General Media

From Futbol Researcher
Jump to: navigation, search




If Anthony Precourt Takes Columbus Crew SC to Austin, Who is Next?

By Michael Citro | October 17, 2017

"If Crew owner Anthony Precourt goes through with his threatened relocation of the Columbus Crew to Austin, TX, it’ll be a true shame. The Crew is a storied MLS original franchise — or as storied as any team that’s been around for just over two decades can be — and in many ways the club and its fans helped prop up a struggling Major League Soccer during some uncertain early years."

"This past Sunday I didn’t care much for the Columbus Crew or their fans when Kaká had his farewell game ruined at Orlando City Stadium. But I remember being among them and I hope like hell Anthony Precourt doesn’t screw them over. You should feel the same, because right now we’re talking about the Crew, but somewhere down the road, we could just as easily be having this conversation about the Lions."

"This shouldn’t happen in a single entity league. Don Garber appears to be cool with it happening. We shouldn’t be. At all."

Source The Mane Land

Smith: As U.S. Soccer crumples, professional soccer in Central Texas potentially blossoms

By Zach Smith | October 18, 2017

I know the Crew would do well here. But it's hard for me to think of everything they've built in Ohio and know the people and the supporters that are so passionate and make the sport great lose everything.

Admittedly, my opinion is biased because of my personal connection to Columbus. But that doesn't change what I think a relocation would do to both fanbases.

Austin deserves an MLS team, but this isn't the right one. - Source Hill Country News

Moving the Columbus Crew is a betrayal, not just business

By Parker Cleveland | October 18, 2017

Precourt may not end up moving the team, he might not get the stadium he wants in downtown Columbus, and there are still a lot of steps between an announcement that is more than tinged with a hint of hostage taking to executing his threats, but no matter how this ends up this is a bad look for Precourt and MLS. He’s essentially leveraging something that the team’s supporters built for his own gain and the league has enabled him to do it.

Source Dirty South Soccer

Save The Crew, A statement on behalf of the 107IST Board of Directors

By Sherrilynn Rawson | October 19, 2017

"The 107IST Board of Directors is in solidarity with Crew supporters in opposing a proposed move of the Columbus Crew to Austin."

"If it can happen to a team as foundational to the origins and history of MLS as the Columbus Crew, it can happen anywhere.

Team owners, management, and front office staff people come and go, but supporters remain and persist. If Precourt wants to purchase a team elsewhere or invest in an expansion franchise he is welcome to do so; but he should leave the Crew out of his machinations. Columbus Crew as a team and institution belongs to the city of Columbus and to its supporters, and that is where it should remain."

Source Timber's Army

Supporters Groups Across MLS Come to Defense of Soccer Brethren in Columbus

By John Bava | October 19, 2017

Enter the supporters groups of literally every single team in Major League Soccer. During a depressing time of uncertainty regarding the future of the league in Columbus, they’ve come out in complete solidarity with Crew fans. It’s emerged in a variety of forms on social media. But perhaps the most inspiring example is fans changing their favorite club’s colors to black and gold. The following tweet from the Hudson Street Hooligans paints a uniform picture on how massive supporters across the league have been in that regard.

Source Last Word on Soccer

This is about Trust, an open letter’

By Emerarld City Supporters | October 20, 2017

"For us, it’s not about saving that fanbase. We’re writing to you today to save our ideals. That our sport can be different. That soccer in North America can be about more than profit margins and business metrics. It *is* more. Soccer is a fabric made up of players, fans, sponsors, city pride, and national hope, all woven together.

But this move tears at that fabric. And if it is not stopped, it will be the unravelling of our collective trust as fans in the owners of our clubs."

Please deny this move. Trust us. It’s the right thing to do.

Source Emerald City Supporters

If Crew leave Columbus, then the Homegrown system is a farce

Alicia Rodriguez | October 20, 2017

Now, with the threat of the Crew packing up and leaving town, all of those connections will be ripped up. I’m not saying the only reason to keep a team in town is because they’ve already built an infrastructure through a youth academy. But I’m saying that the promises of recruiting youngsters into an academy, trying to build community ties through this system, and, oh yeah, trying to find viable pros in your local area will be empty, futile exercises.

