Sunday, April 28, 2013

Crew Scrimmage WVU

Wrote a mess about the Crew scrimmage today vs West Virginia University over at Massive Report. Crew won, but not really what it is about (but you know that already).

Did some drawing during the game and played around a bit with it when I got home. Here is the music that inspired it (eh?).

Hans Zimmer, gets me every time.

Crew Rd 8: Win, Scoreboard on Fire

While DC matched the Crew in terms of play, Columbus proved they have the ability to finish much better. DC was handed a sixth lost in their first eight games and the Crew pick up their third win of the season.


Even after conceding three early and easy goals last week to Philadelphia DC continued to make the same open mistakes which allowed the Crew to put the same amount up on them in the 1st half.

Jairo Arrieta finally made his way back into the starting line up and showed exactly what made him so dangerous last year. Arrieta assisted on the first, was integral part of the 2nd (where Higuain linked up with J. Williams from a corner) and drew the penalty in the box on the third.

It wasn't a perfect half for the Crew and DC looked fine, even had a goal called back via unlucky offside call.

DC carried on with normal attacking, open play but they left their finishing somewhere else (in 2012?). Chance upon chance for United but all lacked any semblance of quality.

When DC didn't get chances it was because Danny O'Rourke broke up the attack. Most are saying this is O'Rourke's best game of the year and it could be. Having Tony Tchani (a more comfortable midfielder then his former CDM partner Viana) beside him probably helped.

Interesting to note though that DC was able to rip off 13 shots in the 2nd half alone (to a Crew 2) but only one of those really troubled GK Andy Gruenebaum. As time ticked away in the 2nd half it became clear that DC just doesn't have it.

• Officiating in this one was poor. DC was on the wrong side of a number of these calls but the Crew got some questionable one's as well.

• Viana dropped back to his natural position at left back to start the game but pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury early on. Tyson Wahl came on for him and played his normal game, which is "okay".

• Great to see Tchani out there in the middle. He's got a lot of detractors but his preseason was excellent. His play has tightened up in the past half year or so. He is improving.

• Easy to say that; had Chris Pontius (injured) played this may have been different. Considering DC did play ok, this DC team probably needed that change. And more change on the defensive side especially.

• Jairo showed exactly why he needs to be out there. The Crew looked like the team last year that dismissed a lot of these bottom half of the table teams.

• DC's goalkeeper Bill Hamid is not playing well. He actually didn't have a single save. The three Columbus had were goals (one penalty from Higuain).

Not long before the match was scheduled to start, the Crew scoreboard caught on fire. Here is a picture Sam Fahmi took for Massive Report (lots more photos there, as well as info on the blaze from Patrick Guldan).

This event also made Deadspin, HERE.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Predictions: Crew (H) v. DC

Good Afternoon,

Columbus play their third game of the season at home tonight as they host DC United. Game Start: 7:30 PM EST. Word is sales have been good but critical Home Blue Jackets game starts at 7:00 PM. Will be interesting to see how the stands look.

-Crew looking to make a couple starting lineup changes after a few lackluster results.
-For the 2nd week in a row, Crew facing team at bottom of table.
-DC hasn't gotten a point in last four, last win was 5 games ago.
-2012 Allstar and DC team leader Chris Pontius is out (or taking break).

Starting off with Win Draw Win's 'Your Vote' section and it has Columbus, assuredly. 56% on Crew win, 30% draw, with the remaining 12% going to DC.

Going with Adam Jardy, who is on the Crew beat here in town, early here. He is a little unsure how things might turn out. Surprising if you are an outsider looking in but not so much if you follow this team. Jardy from today's paper; "Trying to get an accurate read on either of these teams is difficult."

Drew Epperley at WV Hooligan thinks "the Crew have the offensive muscle" to pull this on out 2:1 over DC.

For the third week in a row the dudes at like the Crew. In fact it is an overwhelming six out of six that pick the Crew this week. Amazing.

