GCGBAG Starting 11: Week 7

Thoughtful analysis and commentary about The Columbus Crew and Major League Soccer, largely based on an accumulation of data.



ZLATAN made his MLS debut in true ZLATAN fashion: scoring off a volley from, like, 100 yards out in the “El Trafico.” The LA media’s embrace of ZLATAN has been true to form:

There’s just one thing that could (read: will) ruin ZLATAN in MLS and that, of course, is MLS.


10. Legal Wrangling

Despite what you may have heard, everything actually happens on a Friday... at least when it comes to legal battle to Save The Crew. Last week Mayor Andrew Ginther released a gloriously snarky open letter to PSV requesting he and MLS open up the books for prospective buyers here in Columbus. Today PSV “tipped their hand” on their argument that the court dismiss the state and city’s joint-lawsuit. Miki Turner’s summed it up best. 

There’s an alternative route MLS and PSV should really consider as well.  



9. Timber Joey

We’ve never really understood the disdain some Crew supporters hold for the Portland Timbers, especially after Don Garber’s nasty bout of explosive diarrhea forced the cancellation of the 2015 MLS Cup Final (JUST TRUST US ON THIS ONE). Besides, it’s not like the whole Pacific Northwest isn’t overdue to be hit by a massive earthquake and accompanying tsunami. Let’s give credit where it’s due, and Rip City’s definitely due some for this incredible promo: 


8. DJ Wig-Wam

Failson | fail•son | noun 

A man, middle- to upper-class and usually White, who, but for family status and support, would be crushed by poverty. 

Used in a sentence: 

Last week we learned MLS Commissioner Don Garber has a failson of his own: David, a freelance EDM blogger, DJ and “party-thrower” based out of Brooklyn. David aka DJ Wig-Wam (tasteful!) even has is own SoundCloud and is part of something called a Goonroom.  

Yo we got DJ Wig-Wam on the ones and twos! Brrrrrrap brrrrrrap brrrrrrrap! 

Yo we got DJ Wig-Wam on the ones and twos! Brrrrrrap brrrrrrap brrrrrrrap! 

Don’s blanket support of Anthony Precourt — another noted failson — makes much more sense with that context. It’s just those paternal instincts kicking in! 


7. #AskPrecourt

Crew Twitter dusted off the ol’ #AskPrecourt hashtag this week. It was quite... what’s the polar opposite of nostalgic? Boyish Anthony pretty much stuck to answering inane softball questions from sycophantic Corporate Celebrity Fans, but that didn’t mean there weren’t plenty of folks that saw through his charade.


6. Justice for Tommy Heinemann

While we congratulate FC Cincinnati on reportedly settling on a stadium location -- one phase of #KeepHellReal down! -- we will NOT excuse their "deplorable" mistreatment of Tommy Heineman. The MLS Players Association recently released a letter blasting FC Cincy who tried to force the Massive Legend to take a pay cut before ultimately voiding his contract because of an old injury (USL rival Penn FC has already  signed him). 

Amen, William. CBA negotiations are gonna be funnnnnnn next year!


5. Josh Williams



4. Tactics!  

What do you get when you mix the in-depth tactical breakdowns of American Soccer Analysis with the artistic vision of the early 00’s viral phenom The End of the World

Looks like some new inspiration for our own Tifo Czar! 


3. MLS is Controlling the Narrative

It's good to see that Communications Czar Dan Courtsmunch has current players and coaches staying on-message here in the midst of the MLS season.  

Huge shout out to both Massive Legends above, along with the likes of Matt Lampson and Brad Stuver. Hopefully there are many more to follow. 


2. An Important Public Service Announcement

Don't feed the trolls. Just look at Rick. He'll find you. 



1. #SaveTheCrew

It’s been another ho-hum week for the rag-tag #SaveTheCrew movement, which is despite evidence to the contrary is falling apart right in front of our eyes. They released an open letter to Don Garber Monday, which would’ve probably received more notice if they’d gone with our suggested edits. 



They also revamped their Web page highlighting the 300-plus business allies who are hip to the cause.

Sorry, #SaveTheCrew, you can lead Crew Director of Business Operations Andy Luccigang to water, but you can make him do his job! 


Guillermo O’Rourke is real-life, award-winning journalist and commentator. His book, Nine Lies: The Search for Crew Cat’s Killerstill needs a publisher. Did you see something Good on line that should be featured in the next Starting 11? Tweet @gcgbag96 and let him know using the hashtag #DonGarberPeeTape.


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


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

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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.


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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:


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.