Saturday, November 28, 2015

MLS Cup Would be 1st for Crew SC

Crew SC badge with '08 Star
It may seem like a "game the game" type of scenario, but a goal is all that remains between the Columbus Crew SC and the MLS Cup final. Score one during the Sunday, November 29th match in Harrison, NJ and the Red Bulls will need four to win. The away side could lose 1-0, 2-1, or even 3-1 and still make it to the 20th iteration of the MLS Cup Final.

MLS is an ever changing animal. Fundamental things like rules, number of teams, competition formats (both regular season and playoffs) and the money involved are drastically altered from year to year. So, while there are moments of glory of which to draw, there is no long history or memorable 2nd leg moments on here for either side.

Back when the Hunt family ran the Columbus Crew that won the 2008 MLS Cup, 14 teams in the league were directly operated, or recently so, by a handful of groups. Eight made the playoffs. San Jose had a team of some sort again and KC was still the Wizards. Conference Semifinals were two-legged series, but the Conference Finals were single elimination and the Final was at a neutral field in warm weather.

Seven years and versions of the league later, things couldn't be more different. Especially for the MLS team in Columbus.

In just two years after Anthony Precourt purchased the team from the Hunt Sports Group, he has taken them from a floundering franchise playing under a burning scoreboard and in a half full stadium, to within a single goal of hosting MLS Cup. It's a remarkable achievement. One that is a first for him and his team.

As for the fans, supporters, writers and even those lowly bloggers - where does this fall in their trophy cases? Well, while you would be closer in saying The Ohio State Buckeyes College Football National Championship is more similar to winning an MLS Cup in 2008 compared to MLS 2015, don't be surprised when you see the aforementioned group tying the victories (or losses) of every team in the state of Ohio in some form or another to what Crew SC are doing here in town.

This isn't about them. What's happening here in Columbus for Crew SC is a unique achievement full of firsts and truly special for the organization and the city.

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