Looks like Matt Doyle is still on top with 50% accuracy. Everyone else is 41% or below. Andrew Wiebe still pulling up the rear at 35%. Same guy that wrote the now edited comparison of MLS to other top leagues using basic statistics. Interesting note on that article is that the word "eurosnob" has been removed. Here is the full note on the edit:

EDITORS' NOTE: Due to a miscalculation of MLS's 2012 stats from an outside contractor, a previous version of this article displayed some errors in the statistics, including goals per game and passes attempted. They have been corrected.

They got it wrong, didn't triple check numbers then blamed the contractor. The maturity level here is astonishing.

Next up is our friends at BET365 who likes the Crew. A lot. Better than even for Crew at 8/11 (13/5 Draw and 15/4 DC). Interesting it is so heavy.

Patrick Guldan at the best Crew place (and the one of which I like contributing) thinks that Higuain will get the space he needs for the Crew to pull this out 2:1 by the end.


I think that, real injury or not, Pontius being out actually helps DC a bit in that it makes them a new team to plan for. So much goes through him that it'll be interesting to see what DC United does tonight.

But it is another week and another 'should win' for the Crew. A loss at home to this DC team would be devastating and hard to spin off of for the club. In the previous two home games the Crew only have two points. Not great, at all but they can take that up to 5 pts in three tonight and right the ship, somewhat.

I like the Crew tonight but I have a great deal of hesitancy with that prediction. DC didn't do their homework last time they met earlier this year and came inches from a least a draw.

Whatever the result, it is beautiful here in Columbus today. Get out and watch the Crew instead of sitting in that cooped up hockey arena.

Thanks for reading, have a great weekend.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bottled Up, Follow Up + Min Max Cap

Working on a new post for Massive Report that discusses the capacity of this year's Columbus Crew team. Digging back I am going over a lot of Higuain's production and performance. I've been writing about his role on the Crew since he started and dug pretty far into it over at Massive Report about a month ago. There were early signs last year that he had been figured out and the Crew, as of yet, have not adjusted.

Going to explore 'capacity' (min /max /expected) more tonight but wanted to get a link up to my Bottled Up, Higuain post and the artwork that went with it here at Helltown.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Crew Rd 7: Ugly Loss

Columbus looked completely out of sync last night in Bridgeview, Ill. as the Fire out-shot, out-played and out-hustled a very poor looking Crew - a lopsided 0:1 final.


Crew HC Warzycha keep his lineup/formation the same as the past few weeks and Chicago looked ready for it. After an early Crew goal called back for offsides, the first half was slow and sloppy. Neither team really taking control.


Chicago locked in to what the Crew were doing and punished them harshly. That adjustment is best seen in the fact that the Fire ripped off 16 of their 21 shots in the 2nd half.

Columbus looked terrible right from the whistle. Federico Higuain's passes we off target by yards. Eddie Gaven looked ill, Glauber another step slow. Almost a general disinterest from the Crew. Had it not been for poor finishing and good goal keeping from Andy Gruenebaum this game could have been much worse (but how many times to you hear that kind of thing about goalies on bad teams?)


• The tactics the Crew are employing were figured out in total by Frank Klopas and the Chicago Fire. Predictable, stale and unable to produce scoring opportunities. What is a generally defensive formation in the 4-2-3-1 (or more like a 6-3-1) wasn't even able to keep the Fire away from testing Gruenebaum.

• Tyson Wahl, Glauber, Eddie Gaven and Federico Higuain looked off last night. Nothing was connecting and it was hard to watch.

• Ben Speas looked consistent with previous outings but was subbed off for Jairo Arrieta around the 60th min in the 2nd half when it probably should have been Gaven or Viana who came off.

• Chicago's finishing was not good but not sure they have had this much opportunity all year. It was like an indoor cat looking out a open door to the outside for the first time.

• Chicago: 21 shots, 7 on target.
• Columbus: 6 shots, 0 on target.

• Take away the Chivas game and the Crew have 6 goals in 6 games with 7 goals against. Also puts them at 6 pts on 6 games which is puts them down with New England, DC United and the this team that just ran them out of town, Chicago.

• Imagine if DC bothered to actually prepare for Columbus last time they met. Speaking of which, DC is in town this weekend.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Predictions: Crew v. Fire

The Columbus Crew are in Chicago today to take on the Fire. 8:30 PM EST, 7:30 Central.

- Been 9 games since Crew won in Chicago. That's 2006.
- 5 Wins, 4 Drawn for the Fire in that time.
- Last year teams won home matches (2 at Bridgeview, 1 in Columbus)


Bet365 is leaning Chicago on this one, which is a bit surprising when looking at form but not surprising when looking at history. 6/5 CHI Win (23/10 Draw, 9/4 Crew).

Adam Jardy, Dispatch beat writer, is leaning Crew. Leaning, as in he thinks they will win by citing the fact that the Crew have done well on the road this year. The Fire are down right now and Jardy thinks that if ever a time to win in Chicago; "...this would be it."

"I think the skill up front by the Crew is the difference," says Drew Epperley of WV Hooligan. His prediction? 2:1 Crew.

Not many votes over at for this game but the few that voted think the Crew will win this one (75%).

And now the big dog, the usually correct Win Draw Win fan vote: A pretty easy win for the Crew? Looks like it. 48% pick Crew, 29% Draw with a large stake on 3:1 Away side.


Columbus has beaten Chivas USA and DC United on the road this year with a draw in Montreal and loss in Vancouver. Overall, that's good, especially this early in the season.

Chicago has been getting better but not entirely sure where goals might come from. I think they will need two to win this one. They also have held at home verses the Crew for whatever reason since 2006. That's pretty crazy, really. If I'm the Crew I mix up the travel up there. Something isn't working.

Tough one to call. History vs. Form. On last weeks Massive Report podcast I went with a 2:0 Crew win, so I'll stick with that.

An outright Crew loss would be disappointing.

On The Fire, Post

Put together a few words about this weekend's Columbus Crew v. Chicago Fire match for Scott Fenwick and the On The Fire. You can read it here: Prime Your Fire Pump: Chicago vs. Columbus Crew

Along with On The Fire, Scott also contributes to the Guardian's (UK) MLS fan previews and writes on the US Open Cup (which is heating up now, go. Read.) A treasure trove of writers contribute over there as well. If it is not on your regular reading list be sure to change that.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Workbook Doodles

Not long ago I was clicking through Craig Robinson's (author of Flip Flop Fly Ball) site and stumbled around for some time, mesmerized by just about everything there. It got me thinking that I always appreciate it when an a writer or artist or blogger or what have you puts up doodles or quick ideas from their notebook. Not sure why that is exactly but perhaps it's an uncensored / un-polished look at how their mind works.

These come from my notepad I carry around with me at work. My handwriting has always been horrible and it gets even worse when I write standing up or on racking. The drawings are usually done when on a long call with corporate or another facility that is attended by loads of people. Most of it seems a mess now but there are so many things I wish I still had over the years like this but have since lost. Hoping they stick around in this place.

More on Robinson. He is from England and somehow fell in love with baseball as an adult. In a lot of ways it is the reverse for a lot here in the US falling of soccer. Here's a bit:

"With baseball, there was suddenly a sport that slotted into that part of my brain. Pitcher tries to do this. Batter tries to do that. Runners move methodically around the bases, defensive plays work like clockwork. Even the little rituals, like not stepping on the foul lines or the manager physically taking the ball from a pitcher and handing it to the reliever, felt nice in my brain."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

People of Columbus, Eurosnobs

Cody Sharrett, Digital Content Producer for the Columbus Crew official internet outlet, wondered aloud on twitter: "Has #MLS ever gone head-to-head with Euro leagues in TV ratings? Man City v. Chelsea @ 11 a.m. - FOX Soccer// #Crew96 v. #IMFC @ noon - FSO."

I would gauge the prevalence of soccer fans in Columbus as Heavy. Most bars that play morning games on Saturday and Sunday see more than a handful of fans. When there are international tournaments the turnouts are huge.

Here in German Village / Brewery District we've even had a few honest to goodness fights inside and outside of local bars over the sport.

People of Columbus adore sports. They love an event. They love soccer. Kids play it. Parents coach it. Part of that love comes from the fact that most here in town are only a generation or three away from their family first arriving to this country.

But, gee wiz. Wonder why they can't seem to muster up the energy to head out to Crew Stadium.

It's not the weather. It's not the location of the stadium. It's not the 'product' on the field.

If you want people to show up everyone from the owner(s) of the organization to the interns has to be all in on the SPORT OF SOCCER. Not just the Crew.

Selling the club over the sport makes it seem like something someone can buy at the grocery store.


I am first generation American on my Mother's side. I like English soccer. I like European Soccer. I also like Mexican Soccer. The company I work for has a manufacturing facility in the Netherlands and talk soccer with them. Hell, if it's soccer and I can watch, listen or talk about it; I'm game.

Does that make me a eurosnob? Should I send my English grandmother (RAF WWII) over to your house to explain how England; part of Europe it is nowt?

Furthermore; Do I have to drop my 'eurosnobbery' before I buy tickets to a Crew game?

Not picking on Mr. Sharrett and his tweet here, but his comment is reflective of what you can find on the league's home site in more serious fashion. I've had it with MLS 'Eurosnob' name calling. We are a nation of immigrants for Christ's sake. A goddamn good one at that. Perhaps that has something to do with where we come from.. be it Europe, Central America or beyond.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Crew Rd 6: Get Point in Montreal

Crew record a point away in Montreal on an iffy playing surface and a day after originally scheduled.

Montreal might have had most of the possession but it was Columbus that looked slightly more dangerous. Federico Higuain's breakaway 1 on 1 chance on GK Troy Perkins in particular was the highlight. Ben Speas also had a good shot from the top of the 18 yd box. Ultimately, the half ended 0:0 with Montreal not really looking too interested.

Montreal looked hungry to control the 2nd half with Di Vaio getting more opportunities by aggressively testing the Crew back line. In fact, he had a goal incorrectly called back that would have put his side up 1:0. Perhaps spurred on, Di Vaio finished a beauty from the top of the box into Andy Gruenebaum's right hand corner a few minutes after the bad offsides call.

Going a goal down against Montreal is not an easy thing to come back from but the Crew were able to pull it back off a brilliant Dominic Oduro knockdown then shot off his weaker foot.

From there though, the game seemed to wind down for some reason. Perhaps both sides were ready for this noon kickoff / delayed game / soft pitch game to end.

• A point is fine for the Crew away in Montreal but you can't help feeling they could have stolen this one.

• Jairo Arrieta was left on the bench for the 2nd game in a row. It has now been a month (March 16th) since his last start for the Crew.

• Dominic Oduro has scored in two straight games but neither have been a win for the Crew.

• The Crew would probably trade 1 win and 3 pts from last two over 2 draws.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Predictions: Crew v. Impact

Columbus is in snowy Montreal for a match to be played this weekend. Originally scheduled for 2 PM, Saturday April 13th but has been moved to Sunday April 14th, noon kickoff.

- Adding an extra day to travel can mean 'bad travel'.
- Some reports have Higuain as 'questionable', he did travel.
- Montreal beat the Crew in a preseason tournament championship 1:0 and looked good doing it.
- Justin Meram, Eric Gehrig did not travel.
- Impact head coach Marco Schallibaum is serving the last game of his suspension.

Starting off with MLS soccer dot com because they got the Crew game very wrong last week.

Editor, Andrew Wiebe is at 31% accurate right now (basically as good as random selection). Further note; Matt Doyle, Armchair Analyst is at 51% accurate. A comment under the predictions calls out Mr. Doyle's affinity for Home teams. Nothing wrong with picking them. As discussed here last year after going over best predictors. Picking Home team to win gets you over half right. Picking Draw when top half club visits bottom takes you over the rainbow.

