Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Rd 11, 12, 13: Midseason Inbetween

Crew Bottom
Columbus crosses unlucky round 13 with a loss to a bad New England Revs team on the road. This team is better than that, but as we enter the middle part of the season we are starting to see this very familiar lackadaisical side of each Crew side to come out during the Gregg Berhalter reign.

Different levels of effort, varying levels of interest. It's all here.

After a strong (fueled by a heavy home schedule) start, Columbus has all the sudden hit some hard times that are punctuated by a 3 point, three game home stand and uneven results in the last two away matches. Pulling back a bit, it's 6 points out of the last six. Not good. But par for the course that Berhalter plays on this time of year. Thus the lack of summaries from Helltown.

It sucks. As a matter of fact, it sucks the life out of things. After an amazing attendance year last year, Columbus is now last in MLS while sporting the worse year of year drop.

Is it possible that fans in Columbus are tired of the same old run of results they expect from this team? After all, this is a town that responds to winning. Case in point is the year after a Crew MLS Cup run, but now we have a year after a historically bad Crew year and fans are deciding to not show up.

It's difficult to determine what Columbus needs to do to get people back interested. With the way this particular market is, there may be nothing that can be done until the calendar turns to 2018.

What would help is having an exciting team but in order to have such a thing in Columbus you need to get on a huge run of results and be able to score 3+ goals a game. Nobody sees that happening with this team.

All this raises the question. Should Anthony Precourt look for a change? Generate some excitement, even if misguided, in town? Berhalter has a long career ahead of him and can call his shots on the US Soccer scene until the end of days, but is he the right person for this market. After all, isn't that what MLS is all about?

Columbus faces more MLS teams here over the next few weeks. The only thing to look forward to is the possibility of USL Cincinnati coming to town for the US Open cup later this summer.

Until then? 2017 Crew is an average team with Justin Meram and Ola Kamara, looking down the barrel of an uninspiring rest of the season.

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