that Blanco, who more or less bribed a referee during a 2009 match vs. Columbus, has been "dogged by allegations of corruption since he was elected last year" and was recently accused of ordering a hit at a local fair earlier this month?

*No hands go up* 

Fuck off, Blanco. Sincerely.

21. ESPN  

The World Wide Leader in Live Sports and Otherwise Garbage Broadcast Content isn't adapting well to the new media landscape -- what with all the kids and their cord cutting. So what's the solution that John Skipper and company came up with to appease his Disney overlords? Laying off around 100 actual journalists, including soccer writers Doug McIntyreDavid Hirshey and Mike Goodman. We'll be pouring some out for our boys at the tailgate Saturday. 

20. New York City Football Club

What's there to say about NYCFC and its fly-in-the-face-of-everything-Don-Garber-purports-the-MLS-to-be-about franchise model that hasn't already been said about its sugar daddy Manchester City? What's there to say about their seat-stealing, cop-attacking, neo-fascist ULTRAZ that hasn't already been said in this space or the Brotherly Game's NYCFC visitor's guide

19. Red Bull Arena

Both Crew SC midfielder Artur and centerback Alex Crognale were visciously attacked by the Harrison, N.J. Turf Monster and that played no small role in the ex-Metrostars' surprise victory last Saturday. Though the initial prognosis for The Crog suggests he could return this weekend, the Brazilian prodigy was not so lucky (more on that later).

18. Newcastle United

The Toon Army has run the gamut of emotions over the last several days, from jubilant highs after clinching promotion straight back to the Premier League Monday; to fatalist lows after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs -- basically the English IRS -- raided the club over fraud charges, which could threaten said promotion; to naive optimism that maybe this latest boondoggle could force sack-of-shite owner Mike Ashley to finally sell the club; to cynical acceptance that, at best, the club's managing director, large adult son Lee Charnley, could go to the clinker but nothing is really go to change (at least for the better) because it's Newcastle. 

17. FaceApp

It's the fun new mobile phone application that's all the rage with your over-sharing aunt or high school classmate. We decided to take it for a spin, too! 

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Haunting, really. 

16. FayMountaineer

Yes, Fightin' Snowmen are still at the top of the GCGBAG Fantasy Table, but these are  power rankings after all. FayMountaineer, led by manager Ronald Martin, went HAM last week with 110 points continuing its assault up the table and now sits in second place, a mere 16 points back of the leaders. 

15. Kids Instagramming on Daniele De Rossi's Lawn

14. Kekuta Manneh Conspiracy Theories

The Massive Report's Patrick Murphy has no time for your tin-foil hat bat-shit crazy theories about why Kekuta Manneh, who was acquired nearly four weeks ago, has yet to make an appearance for The Yellow Soccer Team. Meanwhile, MLSSoccer.com's Andrew King is content stirring the pot (read: transcribing quotes). Who's right? We have no idea.  We're just going to leave this here instead.

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13.  MLSFemale.com

On behalf of all the Golden Boys and Girls, we'd like to welcome Hillary, who's going to be covering the Crew SC beat for MLSFemale.com. Here's her first post, which gave us all the feels. 

12. Dom Leroux-Dwyer on Raw

Thank you, Mr. Sydney Leroux, for assuming the league's WWE fan mantle in Steve Clark's absence. 

11. The Lads (⤵️)

Where else did you expect to find the lads after last weekend's disappointment? Not to worry, though. We've got some major upping in store for Saturday. Major upping. 

10. C.R.E.A.M. 

The MLS Players' Union released errybody's salaries earlier this week. Massive Report broke down who's overpaid and underpaid for Crew SC. We decided to do some, uh, different research. Niiiiice base salaries, Kortne Ford,  Kianz Froese, Jordan Hamilton, Daigo Kobayashi, Jalen Robinson and London Woodberry. You know what we're talking about.

9. Transfer Talk

With the totally-binding "primary" transfer window "slams" shut May 8, so naturally, the rumors are a flying. There are reports Crew SC could be in negotiations with Brazilian playmaker Rafael Longuine -- a potential long-term replacement for Pipa -- while Chicharito might be poised to sign with the new LA team. Meanwhile, Orlando City striker Cyle Larin could be on his way out after being linked with approximately every team in Europe. MLSSoccer.com keeps a nice running tab

8. Chicago Fire Self-Owns

There are so many layers of ownage here we could devote a whole post to breaking it all down. The most obvious one, though: these Chicago Fire "fans" completely missed out on getting a picture with Crew legend Eric Gehrig. 