So if Precourt ultimately abandons Columbus, it’s not just the fans who will be left holding the bag, it will be the players in the academy system, and those few players who move on to become pros. And a corollary to the other MLS teams, aside from the distrust it will sow among other fanbases for the next greedy owner looking to ditch their city, is that parents of talented kids may pause when promised the earth and moon by MLS academies. After all, who knows if they’re in it for the long haul, right?

Source Angels on Parade

Why the threat to move the Columbus Crew should be fought by all MLS clubs

Oliver Platt | October 20, 2017

Oppose this loudly. Be one voice in making it clear to Toronto FC, whose owners will have a vote on the move to Austin should it ever come to be formally proposed, that it is not even close to acceptable.

And hope this latest chapter in an ugly year for American soccer is salvageable.

Source Waking the Red

I sincerely hope a way can be found to #SaveTheCrew

By Ian Darke | October 21, 2017 "I sincerely hope a way can be found to #SaveTheCrew. Rescue this famous MLS club in a city which has been a great friend to the game."

Source Twitter

Thousands Turn Out For 'Save the Crew' Rally Downtown

By Steve Brown | October 23, 2017

The steps outside Columbus City Hall turned into a sea of black and gold on Sunday as thousands of Crew SC fans turned out for a “Save the Crew” rally. The rally came five days after team owner Anthony Precourt confirmed reports that he’s exploring moving the soccer club to Austin, Texas, unless a new downtown stadium is built in Columbus. - Source WOSU


By Loper & Randi | October 23, 2017

Loper and Randi join former players, fans, media and local celebs to #SaveTheCrew at Columbus City Hall.

"Hey what's up guys we are in downtown Columbus today. We are going to a rally to save the Columbus Crew. For some unknown reason the owner of the Columbus Crew has put it out there that he may move the team to Austin, Texas and of course you know one of my best friends Frankie [Hjeduk]. 2008 MLS winner of the Cup, we brought it right here to Columbus.

"So you know our city, our club, we're gonna Save The Crew" Source YouTube video of 99.7 the Blitz

I say now The Crew must be saved

By Tommy Smyth | October 24, 2018

"Yes I have been asked before should the Crew be saved I said then and I say now The Crew must be saved lets make it happen"

Source Twitter

Where can an owner move their football club 1,000 miles on a whim? America

By Jakub Frankowicz | October 26, 2017

The thought of one of MLS’s founding clubs suddenly moving rattled the fans in the Nordecke, the supporters group coalition for the Crew. The Nordecke called for a #SavetheCrew Rally and they have enjoyed broad support from fans across the league. - Source The Guardian

#SaveTheCrew signs take over College GameDay

By ESPN | October 28, 2017 Source ESPN

#SaveTheCrew: La Voce Dei Tifosi È L’Unice Che Conta [The Voice of the Fans is the Only One That Matters]

By Homer Jay | October 29, 2017

Sono tutto, i tifosi. Potrai forse togliere l’Argentina dalla mente e dal cuore di un futbolista, ma non potrai mai togliere la squadra per cui soffri ogni domenica dal cuore di un tifoso. Perché quel muscolo involontario batte volontariamente per la squadra della tua città, corre al ritmo dei tuoi giocatori, balla ai cori della tua curva, esulta ai gol dei tuoi beniamini. Custode del sacro fuoco, è l’unico vero proprietario, pur non stringendo altro che una bandiera o una sciarpa, pur non indossando altro che una maglietta e un cappellino, pur non parlando altro che la lingua del cuore. L’unica che nel calcio andrebbe veramente ascoltata

[I'm everything, the fans. You can perhaps remove Argentina from the mind and heart of a futbolist, but you can never remove the team you suffer for every Sunday from the heart of a fan. Because that involuntary muscle voluntarily beats for the team of your city, runs to the rhythm of your players, dances to the chorus of your curve, rejoices to the goals of your favorites. Guardian of the sacred fire, the fan is the only true owner, although he is holding nothing but a flag or a scarf, although he is wearing nothing but a shirt and a cap, although he does not speak anything other than the language of the heart. The only one that really should be heard in football] - Source MLS Soccer Italia

