Why Columbus Won …

The Crew celebrated finally breaking on through to the other side.

The Crew celebrated finally breaking on through to the other side.

… Ed here.

So, as I suspected, another prediction down the drain (although my playoff ones hadn’t actually been bad to this point), as the Columbus Crew defeated the Chicago Fire, 2-1, last night in the MLS Eastern Conference Final to advance to their first-ever MLS Cup – or, as JP Dellacamera put it 14 times (give or take five), “a place they’ve never been before.”

Columbus started to take control of the match late in the first half, already down 1-0. They started buzzing around in the attacking third with much more consistently, and were generating chances, but weren’t getting any payoff. Chad Marshall got the equalizer, and Eddie Gaven hit a well-struck shot to get what ended up being the winner – one of the rare moments of the game where Gaven managed to stay on his feet when anyone was within 10 feet of him.

Guillermo Barros Schelotto assisted on both goals and put his stamp on the game much more than his midfield counterpart Cuauhtemoc Blanco did. I didn’t expect that, so full credit to the Columbus playmaker for getting the job done. Sigi the Scarf took GBS off for the final 10 minutes, but the Crew survived a bit of a late effort from Chicago – though I don’t think they played with enough urgency for the situation they were in – and the Crew advanced.I think Sigi must have seen something in that last bit of the first half, harped on it at halftime, and his team took it to heart for the early barrage in the second half.

Credit to the Crew fans, as well, for their numbers, but not for booing Brian McBride, and it sounded like, calling him a traitor. That was undeserved and classless. I let out a happy yell when McBride got the opening goal of the game. He may as well have been out there in a Michigan football jersey, I guess.

Will I pick against the Crew again in the Final? I don’t know yet, depends on who they are going to play – and we will discuss that shortly.

Congrats to the Crew.


7 thoughts on “Why Columbus Won …

  1. You and Aaron both argued that it was classless for Crew fans to jeer McBride. I’m sure I’m missing something, but I don’t get it. First of all, I can’t see how it’s any worse than telling a player his mother is a whore, or calling him the “pussy of the year”, two things many DC fans do very frequently. And from Columbus fans’ perspective, well, he *is* a traitor; if I was a Crew fan, I’d be pissed at him too.

    Now, if they’d thrown pig heads in his direction, I’d completely agree with you guys.

    So what am I missing?

  2. I don’t know, I thought McBride did a lot for that franchise/club/whatever. He moved on. It’s not as if he went directly from Columbus to Chicago. I could see that being different.

    But he left, made a good career for himself in England, and as part of coming home, wanted to play for Chicago. I really don’t see the problem for him to do that. What, does Columbus miss him? Seems they’re doing pretty well for themselves without him.

    I was just glad to see McBride respond the way a professional would, by scoring a goal, rather than any other antics that we may or may not have seen (depending on who you ask) from other players in the past.

    Was it OK when DC fans booed Bruce Arena?

    Though, I wholeheartedly agree, pig heads should never enter the equation.

  3. And to add more, because I can’t sleep.

    … I think part of it is because it’s McBride, and there’s an appreciation there for what he did for the US team that I have, that maybe the Crew fans put aside because they are only looking at it in the club scene.

    That’s understandable. But I have a lot of respect for McBride, and he’s a rare player who I thought would have been above such treatment.

    But maybe not.

  4. The angry Crew fan perspective that I’ve heard argued most is this: McBride was offered to be our DP when he was out of contract with Fulham. He supposedly “seriously considered” it before resigning with Fulham for a larger pay day (not that we blamed him then). When his year at Fulham was over and the time came to court McBride back to MLS, the Crew FO calls to McBride were not returned. When word of this leaked out in the local media magically McBrides agent/brother gave the lame excuse of “I got a new phone number, sorry Brian really cares about Columbus, so much so that he’d rather play for peanuts in Chicago than come back and be your DP.” So many Crew fans feel that McBride used Columbus as a barganning chip with Fulham so he could get a good year long contract with them, then return to Chicago never having any interest in coming back to a city that supported him year after year and hell even made “Brian McBride Day” a city holiday. So from that perspective, yes he is a traitor and I can understand why fellow Crew fans would think that way. I didn’t follow the Crew when he was there so I have no attachment to him so I don’t care a whole lot. Let me ask you this, if Jaime Moreno left DC for Europe, had the chance to come back to DC and instead signed with the Red Bulls would United fans give him a hero’s welcome at RFK? My guess is probably not.

  5. Why, by the time he’d come back, Moreno would be nearly 40, so I’m guessing it wouldn’t be a big deal.

    And lest you forget, Moreno did play for the franchise formerly known as the MetroStars.

  6. But that wasn’t because he was spurning DC, and choosing Jersey over DC.

    DC players who have done that (Tino to LA, Bos to Houston) have been heckled ferociously when they came back with their new team.

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