Anyhow. This MLS group favors Montreal by a vote of 4 for win and 2 pick draw.

WV Hooligan, Drew Epperley, likes Montreal here: "...the game will have one goal and the home side will end up with it."

Bet365 is leaning heavily towards Montreal, almost evens at 21/20 for them to win. Draw at 9/4, Crew 11/4. Lines could change due to postponement of match. Moving the time back also allows more information about injuries to leak out.

Win Draw Win's reliable 'fan vote' gives slight edge to Montreal, 37% to win, 34% draw. Actually, very close there and only a small stake on 1:0 Impact win. fan predictor is very heavy Montreal, 75% picked to win.

The thing everyone thought would happen, is happening. Friction about lineup changes. Remarkably, the Crew have only had 12 different players start but the decision to sit Jairo Arrieta last match has caused some problems within the club (read more Warzycha's bizarre explanation at Massive Report).

Along with the fresh new crack within the club you have bad travel because of the game's postponement AND opening match outside for the Impact. This can wreak havoc on a club that has cracks. Not just between players/coaches but player groups/cliques.

A Crew win, even a draw, will take monumental effort and concentration.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Round Up 6 on SBNation /MLS Page

Noticed that my last round up got put up on the MLS landing page over at SB Nation. Not sure exactly how that works but went back to December and couldn't find much outside a handful of writers (Jeremiah Oshan and Ryan Rosenblatt with a few from other community writers, none Massive Report).

From what I can tell it has to do with my comments on MLS attendance being down from last year. Anyhow, I'll file this under 'hey, neat!'.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Kramb's Law (first look, Crew)

We are almost to a magical 2013 MLS season moment here for Helltown - That moment? One where all MLS teams have reached at least 5 games.

I like 5 games because it is 450 minutes, and from what I have been able to observe over the past three years in tracking MLS stats closely is that 450 is the first marker in identifying a trend. Be it good or bad. Player or club.

While there are still 3 teams sitting on four the other 16 are at 5 or six. So I am jumping the gun a little. Consider it a preview.

---------- >

The name comes from Ryan Kramb (M.S., PhD, Chemical Engineering / Crew fan), who asked a few questions of me towards the end of last year about tracking team performance while players were on the field. Let's take a look at the ingredients.

---------- >

1. Goal Difference:
We'll call this the 1st of 3 Kramb laws. GD while on the pitch is right up there with points earned per start in my book. Critical performance indicators that can lead to a better understanding of the team.

Goal Difference alone whilst on the pitch is a good indicator but Goal Diff vs how well the team does gives us a performance metric.

+0.73 : Eddie Gaven

0.00 : Chad Marshall
0.00 : Danny O´Rourke
0.00 : Dominic Oduro
0.00 : Joshua Williams
0.00 : Gláuber Berti
0.00 : Tyson Wahl
0.00 : Andy Gruenebaum

-0.20 : Agustín Viana
-0.40 : Federico Higuaín
-0.60 : Jairo Obando Arrieta
-0.60 : Ben Speas

2. Opponent Difficulty:
Another major influencer to consider in monitoring player performance is quality of opponent. For this I use current place on the overall MLS table. Right now the Crew's avg opponent place on the table is 9.6 or, about the middle of the table. You can turn this into a metric by taking each individual player's Opponent Diff vs. Team Avg.

+2.27 : Jairo Obando Arrieta

0.00 : Chad Marshall
0.00 : Danny O´Rourke
0.00 : Dominic Oduro
0.00 : Joshua Williams
0.00 : Gláuber Berti
0.00 : Tyson Wahl
0.00 : Andy Gruenebaum
0.00 : Agustín Viana
0.00 : Federico Higuaín

-0.40 : Eddie Gaven
-1.40 : Ben Speas

3. Points Earned per Start:
Now we are on to points earned when an individual player starts vs team average (1.60 PPG right now).

