GCGBAG Starting 11: Week 7

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

 

11. ZLATAN

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.  

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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

Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

 

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. 

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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. 

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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! 

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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.

 

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

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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 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.