Commotion in Columbus: #SaveTheCrew is Booming

By Hayden Biernat | October 31, 2017

The response from Columbus Crew supporters has been noteworthy. What started as a pity party meeting between thirty fans at a local brewery has now grown into a social movement 2,000 members strong. After hours of tiresome volunteer work from the most dedicated fans, their efforts were rewarded in pop culture. #SaveTheCrew banners could be seen in stadiums across the league on Decision Day. Multiple signs could be seen in the background of Saturday’s College Gameday presentation at Ohio State University, furthering the discussion amongst non soccer fans. #SaveTheCrew was even trending on Twitter in the days following their beginning. While Crew ownership has threatened to make drastic changes in pursuit of a more immersive fan experience, the Save the Crew movement has suggested that perhaps a dedicated fan base already exists in Columbus.

Source Offside Footy

How #SaveTheCrew grew from hashtag and Twitter DM to nationwide movement

By Henry Bushnell | October 31, 2017

After the 2,000 Ohioans dispersed on that Sunday afternoon, Crew–related banners or signs popped up at at least 10 of the 11 MLS stadiums hosting Decision Day matches. They have appeared at NFL, NHL, and USL games, and could soon appear overseas. They represent a sentiment that has materialized into public statements from other supporters groups, into vocal opposition to Precourt in other markets, and into widespread support for the resistance. - Source Yahoo Sports


Anger, community and the incredible Columbus Crew story that isn't going away

By Henry Bushnell | November 1, 2017

“It’s a debate that’s not just a debate with soccer, but a debate with business,” says Alex Fischer, the president and CEO of the Columbus Partnership. “Every business that I’m involved in wants to make money. But there’s also the concept of the triple bottom line, and making profit with a purpose.”

In other words, as Fischer poses it: “Are [clubs] community assets that are a part of the fabric of communities? Or are they the playground of the super rich?”


But there is no better way to do so than to feel the connection. And there was no better time to feel it than Tuesday night. In the supporters section alone, toddlers sat in the laps of their fathers; middle-aged men and women embraced stadium stewards as they made their ways to their seats; two preteen brothers held up one of many homemade banners with the rallying cry, “SaveTheCrew.” At the front of one section, a similar banner had been hung. This one had the signatures of hundreds of fans who had rallied nine days earlier at City Hall.

Source Yahoo Sports

Is This MLS Team Worth Saving?

By Copa90 US | November 3, 2017

When news broke about the Columbus Crew possibly relocating to Austin - supporters around the world took notice. Columbus has been a staple in MLS since Day 1 of the league & the idea that they could be moved on an owner’s whim shook the football world. - COPA90 US Source YouTube

Matt Lampson says he knows “for a fact” the Crew cut their marketing budget

World of Bone podcast, Matt Lampson | November 15, 2017

Audio 34:10 - 34:20 “I actually know for a fact they cut their marketing budget. As they should, if he’s going to move the team then why should he spend money to market here?”​

Audio 34:34 - 34:50 “Ultimately, he [Precourt] lied from the get-go. It’s pretty clear that he is a disingenuous person… But he wants to make money.”​

Audio 35:10 - 35:16 Interviewer (Bone) asks whether Precourt was fully invested in making Columbus work, Lampson says “Absolutely not.”​

Three things: Being happy with 0-0, and sabotage by Precourt

By Andy Edwards | November 21, 2017

How low is Anthony Precourt willing to go in order to sabotage Crew SC, the club he owns and efforts to move to Austin, Tex., without so much as a phony attempt at a non-relocation resolution, and alienate the fans that have supported the franchise since MLS’s debut season in 1996? Tuesday night saw Precourt and Co. up the ante as they intentionally restricted entry (two gates for the entire stadium, causing thousands to miss the game’s opening minutes) into MAPFRE Stadium with the presumed intent of a half-empty venue when the television broadcast kicked off and panned left to right. - Source NBC Sports



By Ball Street | December 8, 2017

"This documentary is so important not just to fans of MLS or Columbus Crew but fans across the world. When Sean Kelly, a guy from Columbus, got in touch with us and told us the story and what he was trying to do, the film that he was trying to make. Ball Street had to be involved. We had to back that because it's something that we've seen in Britain. I mean, you look at the damage it's done to Wimbledon they move 70 miles up the road, the damage it's causing by moving the Stadium but in this instance it's so much more severe than that. Their entire club is being moved 800 miles from Columbus to Austin, Texas. That's very, very sad and the thing that any football fan should feel with this is that 'What if this was my team?' That's what Columbus Crew fans are going through."


