GCGBAG Starting 11: Week 5

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

 

11. Op-Ed: Steven Croyle Sucks

Let’s be honest.

Steven Croyle may be as edgy as a soccer ball, but the Crew “op-ed” he sharted out Monday for 614now was sound from a clickbait perspective. Despite the furor over his specious claims and self-aggrandizing tone,  Columbus has no cause to “weep for ‘journalism’” as some commenters are claiming. Everyone’s entitled to an opinion. Regurgitating PSV and MLS talking points means little coming from the author of “Survival Guide: Winter Beerfest Edition.”

Even the rebuttal on 614now said his piece wasn’t worth an “overriding critique.”

(Side note: If you’re going to use a parenthetical to immediately walk back your argument, take that as a sign. Your readers are not the ones missing the point, Steven.) 

 

10. Current Events: World Cup Edition

The lead up to summer’s World Cup in Russia was just going swimmingly but now Western Snowflakes are all in a tizzy. Whom among us has not ordered the use a nerve agent like something out of  “The Rock” to attempt an extra-judicial killing on foreign soil?

That doesn’t mean MLS won’t be sending its best and brightest to Russia. We’re talking, of course, about referee Jair Marrufo.

Real bastion of integrity , that guy.

 

9. “El Trafico”

LA Galaxy and the Los Angeles Football Craft meet for the first time this weekend. While our investment in this manufactured rivalry — make that budding new daaaaarby — is directly proportional to how many minutes ZLATAN plays, we have to give it up to LA supporters for coining “El Trafico.” Alexi Lalas took to Twitter to assure everyone that MLS wouldn’t think of trademarking the nickname. 

  

8. FC Cincy Is Getting MLS’d

The deadline for MLS to announce the next winner of the expansion beauty pageant is supposed to be imminent. FC Cincinnati is competing with Sacramento and Detroit for a franchise. We admit we haven’t followed all stadium tulmut too closely, but it sure sounds like FC Cincy’s biggest obstacle to securing a site is... DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONNN GAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRBERRRRR!

For what it’s worth, we want FC Cincy to get a MLS franchise so we can #KeepHellReal.

 

7. Metaphors

Last year, we invested our hard-earned moola in a heavy-duty grill so we could cook enough hotdogs, hibachi, walking tacos, etc., to serve the whole #MEGATAILGATE on game days. The grill was supposed to bring joy to everyone for years to come. We entrusted PSV to steward this cherished community asset (i.e., the FO they said they’d store it in the shed between game days). You know where this is going, right?

Before (basically) and after.

Before (basically) and after.

Did Boyish Anthony order the Crew staff to leave our grill out exposed to the elements throughout the offseason as a form of passive-aggressive retaliation for the many damning revelations we have, uh, revealed in this space? To be continued...  

 

6. SANCH! 

The Tekk Machine in Black & Gold  tickled the twine for the first time Saturday against DC. And while there was a bit of a row on Twitter earlier this week when reports surfaced that Anthony Precourt may have shorted his former club SC Braga on the transfer fee, Greggggg was quick to correct the record.  

 We can dig it!  

 

5. Young Deepy

Remember when Greggggg told us we might have to wait a bit for 19-year-old Milton Valenzuela to transition into a more attacking role. Well that didn’t take too long.

According to our research, he’s the first Crew left back to score a goal since The Robbie Rogers, probably (look we don’t get paid to do that much research). Young Deepy has already played a part is as many goals through 4 starts as Juka Raitala did in 20-some last season. 

 

4. Photobombs

Enjoy every second of the Drunken Crewzer Postgame Show for DC United.  

 

3.  Pipa

The Maestro became the first Crew player to enter MLS’s vaunted 50-50 Club when he found Ricardo Clark from the corner in the 40th minute against DC. With that accomplishment in the bag, he can get back to the more pressing matters of leading the Crew to the Sextuple! 

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2. Captain America

Wil Trapp captained AMERICA to a 1-0 victory over Miguel Almiron-led Paraguay Tuesday night. The Crew skipper captured Man of the Match honors and was the catalyst for many a Yank attack. More importantly, he escaped Cary, N.C., relatively unscathed because Paraguay was out for blood. Same goes for Zack Steffen, who also picked up the clean sheet and has yet to concede a goal for the USMNT.

 

1. #SaveTheCrew

Guess what other unstoppable force from Columbus made an appearance in the USA-Paraguay game?

And now, a parting message from Gumbinho: 

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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.

 

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.  

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