7. CHICKEN

We have made no secrets of our general apathy for the contrived content that MLSSoccer.com puts out, but as chicken devotees, we can't deny that the Match Day Chicken Bucket Challenge is Good. 

6.  #GetWellArtur

Artur underwent surgery earlier this week to fix his broken wrist and is, but for the grace of Guillermo, only expected to miss three games or so. Crew SC supporters (and mascots) are wishing the young Brazilian a speedy recovery via the aforementioned hashtag. 

5.  Ray Hudson

We have long held that beIN Sports' loquacious Englishman is unquestionably the best color commentator in world soccer [and probably the world in general]. But Hudson, who's never been shy about professing his love of the "magisterial" Lionel Messi, took things to a new level during the El Classico last weekend. 

As much joy as we got from listening to Hudson gush over the "Medicine Man's" stoppage time heroics, we were even more delighted by Messi's celebration.

4. Cinerator

Need proof Cinerator Hot Cinnamon Whiskey serves up the heat like no other? How about 91.1 proof? That's real strength from a smooth whiskey that brings the heat that will kick your glass. But let us worry about being the best. That'll leave you time to wonder how a shot with such a hot cinnamon taste goes down so damn smooth...

Disclaimer: Cinerator Hot Cinnamon Whiskey does not endorse and is in no way associated with the latest edition of GCGBAG's Hunt for The Golden Crewzer... yet! 

3.  Zack Steffen

The rookie keeper/Terminator was about the only bright spot for Crew SC last Saturday in Jersey. He made a career-high five saves and all but cemented his spot on the 2018 US World Cup squad. Plus, he follows some A+ Twitter accounts.

2. That Time Our Scoreboard Caught On Fire

Remember that? Good times.

1.  Columbus Crew SC

Sure, The World's Greatest Team failed to capture all three (or any) points last weekend in Jersey. OK, maybe the club's depth is getting tested a little bit earlier than we had hoped. Hell, we'll even concede that the Black & Gold are displaying some worrying trends on the road. But Saturday is the start of three straight games within the friendly confines of the Tiny Demon Fortress, where said World's Greatest Team is UNDEFEATED this season. Crew SC should have no trouble reclaiming their rightful seat atop the Eastern Conference this weekend. 

Power Rankings: Week 7

Power Rankings, based largely on an accumulation of data. 

22. New York Red Bulls

We're not going to dwell on the fact that the New York Red Bulls' name and overall concept sounds like something from the "Idiocracy" universe. We aren't going to bring up the fact that their franchise's greatest accomplishments comprise of making it to the 2008 MLS Cup Final (where they lost to The Columbus Crew) and making it to the 2015 Eastern Conference Finals (where they lost to Columbus Crew SC), along with a smattering of MEANINGLESS Supporters' Shields. We certainly aren't going to poke fun at the fact that their technical staff takes marching orders from their parent company, which, again, is a freakin' energy drink! Damn, it looks like we're about to hit our charac

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Power Rankings: Week 6

By Guillermo O'Rourke

Power Rankings, largely based on an accumulation of data.

(Ed. Note: We know you, our cherished Golden Boys and Girls, rely on the thoughtful, objective insight and commentary we provide in the form of our weekly Power Rankings. Unfortunately, not everyone sees it the same way and last week, we received a cease and desist order from a certain U.S. professional sporting league office.

While we stand by our, uh, reporting and firmly believe this order to be frivolous and having no legal standing, out of advice from our counsel, we voluntarily held last week's edition of the Power Rankings. Per that same advice, we must withold the name(s) of our accuser(s), so for any future references, we'll use the pseudonym "Dan Gorber."

Last week notwithstanding, we will be undeterred in our dogged pursuit of the Truth, no matter the levers of power we may cross doing so. We remain 💯-percent committed to providing you with the same hard-hitting, deeply-sourced, unbiased coverage of Columbus Crew SC, MLS and the sporting world at large --along with dated pop culture references and fart jokes -- that you've come to expect. To put it another way: Lord help us, we're back on our bullshit.)

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Power Rankings: Week 4

Power Rankings, largely based on an accumulation of data. 