The good, the bad and the ugly of the 2017 Major League Soccer season

By Graham Parker | December 10, 2017

Speaking of the Crew, fans around the league rallied in support of their peers for the #SaveTheCrew campaign, and it showed the best aspects of supporter culture in the U.S. and Canada.

Source ESPN UK

Time's a-wasting for MLS to get cracking on to-do list

By Jon Marthaler | December 15, 2017

Columbus is one of the league’s founding members. In some ways, its stadium — the venue for many of the men’s national team’s most memorable victories, all against Mexico — is the spiritual home of American soccer. Throwing all of that away over declining revenue would be a slap in the face to every fan who has loyally followed the league through all of its varied missteps. If nothing else, the Crew has to stay in Columbus to let MLS fans know that they matter more than the pocketbooks of team owners. - Source Star Tribune

Viewpoints: Why Austin voters may have the last say in MLS turf deal

By Editorial Board | December 15, 2017

The charter states: “The council shall have no power to, and shall not: Sell, convey, lease, mortgage, or otherwise alienate any land which is now, or shall hereafter be, dedicated for park purposes, unless the qualified voters of the city shall authorize such act by adopting in a general or special election a proposition submitting the question and setting forth the terms and conditions under which such sale, conveyance, lease, mortgage, or other alienation is to be made.” - Source My Statesman

Save the Crew movement hits the big screen

By Ben Gabarek | December 15, 2017

Thousands of people who will be heading to the theaters this weekend to see the new Star Wars movie will also see a new effort to stop the Columbus Crew SC from moving to Austin. Crew supporters made a short commercial to make the case for what's at stake if the team leaves.

Source ABC6

Epic failure of men’s national team overshadows the year in U.S. soccer

By Steven Goff | December 22, 2017

8. The Columbus Crew is one of MLS’s founding members, the first to unveil a soccer-specific stadium and winner of five notable trophies. However, claiming he can’t make the business work in central Ohio, Anthony Precourt turned from owner to villain by announcing he planned to move the team to Austin, touching off protests in Columbus and beyond with the ubiquitous #SaveTheCrew.

Source Washington Post



Imagining MLS after Garber: Why 2018 will define the commissioner's legacy

Beau Dure | January 4, 2018

Columbus 2017 is not San Jose 2005. Nor is it Chivas USA, the unlamented Southern California operation whose void will be more than adequately filled by LAFC. The Crew have local ownership interest (how strong it is, perhaps, is up for interpretation) and a stadium. The latter is sentimentally and vitally important. It’s the first stadium built for an MLS club. And it’s the site of legendary U.S. men’s national team wins over Mexico.

Moving the Crew would send a horrible message to any prospective MLS supporter, let alone any prospective MLS investor (including municipalities voting on stadium plans). You can do everything right – build a stadium, lead the league in attendance one year (albeit in the pre-Seattle days), forge community ties, and it can all be undone by a disinterested absentee owner

Garber has to find a way to satisfy owner Anthony Precourt’s wanderlust – perhaps buying him out, as MLS did with Chivas USA, perhaps swapping his ownership rights to an expansion club – while keeping the Crew in Columbus.

The excuses are weak. The Crew’s stadium can be spruced up. The distance from downtown isn’t that bad, and it’s easily bridged with buses and other creative solutions. (Europe has a lot of stadiums farther from the city center than that, and they manage pretty well.) A good local ownership group should keep the Crew off the bottom of Garber’s metrics.

Austin has one of the world’s best music scenes, but its support for a professional soccer team is still unknown. Garber doesn’t want to sign off on this note. He shouldn’t.

Solve the Crew problem. Set the league on a path forward. Then let someone else take the helm. That wouldn’t be a bad way to wrap things up.