+0.73 : Eddie Gaven

0.00 : Chad Marshall
0.00 : Danny O´Rourke
0.00 : Dominic Oduro
0.00 : Joshua Williams
0.00 : Gláuber Berti
0.00 : Tyson Wahl
0.00 : Andy Gruenebaum
0.00 : Agustín Viana
0.00 : Federico Higuaín

-0.27 : Jairo Obando Arrieta
-0.35 : Ben Speas

Now that we have three useful, actionable metrics I'm going to simply add them up and see what happens.

---------- >

+1.40 : Jairo Obando Arrieta
+1.07 : Eddie Gaven

0.00 : Chad Marshall
0.00 : Danny O´Rourke
0.00 : Joshua Williams
0.00 : Gláuber Berti
0.00 : Tyson Wahl
0.00 : Andy Gruenebaum
0.00 : Dominic Oduro

-0.20 : Agustín Viana
-0.40 : Federico Higuaín
-2.35 : Ben Speas

What this should tell us is which players have contributed the most while playing. This isn't a measure of individual player quality but more a indication of which players are getting results while playing.

Some early thoughts (and it is very early):

• Arrieta missed the DC win but benefits because of United's poor place on the table. He was also part of the big win week one vs. Chivas USA.

• Speas is the only player that missed the Chivas USA win. With out that win the Crew are achingly average and Speas score suffers from that. Would the Crew have won that Vancouver game away were Gaven playing?

• Higuain was down the list at the end of last year as well. I've written A LOT about why this happens (see my Massive Report piece on it). Summed up? Better teams figured out fast how the Crew coaching staff was using him last year and all teams have figured it out this year.

Stay tuned to Massive Report by around Week 10. I'll post up the same there but with more data to support 2013 results.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Rd 5: A Tie? What Do I Know

The Crew v. Union game finished knotted up at 1:1. X, for some out there.

I was in Baltimore this past weekend. I haven't watched the match yet. Here is how the Crew's Round 5 game went for me:

--Saturday, April 6th, 4:05 PM--
Hanover, Maryland. 7th Floor of The Hotel Arundel Preserve. Getting ready with other groomsmen. Fumble through Twitter for lineups for a second, unsuccessful.

--4:06 PM--
Get text from friend; "Arrieta's on the bench".

--4:06:01 PM--
Put my phone away.

Right about here I figured that Dominic Oduro got the start. Last week, during the Massive Report Podcast, I am on record stating that Jairo Arrieta is the correct choice to start up top. Arrieta had a brace the last time the Crew took on Philly in Columbus.

There are a few out there that were enammored with Oduro's performance against DC a couple weeks ago whilst Arrieta was international duty. Oduro is a 1 goal every 4 regardless of who he plays with. Arrieta was 1 in 2 last year. It's not like Oduro just started playing MLS ball this year. His record is proven and does not deviate.

I was frustrated by Robert Warzycha's decision to keep Arrieta on the bench. Exasperating the problem was the fact that it looks like he lost his starting spot because he was on international duty.

--5:25:ish PM--
After a couple drinks and waiting for the bridesmaids to arrive for pictures I turn on the game on my phone. 0:0. Watched about five or so minutes of flat play. No energy from the Crew but could have been a bad spell.

I start fielding a few questions from the other groomsmen about Major League Soccer. Most of these guys have spent significant time in other parts of the world. All have lived in South America. Another currently in Africa. The best man, from Charlotte, NC. All are fairly well off.

None seem to care about MLS but it wasn't due to not knowing about the sport... one in the group knows some of the finer details of the financial fair play in Europe and another knows about the MLS DP rule. None of them, however, pay regular attention to MLS except for the occasional DC United game (even hough one is actually a member of the legendary La Barra Brava, as my brother is.. incidentally).

"Not enough teams," one says.

"No relegation," says another. "It'd be more interesting, like other countries."

"Need more teams."

--5:50 PM--
Check Twitter. Philly had scored, wedding about to start. One of the other groomsmen's wife's water just broke. True.