22.  Minnesota United FC (-)

The Loons got tagged for five last weekend and after four matches, they're well on their way to setting a new MLS record for futility. It's like they're being fed through a metaphorical...

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Power Rankings: Week 3

By Guillermo O'Rourke  

 Power Rankings, based largely on an accumulation of data. 

22.  D.C. United's pitch (NR)

Now we know where they faked the moon landing.

21. Atlanta United supporters (-2)

Not only are they taking a cue from the SEATTLE SOUNDERS Supporters Handbook and claiming credit for inventing something they clearly didn't invent, they're also seriously bringing into question their city's status as undisputed capital of Hip Hop culture.

We know you'd like to think your club don't stink

But bring that weak sh*t north, see

Suckas gon' get got by Crew-oo-oo

20. Brek Shea (NR)

The Vancouver Whitecaps wingback got tossed from last weekend's 2-0 loss to Toronto FC after picking up a yellow card for dissent. What the, ahem, Brek did he, ahem, Shea to earn that second yellow? MLSSoccer.com weighed in with the sort of zany, topical humor we'd expect.  

19. Portland Timbers (-11)

The Timbers kept on rolling last week with a comeback 4-2 victory over Houston Dynamo. But with Darlington Nagbe (international duty) and Liam Ridgewell (sprained ankle and wastey face) unavailable, Steve Clark in Denmark and referee Jair Marrufo in no position to blow an crystal-clear call to influence the outcome of the game, Portland should be in for a real challenge Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium. 

18. South Carolina Gamecocks (NR)

We know it's a different sport, but beating Duke is a national service deserving of recognition. 

17. DrunkenCrewzer (NR)

After three weeks, our own Drunken Crewzer's self-titled squad sits atop the GCGBAG MLS Fantasy League table

16. Norway (NR)

Ola Kamara's home country is now officially the happiest nation on the planet.

15. Tony Tchani's new fashion line (NR)

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Our role models are athlete-artist-merchants. There are less than 10 that we can name in history: Truman, Ford, Hughes, Disney, Jobs, Tchani. 

14. The Search for the Golden Crewzer

Two new Crew SC devotees were added to the mix this week. Completely unrelated: The Greater Columbus Golden Boys and Girls Supports Group, Inc., LLC does not condone the use of child labor. Nor do we condone the consumption of a fine single-malt whiskey or any other alcoholic beverage whilst getting one's swoll on. 

13. Adam Jahn: Pollster (NR)

He's coming for you, Nate Silver.

12. Overpaying for old, washed up European players (NR)

Like anything fashion related, the fad of aging European players coming to MLS for one last mega paycheck before hanging up the boots hit the U.S. coasts before making its way into the heartland. Well now the Chicago (sic) Fire have gotten in on it, splurging $4.5 million a year on former World Cup and Champions League winner Bastian Schweinsteiger, who was deemed surplus goods at Manchester United because he was too old, couldn't stay healthy and didn't fit the system. Fortunately none of those issues should follow him to the Windy Suburbs.

11. Cedrick Mabwati (NR) 

Although he never quite reached his full potential on the pitch for Crew SC, "Touch Mabwati" remains one of the greatest chants in Nordecke history. Period. We wish Cedrick a fast and full recovery! 

10. #PipaDinks (NR)

 We swear it's not what it sounds like.

9.  Carli Lloyd (NR)

Carli Lloyd, a national hero who should have her likeness emblazoned upon U.S. currency, scored in her Champions League debut for Manchester City. Granted, it wasn't a thunder strike from 30 yards out or an airmail delivery from midfield, but her headed goal held up as the game-winner, giving Citeh the advantage leading up to the second leg of the quarterfinals.

8.  Hipster Tailgate

Join us on Saturday as we welcome our sporting visitors from the Hipster Mecca of Portland. Wear (black and gold) flannel, (black and gold) knit hats and oversized glasses! Judge people who've never listened to the Velvet Underground! Make your own koozie to keep your PBR can cold! Put a bird on it! 

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7.  Gaston Sauro's Karate Toddler (NR)

6.  Alex Crognale (NR)

You're 22-year-old homegrown defender Alex Crognale. You're making your MLS debut and you've been asked to anchor the back-3. What do you do? How about boss every United player who gets within a yard of you, helping to secure the club's first win and clean sheet of the campaign, earning a spot in the MLS Team of Week and forcing head coach Gregggg Berhalter to make some tough decisions ahead of Saturday's match.