Source Four Four Two


The end of the Boston Breakers highlights the conflict between owners and fans

James Bridget Gordon | February 2, 2018

This question underpins many of the sport’s most contentious debates. From the fan ownership movement in England’s lower leagues, to corporate exemptions to the Bundesliga’s 50%+1 rule, to the Twenty’s Plenty campaign among Premier League fans, to the furor over Leeds United’s redesigned club crest, to the #SaveTheCrew campaign, to the arguments over promotion and relegation in the United States, all essentially boil down to where real power and stakeholding lies in soccer.

Source What a Howler

Why Columbus Crew Moving To Austin Must Not Happen, For The Sake Of MLS

By Tom Scholes | February 4, 2018

“But ultimately I feel there are two things to remember with this whole situation. Firstly, it’s the fans that suffer the most from all of this. The original Crew fans from Columbus who have been with this team from 1994 and have experienced highs and lows every single step of the way. They’ve been almost forgotten about in this whole ordeal and their #SaveTheCrew campaign has been fantastic to watch grow and gain more support.” - Source Medium article from Football Italia & These Football Times writer

Goodbye Columbus?

By Brian Everett | February 16, 2018

As I fight to save my team, I find myself encouraged by your story. A story about a community in the south-west of London who refused to be told who their team was or how far they would need to travel to support them. I learned about the founding of Milton Keynes and the rebirth of AFC Wimbledon thanks to the supporters. I read about a team that went from open try-outs on the common all the way to League One in a little over a decade. - Source The Don's Trust, Owner's of AFC Wimbledon a club that replaced another that was controversially moved from Wimbledon to Milton Keynes in 2003


Acrimony F.C.: M.L.S. Teams and Fan Groups Navigate a Rocky Marriage

By Graham Parker | March 2, 2018

The Columbus story in particular highlighted that sense of ownership. When it was revealed on the eve of last season’s playoffs that the team’s owner, Anthony Precourt, was working behind the scenes — with the league’s aid, if not blessing — to move the club to Austin, Tex., Crew fans mutinied. A grass-roots opposition was formed to lobby city and state leaders to keep the team in Ohio, and a hashtag campaign — #SaveTheCrew — quickly spread from social media to banners in other M.L.S. cities, and even in other sports.

The message to Precourt and the league was clear: Columbus fans would not abandon the decades of cultural capital they had expended without a fight. - Source NY Times

Ohio Attorney General sues to prevent Crew relocation

By Nicholas Mendola | March 5, 2018

The good guys and girls could win. Of course every owner is allowed to move a team, but the way Precourt Sports Ventures has conducted itself — from nascent “except for Austin” clauses in its contract to the limiting of entrances at a playoff game to make the stadium look empty at opening kick — has been extremely off-putting. - Source NBC Sports

Film examines business angle of how city might save Columbus Crew

By Terry Mikesell | March 8, 2018

“More than anywhere else, the people in Columbus know what’s going on. The hard part is getting the rest of the world involved,” Kelly said.

“This is a fan channel, and this is about fans being caught in the middle.”

Source Dispatch

MLS commissioner Don Garber's 'preference' is for the Crew 'to stay in Columbus'

Jonathan Tannenwald | March 13, 2018

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber told the Inquirer and Daily News on Tuesday that he hopes for “a solution” that would allow the Columbus Crew to stay in that city, instead of moving to Austin, Texas as owner Anthony Precourt has threatened. - Source Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News

Columbus soccer move deserves English-style resistance

By Jon Marthaler | March 16, 2018

Columbus Crew owner Anthony Precourt is the most hated man in the league right now, because of his harebrained scheme to move his team to Austin, Texas. This is potentially the team’s last season in Columbus. You could imagine Crew fans gathering beneath the owner’s box, as West Ham fans did, to chant at Precourt, “You’ve destroyed our club.” This isn’t the kind of passion that MLS wants to build. The obvious solution is for the league to unequivocally state that the Crew is staying in Columbus, but MLS is currently too caught up in raking in expansion fees to be bothered with the franchise stability of a club that doesn’t make big money. In this case, West Ham-style anger is justified. MLS needs to reverse tack before — as in east London — the situation gets out of hand. - Source Star Tribune

Goodbye, Columbus. You didn’t deserve to be abandoned by the Crew

By Steven Goff | March 26, 2018

Pulling the Crew out of Columbus is a two-footed, studs-up tackle, deserving of a red card and lengthy suspension. Unfortunately, the referee — in this case, league headquarters — is complicit.


