GCGBAG Starting 11: Week 3

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

 

11. Evan Bush

Let’s just say the Montreal keeper has had a rough go at things against a Certain World’s Greatest Team of late. Like a 10-goals-allowed-over-his-last-three-starts kind of rough go.  While we had a soft spot for the Ohio native for a time, his role in the “Goal Camghazi” scandal last June changed things. So we 100% support the official Crew Twitter dunking on him. 

  Au revoir, garçon du fucc!

 

10. That Other Kamara Guy

Kei Kamara is a complicated man. Off the field, he’s a duly-recognized  humanitarian, who has contributed so much to his native Sierra Leone. On the other hand, he’s sort of — how can we put this? — a dick. And an overrated dick at that. Think we’re wrong? Well numbers don’t care about your feelings.

 

9. MLS2ATX x SXSW

What’s the difference between MLS2ATX and South By Southwest? One is the commodification of Austin’s celebrated counterculture by soulless corporate brands manifested... and the other has cheap kites!

Dave Greeley, who’s failed up so many times that he’ll probably end up running Soccer United Marketing after we #SaveTheCrew, saw an opportunity to offload some scarves show how much Austin, Texas loves soccer while the festival-thing is going on. And boy, we can just feel the all energy and excitement.

Did someone say photoshopped? 

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8. Alexi Lalas

We thought the former USMNT defender turned Fox Soccer commentator showed his true colors when he appeared in the first edition of Sean Kelly’s Save The Crew documentary. Since then it’s become clear Lalas is the only person remotely associated with MLS actually taking this “parallel paths” stuff seriously.

Maybe he got a stern talking to by Don Garber? Most likely though, he just thinks this Twitter contrarian schtick is good for his Brand. 

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7. Alex Crognale Got The Shaft

With Josh Williams *swoon* nearing a return, we weren’t too surprised to see Alex Crognale get loaned out to a USL team to get a few games in. We just figured he’d be loaned out to one of the half dozen or so USL teams in contiguous states, not sent across the goddamned country to the Orange City Oranges (or whatever). 

“But Guillermo, you aren’t inferring that Anthony Precourt forced  Gregggggg to loan Alex far away from his friends and family, some of whom have been critical of plans to move the team far away from his friends and family, are you? That would be extremely petty, even for Precourt.”

We’re not just inferring it, rhetorical device. 

 

6. Mini Tiny Demon Fortress  

If you want to purchase this beauty for your child [within], you’d better hurry because they’re going fast! Hit up our dude BLOCKStadium on Etsy

There’s even a special McKalla Place edition for a certain blundering failson.

 

5. Drunken Crewzer Goes To The Olympics

The often imitated (*cough* Massive Report *cough*), never duplicated and always inebriated GCGBAG reporter is back again for another season of shoe-leather investigative journalism. Drunken Crewzer was on the scene after the Crewsmas Day victory asking the question on everyone’s mind. What’s that question? Watch to find out! Or, you know, look for the contextual clues. 

 

4. Gyasi Zardes  

Now that Zardes has scored more goals in pair of games in Black & Gold than he did in 23 starts for the LA Galaxy last year, the HYPE is happening. 

While there is little doubt that Zardes will net 20+ to help lead the Crew to a 34-0-0 season, a few question remain. Is it the Zardes or Gregggggg’s system? And if it’s Gregggggg’s system, could, like, anyone score in it? And if, like, anyone could score, how many goals could Adam Jahn get starting over the course of a season?

Pray we never find out.

 

3.  Pipa

We don’t need to retread the history of Fredrico Higuain and penalty kicks in Columbus. However, to see the Maestro  — after popping one in from the spot in the first half for his 50th career goal in Black & Gold — concede the stoppage-time, game-winning PK to Zardes on Saturday was to see him at perhaps his most cerebral. Which is to say, Pipa knows the gravity of this season and he ain’t got no time for the Süddeck.

“I always miss on that goal. Always. I think I’ve missed 4 or 5 PKs, so why not try something new.”

While we’d argue Pipa should’ve been credited with an assist for that move, he’ll likely have to wait one more game to become the first member of the 50-50 club in Crew history (he’s sitting on 49 right now).

We have the sneaking suspicion that No matter how much praise and adoration we shower upon him, we will only come to truly appreciate his majesty once he has hung up the boots. But that day is not today. 

 

2. GUMBINHO  

If you caught the front page of last Sunday’s Dispatch, you know the Greater Columbus Golden Boys and Girls are, to put it mildly, a global phenomenon. 

At the vanguard, along with the Tifo Czar, was GUMBINHO. With the return of that that glorious green polyester purveyor of all things Massive, there will be no stopping us! 

 

1. #SaveTheCrew

After tackling the silver screen last week with the swanky red carpet premiere of part two of the Save The Crew documentary series, #SaveTheCrew set its sights on the next big thing: public radio. More specifically, WOSU’s “All Sides with Ann Fisher.”

(Radio shows are like fancy podcasts, but they don’t record them in youre moms basement.) 

Corporate Celebrity Fan Morgan Hews joined Ann in-studio (because his apartment is infested with rats) while “Duffey Man” (Oh yeah!) State Rep. Mike Duffey and legal wrangler James Maniace called in for a riveting discussion. Rep. Duffey even brought his Ohio Revised Code so that everyone could get a taste of the special “Modell Law.” 

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 Listen here

—— 

Guillermo O’Rourke is real-life, award-winning journalist and commentator. His book, Nine Lies: The Search for Crew Cat’s Killer still 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: 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

Read more

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!