5. The Lads (⬆️)

After last week's 2-0 victory over D.C. United, The Lads are definitely upped.

4. BFFs Ola and Pipa (NR)

Penalty kicks were a sore spot  that divided the Crew SC locker room (Kei Kamara vs. Fredrico Higuain and everyone else) and even the fanbase last season. So to see Pipa let Ola Kamara -- who had totally earned both PKs -- take the second was quite a thing to behold. Let's just say Pipa's Chipotle gift card is good for two. 

3 In The Back (NR)

Awwww yeah boy!  After months -- nay, years -- of anticipation, we finally got to see the Berhalter Back-3 in last weekend's victory. The conditions hardly seemed ideal with DP centerback Jonathan Mensah serving a 1-game suspension, but homegrown youngin Alex Crognale and veteran utility man Josh Williams did a bang-up job filling out the base of the Crewsmas Tree™ formation with Nico Naess. Will we see it again this weekend but with Jonathan? The intrigue!

2. Cascadia Subduction Zone (NR)

The Cascadia Sunduction Zone is a 700-mile long fault line off the coast in the Pacific Northwest, where the North American and Juan de Fuca tectonic plates are wedged up against each other. When the next rupture happens -- it's  overdue and scientists say there's a 1-in-3 chance for a "big one" within the next 50 years -- the resulting earthquake and accompanying tsunami will ravage a 40,000-square-mile area of the Pacific Northwest, including Portland. We're talking a quake measuring between 8.0 - 9.2 on the Richter scale and if it's the high end, a "full-margin" rupture, Portland could be Ground Zero for the "worst natural disaster in the history of North America."

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1.  Columbus Crew SC (-)

The World's Greatest Team is coming off a massive victory and get a boost heading into Saturday's rematch of [REDACTED] with the return of Jonathan from suspension. And, as noted in No. 10, our expert, high-tech, mega-accurate simulation indicates a quite favorable result for the home team. 

 

Stay Golden! 

 

Power Rankings: Week 2

By Guillermo O'Rourke

Power Rankings, largely based on an accumulation of data. 

22. D.C. United (NR)

We had trouble deciding if they should even be ranked at all -- they've yet to score a goal this season -- but we figured it might boost Crew SC's strength of schedule with a win  over another ranked opponent this weekend.

21. Red Cards (NR)

Well it didn't take too long for Crew SC to see red in 2017. Did Jonathan Mensah go in with ill intent? I don't think so. Was it a fair decision? Ehhhhhh. Would it have been overturned on appeal had Greggggg not ostensibly forgotten how the appeals process works? I guess we'll never know.

20. Canada (NR)

Your prime minister might be dreamy, but your teams have combined for as many wins this season as D.C. United has goals -- again, ZERO. Giovinco's still missing PKs and Vancouver kept up their form in a 2-0 loss to Tigres UANL in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semis. But we guess someone has to win when Toronto FC and Vancouver Whitecaps meet this weekend. Or they don't cause, you know, it's soccer.

19. Houston's brass band (NR)

That's all we got.

18. Don Garber: Ultra (NR)

This some real dabbing-on-"Ellen"-level pandering from @TheSoccerDon. No way he could one up that...

17. Don Garber covers hot topics at SXSW with Grant Wahl (NR)

That's the actual title of a real article on ColumbusCrewSC.com. 

16. Hanson's Middle of Everywhere 25 Anniversary Tour (NR)

The boys. Are back. On Tour. Can we crash the gang at the Massive Report Podcast's planned road trip with Niko Hansen for one of the upcoming shows? What about a #NorOnMOETour???

15. Modern Technology (NR)

We're living in a Brave New World, where advancements in technology and sports science allow us to run predictive models to simulate the results of future matches within a virtual environment. See how our team of MIT-trained researchers and Sillicon Valley innovators faired in their first simulation last week. 

14. ZLATAN (NR)

There are reports that LA Galaxy are attempting to woo 35-year old Manchester United striker/God-King ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC with a record contract that would make him the highest paid player in MLS. We over here waiting for Tony Ace$ to throw all the money at ZLATAN and bring him to Columbus, where his greatness would truly by appreciated and celebrated, because, like wine, the older ZLATAN gets, the better ZLATAN gets. 

