Crew TSII: Crew Coming Into Focus; Nifty Friendly (that sounds less nifty when you think about it)

(Just a quick FYI: I think I’ve got a good set-up in mind for the Rapids/Crew updates. Those will come early in the morning, the rest will follow. At least that’s the plan today. And, oh yes, I will miss breaking stories…that is all.)

It takes covering the Colorado Rapids to truly appreciate the true meaning of crap coverage. The comparative radio silence of Rapids-Land gives the several reports and updates from outlets official and private on the Columbus Crew a sense of things afoot. Good lord, it might even be a buzz.

Tucked in the middle of a weekly update focused on Eddie Gaven’s and Robbie Rogers’ call-up(s) to the U-23s, you’ll find the first and second half line-ups for the Crew’s embarra…I mean, loss to the Ventura County Fusion. You’ll see some familiar names from this pre-season in there – Emanuel Ekpo, Guilherme So, Sandro Jose, even Mamadu Bah – but it takes Covering the Crew’s latest post to get a bead on where these guys stand. To sum up – for those not interested in the expanded version: So and Ekpo look like they’ll sign – the latter, it seems, has really impressed; the team wants more time to evaluate Bah and talks with Sandro Jose remain stuck. It’s also worth pointing out that there’s talk of an imminent waiver in there as well: so long, Ricardo Virtuoso(?).

And, in another little jab to their Rocky Mountain competitors (with whom, I should acknowledge, they’re not actually in competition with), the Columbus Dispatch ran an entirely respectable write-up on the Tim Ward/Nicolas “Nico” Hernandez trade that included a dash of perspective (Nico’s stats), analysis/speculation (how well will he work with Guillermo Barros Schelotto), and updates on player movement/signings. That, my friends, is coverage – and a journalistic blow-out, by my reckoning.

Oh, and before I forget, to Rogers and Gaven: way to go, youngsters? What’s that behind your ear? What is it? Gasp…it’s a brand-new shiny quarter! Now, run off and get yourself something nice…

Where was I? That same weekly update talks about the 5 finalists in the “name that trophy” contest for the newly-established mini-(tacked on)-rivalry (which I endorse) between the Crew and Toronto FC. And those are:

The Cross Border Cup, The Great Lakes Cup, The Capital City Cup, The Trillium Cup and The Buck-Loonie

And, according to the copy, you have till March 5 to vote for the option that least offends your intelligence….which makes this a lot like grown-up elections. I’m off to vote for The Buck-Loonie: silly trophy, silly name – what’s not to like?

Lastly, that friendly discussed in the title – and this happens to be the Crew’s last pre-season action – comes on March 6. Now, on paper, this sounds killer: they’re playing Everton FC – e.g. the team currently sitting fourth in the English Premier League. And then you realize they’ll probably just play their reserves and the bubble bursts a little. Still, they get a trip to Liverpool out of it…a place I really liked in a gloomy way….even with two really hammered Irish dudes trying to steal my bag on the pretext it contained a bomb (and a fifth of Jameson…s.o.b.s.; they didn’t get it). Anyway, check out Liverpool Cathedral, guys. That is one impressively massive temple to the Almighty.  This is what you’re looking for…and it’s quite a ways from Goodison…across town, if memory serves.


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