The Student News Organization for Rutherford B. Hayes High School

Hope on the Horizon

November 19, 2021

Crew+fans+watch+the+team+take+the+field+against+the+Chicago+Fire.+The+match+ended+in+a+2-0+win+for+the+Crew+on+the+final+day+of+their+2020+season

Photo used with permission from Aaron McClain

Crew fans watch the team take the field against the Chicago Fire. The match ended in a 2-0 win for the Crew on the final day of their 2020 season

Late addition Steven Moreria showed promise in a sample size of matches, including a 2-0 (“dos a cero” as that scoreline is called in Columbus) win against Cruz Azul in the Campeones Cup. But Moreria wasn’t given much time to mesh with the backline.

With star players, a championship coach, a shining new stadium, and fans that have a new attachment to the team, the Crew simply cannot settle for a 9th place finish.”

The biggest challenge for the MLS Originals going forward will be choosing a direction. Which young players will have potential translate into performance, and how will they be paired with the likes of Zardes, Nagbe, and Zelaryan? How will the midfield recover after being infected with inconsistency?

Luckily for the Crew, the most tenured members of the club are returning: the supporters. The children watching games at home, copying moves and breaking living room lamps, aren’t out of contract. The diehard fans who haven’t missed a game since 1996 aren’t going on loan. The mothers taking their kids to games to show them the sport they love aren’t in trade rumors, and the couples whose date nights take place in the Nordecke alongside the other chant leaders aren’t secretly talking to other teams.

As long as the Crew can maintain a connection with the community, the culture will outlast the challenges and make Columbus a destination for elite soccer and a staple of the game in the US. The 2021 season is more to the Crew than missed opportunity; it’s a defining moment in the club’s trajectory.

With star players, a championship coach, a shining new stadium, and fans that have a new attachment to the team, the Crew simply cannot settle for a 9th place finish.

Hopefully, a less strenuous early schedule and humbled expectations provide some kind of comfort to the Crew, but a key will be maintaining a good atmosphere and team for the people of Columbus to gather around once again. With fan interest will come passion, which will cement Columbus as Soccer City, USA.

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