13. Hunt for the Golden Crewzer (NR)

All season long, GCGBAG is on the hunt for the Golden Crewzer, the ultimate crew fan. The winner will be decided by you, so go vote!

12. Robbie Rogers (NR)

Robbie Rogers made a stop in Ohio at BGSU on Wednesday as part of his We Are One Team tour. We hear his new diet is working out well for him.

11.  #FreeTonyTchani (NR)

If for no other reason, we want to see a Tony Tchani Hat Trick™ in our lifetime! 

(Ed. Note: This is a pretty obscure, self-serving reference. For the uninitiated, a Tony Tchani Hat Trickis a goal, an assist and a yellow card in one game.) 

10. Don't Cross the Line (NR)

MLS has released its newest video as a part of their Don't Cross the Line campaign to end discrimination.

9. 2017 MLS Roster Rule updates (+3)

We didn't know exactly what to make of the new rules when they were released, but Crew SC appear to have taken full advantage, using Don Garber Fun Bucks to lock up last year's MVP Justin Meram and new captain Wil Trapp to long-term deals that come with hefty salary bumps. No, per club policy, we don't know for how long or how much, but sometimes it's nice to leave a little something to the imagination.

8.  USMNT drama (NR)

We ain't talking about the fact that U.S. head coach Bruce Arena passed over Wil Trapp in favor of Jermaine Jones, who would be 37 by the next World Cup and whom, but for his being an US international, we abhor. Take it away, Alejandro Bedoya. 

Jozy -- who is one of the biggest, strongest players on whatever pitch he's playing and nonetheless feels the need to dive, like, every time he gets a foot in the 18-yard box -- tweeted his displeasure at Bedoya, who responded with the commensurate "sorry bro, my comments were taken out of context; you know the media" walk-back. But, we see you Alejadro.

7.  Capo talk (+1)

Earlier this week, SG (Supporter Group? Super Great?) leadership made the decision to appoint a capo for the Nordecke starting March 25 vs. Portland. 

IMG_5277.JPG

Anyway, we really are hoping for the best, and in the meantime, we want to give you the tools to be your own capo! Check out our Nordecke Songbook on the YouTubes!

6.  Neil Sika's turtleneck (NR)

Who wore better?

Neil Sika, Crew SC at Houston Dynamo

Neil Sika, Crew SC at Houston Dynamo

Steve McQueen, "Bullitt" 

Steve McQueen, "Bullitt" 

John Lennon, "Rubber Soul" 

John Lennon, "Rubber Soul" 

The guy in the "Well Done" gif.

The winner: Dwight Burgess

5. Christian Pulisic (NR)

The future of the USMNT scored a nice goal to send his squad through to the UEFA Champions League quarterfinals.

4. Minnesota United supporters (NR)

In a match that took the title for coldest game in MLS history with a temperature of 19F at kickoff, 35,000 Minnesota United fans still upped the lads, even through the snow and a 6-1 defeat. Respect. 

3. Fancy Stats (NR)

According to all the soccer nerds, Ola Kamara and Justin Meram are best players in their respective positions in MLS. Well at least when it comes to scoring goals and assisting.

The "x" is for EXTREME! 

2. Diego Chara's Diving Adventures presented by Herbalife Sporting Club (NR)

Since then, Portland has responded, Diego Chara has been fined and, we assume, the heroes that created that masterpiece have had their portraits commissioned to adorn the walls LA's front office.

1. Columbus Crew SC (no change)

You don't have to win every game to stay number 1 in our hearts. But not to worry, Crew SC faces a struggling DC side at the crumbling RFK stadium this weekend. Here's to watching Crew SC put up as many goals as raccoons that live in the depths of RFK.

Power Rankings: Week 1

The first week of the 2017 MLS season is kaput and boy did it live up to the hype! Minnesota United and Portland Timbers combined for six goals (five of them Portland's), six other teams combined for three scoreless draws and a certain World's Greatest Team (Columbus Crew SC) put on a vintage (2016) performance!

