Friday, July 12, 2019

ESPN Player Survey, Crew Insights

ESPN posted their annual "MLS Confidential" player survey yesterday. Among questions about superheroes, Drake and Netflix there were a couple important questions in relation to the Columbus Crew. Two, to be exact.

1. Which away game do you dread the most, and why?

New England: 23 percent

Houston: 12 percent
Columbus: 11 percent

Real Salt Lake: 7 percent
Orlando: 5 percent
Kansas City: 4 percent
San Jose: 4 percent
Dallas: 4 percent
Montreal: 4 percent
Vancouver: 4 percent
New York (Red Bulls or NYCFC): 4 percent
Minnesota: 3 percent
Toronto: 3 percent
LA (Galaxy or LAFC): 3 percent

Don't have one/love all road games: 3 percent

Seattle: 2 percent
Colorado: 2 percent
Philadelphia: >1 percent
Atlanta: >1 percent

This is essentially a question that will never be asked of players... "where don't you want to play." Looking at it that way will go a long way in answering a lot of other questions in your mind.

"Columbus, dull city and black and gray all the time," was the quote from an anonymous player. OUCH, dude. Kinda true, though. Columbus is my adopted home, but that's more out of work/life road of life stuff. I don't have the options a young buck soccer MLS superstar has. If I did? Columbus wouldn't be my desired landing spot - real talk. That said, there are far worse places to wind up.

3. Who has the best kit in MLS?

LAFC: 26 percent

Atlanta: 16 percent
Sporting KC: 13 percent
Seattle: 11 percent

FC Cincinnati: 6 percent
Orlando: 5 percent
Vancouver: 5 percent
NYCFC: 5 percent
Portland: 4 percent

New York Red Bulls: 2 percent
LA Galaxy: 2 percent
Chicago: 2 percent
Montreal: 2 percent
Real Salt Lake: >1 percent
Chicago: >1 percent
DC United: >1 percent
Minnesota: >1 percent
Toronto FC: >1 percent

It's more of who isn't on this list that should be concerning. Philly, New England, Columbus, FC Dallas, San Jose, Colorado. Like question number one up there, it looks superficial on the surface, but it's decidedly not. It's players projecting, in a passive way, which team they want to play for.


The quick summary here is that there are certain teams in MLS that aren't on the list of places to be. Columbus, Colorado, New England seem to lead the way.

The new Crew investors want to do everything to make things work here in town. At the center of that is a new stadium. I see that sparking interest for a few years, but then drifting off back to what it is now. I'm not sure how to fix it. KC kinda had a run there after the rebrand/new stadium thing, but it seems to be wearing off at a rapid pace now.

Keeping a sports brand fresh is an impossible task for certain cities in the US. It's a goddamn never-ending battle, to be honest. And it's tiresome. The hope here is that soccer adopts a more merit-based league system (of which almost 2/3rds of MLS players want) in the future.

No comments: