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.

 

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...

Read More

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. 

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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.