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GCGBAG Week 1 Post-Game: Crew SC 1 - 1 Bridgeview Fire

By: Drunken Crewzer

With a 1-1 draw, the season has kicked off for both Crew SC and GCGBAG, and while we looked good in the first 70 mins, we failed to kill off the game. We started well, the chemistry between Meram and Finlay continues to be fantastic. Meram's 2nd min chance was what all the fans were hoping for, but some guy was there between the posts and stopped it. It only took 15 more minutes for Meram to find Finlay's head and put the good guys in front. Similarly on the tailgate front, we woke up and made sure we had enough food and alcohol to feed a small army. As for as closing out the tailgate, we failed to kill the keg and forgot to refrigerate the extra unused eggs, which are now they're being used for mischievous alternatives. Overall effort, tactics, and play were promising but the final execution could have been slightly better.

All chances to double our lead were there; the play from our wing backs is best described as insatiable. Francis is going to have a hard time getting his starting spot back as Raitala's overlapping runs and dangerous balls into the box are exactly what we needed to balance the attack from Afful on the other side of the pitch. Our Center Backs looked better than they did last season and I do think we were a bit unlucky to give up the the tying goal. Afful stuck out a leg to stop the through ball but an unfortunate bounce put the ball right at Accam's feet in a dangerous position and Accam finished his chance. For as well as Steffen played, it's sad for him to not get a shut out. However he made a phenomenal late stop to save us a point. It seemed as though there were moments where the team briefly lost focus and that was the killer.

Ola Kamara showed us that he probably could have used another preseason game and was unfortunate to miss some time with concussion symptoms. He got into good positions but lacked the final product. However, with this being our first game, I'm sure his quickness and finish will come with more minutes. Of similar importance was the fact that our tailgate game and positioning could have been better. The Crewsmas presents were hit, but our location decision lacked the proper execution. Missing the megatailgate boundary by mere feet and the 2 o'clock kickoff really scuffed an otherwise admirable performance.

I took some time after the game to get some of your thoughts as well:

Source: https://youtu.be/DxrZMZqSOxw

Crew SC Reveals New "Sexy-As-Hell" Yellow Kits, "Historic" Sponsorship Agreement

By: Guillermo O'Rourke

Today, Feb. 24, 2017, is the hottest February day on record for Columbus. No doubt the lamestream media will say the temperature topping out at 76 degrees in February is not a good thing (it isn't) and try to pin it on climate change (definitely). Nice try, nerds, but the reason it's so hot out is because Columbus Crew SC just dropped their new yellow kits AND THEY ARE 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥!!!!!!!!!!!!

From ColumbusCrewSC.com

From ColumbusCrewSC.com

The club also announced a freshly inked 3-year deal with "luxury automaker" Acura, which replaces Barbasol as the team's jersey sponsor. No word yet whether Barbasol will remain on as Crew SC's official free kick spray.

OK, now back to those kits... The Bananas are going to serve as the primary kits for the season, with the black ones taking the back seat as the secondary and last year's much-maligned -- though oddly enough, quite commercially successful -- "For Columbus" kits left waiting as the team, uh, quick runs down to the corner store to grab some smokes. 

Security reportedly had to cut the release ceremony short as hordes of Crew SC fans descended upon MAPFRE Stadium and began hurling wads of cash, credit cards, jewelry and rare paintings at team personnel demanding the chance to run their fingers across the gorgeous side checker pattern and nod approvingly at the tasteful v-neck collar. 

"Hey buddy, my eyes are up here."  From ColumbusCrewSC.com

"Hey buddy, my eyes are up here."  From ColumbusCrewSC.com

Alas, these canary pieces de resistance won't be available for purchase until Crewsmas Day (March 4) at the official team shop, and even then they'll only have a limited supply and sizes, so best get there early, fam. (Remember: the GCGBAG Crewsmas Tailgate starts at 9am, so come fill your cup and stomach before emptying your wallet.) The full array of sizes and styles should be available later in March both at the team shop, online and at local retailers. 

Click here if you want to learn about all the neat Easter Eggs in the jersey.  

Stay Golden, my friends. 

Source: http://http://www.columbuscrewsc.com/post/...

Crew SC signs U.S. Youth international Obinwa, completes permanent transfer for Martinez | Columbus Crew SC

Columbus Crew SC has completed the permanent transfer of midfielder Cristian Martinez from Chorrillo FC in Panama's top division. He was on loan to Crew SC in 2016, with an option to buy at the end of his loan. Additionally, Crew SC has signed US Youth International defensive midfielder Abuchi Obinwa from Hannover 96 U-19's. Both are young talents that will undoubtedly be looking to make a mark on a rejuvenated Crew SC side heading into the 2017 season.

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