The wedding is beautiful. The groom is from Maiden, NC. I went to Campbell University with him and we became close friends and have stayed in touch since. He married a beautiful woman from Benin, Africa (near Ghana) who is currently a resident at Johns Hopkins.

--8:00 PM OR SO--
Get asked by an entrepreneur in Africa who traveled back to the US for the wedding "hey, who won the game?" I check my phone. "A tie." The guy who asked is from Toledo, OH. A Browns fan. He spent significant time in Bolivia and was telling me stories about a 'classico' they have down there. Apparently booze isn't allowed into Bolivian stadiums but that didn't stop those creative enough to get it in.

In fact there was some of Bolivia's finest spirits at my table.

The speeches are given. Most of it is in French. I recall taking the groom up to early DC United games in the late 1990s. A favorite; Marco Etcheverry.

From there popular music plays and the 200+ in attendance start to dance in what is the best reception I have even been to.


On my way back today I swung through Northern VA to see my parents for lunch. Around there I pulled up Adam Jardy's latest in the Columbus Dispatch. I see the word 'listless' and decided that I'll catch up with it when I get back to the paper waiting for me in German Village.

In the panhandle of West VA I pulled up MLS Live to listen to match (not watch!). It worked surprisingly well till it got blocked around Zanesville, OH. Dwight and Duncan weren't changing the 'listless' start.

I'll catch up with it tomorrow evening but for tonight I decided it would be interesting to jot down what I know of the match before viewing it myself.

Jairo Arrieta not starting combined with the 'listless' 1st half is almost enough for me to chalk this one up to classic poor man management by the Crew coaching staff.

Just now I looked up the sub pattern. I see Arrieta came in at the half... over correction again. To the players it makes it look like he was benched for going on international duty. Same old and all of that. Makes no sense. The small 10k crowd is fitting.

How about I write a post on Helltown about this game without watching it.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Predictions: Crew Rd 5 (Philly)

Columbus plays host for the 2nd time this year as the Philadelphia Union travel to Crew Stadium. 5 PM EST start. Also, 5 PM start here in Baltimore where there may be a groomsman watching on his phone.

- Last one between these two saw 32 SHTS, 14 on target (Crew 11 of them)
- Jairo Arrieta with brace that game
- Philly bet the Crew early last year at PPL 1:0
- Philly off to better expected start, 2 wins, 2 losses
- Crew haven't lost at home in last 10 but as discussed right after last home game, Crew haven't beat anyone in the top half during that time.
- Philly isn't (expected) to be a top half team this year.


Bet365 heavily favors the Crew 5/6, 13/5 Draw, 16/5 Union. Best odds the Crew have had in some time.

Betting aggregate site Win Draw Win is sending some mixed signals. Show Crew as heavy favorite to win but shows large stake on 1:1 Draw and the reliable 'fan vote' actually is steering Philly (31%) but Draw most likely outcome (43%).

Drew Epperley over at WV Hooligan thinks "This could easily be the game of the weekend," and that the Crew have enough to send Philly back with sad faces; 2:1.

MLS Soccer experts think that the Crew should take this one. All six MLS employees that, in fact. Confident.


The Union have looked much better than expected in spells and that has been enough to get them 2 wins out of 4 but in Columbus they will have to manage to put together a full game to win.

This happens to be one of the rare "the Crew should win this one" games. They absolutely should get past this Philly team at home in front of their own fans.

Considering how defensive minded away teams have played across the league this season I wouldn't expect this one to be the fast paced / up and down the field match as it was the last time these two met.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Round Up, Round Up

Each week I try and gather my thoughts on MLS enough to put together a 'round up' piece for Massive Report. On top of that, I'm also trying to create interesting artwork for them. I figure it'll be a challenge but force me to pay attention. I'm sure that some weeks I'll be more invested in one or the other but I feel it keeps me from getting trapped in a Crew 'bubble'.

I'm kinda excited about what both the writing and post images will look like by the end of the year. Here are the post headers so far starting with the most recent at the top (Round 5 to 1).