But Columbus has played an important role in shaping soccer in this country in the past two decades. Aside from hosting the dos-a-cero U.S. victories over Mexico (until, at least, the latest World Cup qualifying cycle), Columbus proved in MLS’s early years that a city off soccer’s demographic radar would take to the sport. This was a big deal because it laid the foundation for the league to enter markets such as Salt Lake City, Orlando, Minneapolis and, coming soon, Nashville. - Washington Post Source Washington Post

A long way from home

By Blogger from America | March 29, 2018

The fans - as you may guess - are rather miffed and some are boycotting matches. So attendances have fallen, giving more ammunition to the owner that he could do better in the Lone Star state. Adding another wrinkle, MLS approved the switch, but could be getting sued if it happens. The nearby city of San Antonio are set to launch their own MLS side and are angry the authorities have given permission for a rival to appear in Austin. - Source Chelsea FC Blog


Columbus Attorney accuses Precourt, MLS of ‘factual misdirection’ in lawsuit

By Evan Weese | April 23, 2018

Anthony Precourt identified himself as “Owner/Chairman” of Crew SC until the league on Friday made its case for dismissing the lawsuit. Precourt’s Twitter profile now reads “Investor/Operator and Chairman.” - Source ProSoccerUSA

2018 MLS Ambition Rankings: Which Clubs Raise the Bar Highest as the League Grows?

By Brian Straus and Grant Wahl | April 23, 2018

23. COLUMBUS CREW (LAST YEAR: 19) - Either Anthony Precourt didn’t have the means, skill or commitment to make the Crew successful in Columbus, or he willfully sandbagged the club in order to justify his desired exit. For the purposes of this ranking, it doesn’t matter—both are a long, long way from ambitious. - Source Sports Illustrated


How three cities are fighting back against the oldest scam in US sports

By Elliott Turner | May 8, 2018

Billionaire owners have for years leveraged the threat of relocation to line their pockets. Here’s how three cities are fighting back against one of the longest-running scams in American sports

Does this story sound familiar: a sports team pleads poverty and gets public funds to build a new stadium. A few years later, that same team changes hands at a massive valuation. A decade or two later, the team gripes about the stadium and leaves town. To the dismay of local fans and politicos, taxpayers are stuck with a tenant-less stadium and a sizable bill. - Source The Guardian

Columbus Crew: Two US cities fight over one football team

By James Jeffrey | May 27, 2018

When a leading US football team announced it wanted to move across the country, its fans were floored. Even though such moves are common in other American professional sports, it hasn't been part of Major League Soccer culture - until now. - Source BBC

The anatomy of a one-week Jason Dufner hat deal

By Dylan Dethier | May 31, 2018

At his Tuesday defending champion's press conference, Dufner sported a lid that read "Save The Crew," referring to the Columbus-based MLS team that may be relocated to Austin, Tex. Dufner, himself an Ohio native, related to the cause.

"I wouldn't say I'm extremely passionate about soccer, but I can identify with what they're going through, being from Cleveland, losing the Browns, I think that was in the early '90s," he said.



#SaveTheCrew Effort Hits Junior Ranks

By Emily Whitcomb | June 1, 2018

That's despite the fact that the Crew are one of the first clubs in MLS, they made the Cup finals in 2015, and they have a strong fan base. Those fans are organizing to try to persuade Precourt and MLS to understand how important the club is to the fabric of the soccer community. This effort is called #SaveTheCrew.

The Columbus Crew also has a youth soccer development program called Crew Jr.’s that many local children play for. According to a March Columbus Crew SC press release, if the Crew move, the Crew Jr’s program will undergo changes and it will become Sporting Columbus. This will happen for the 2018-2019 youth club season. New uniforms and some new coaches will give the club a different look. The #SaveTheCrew campaign has major implications for this youth soccer program. - Source SI Kids

MLS could lose more than Columbus fans if owners complete Austin relocation

By Daniel Rouse | June 8, 2018

This move would force upheaval or even redundancy on staff - both on and off the pitch - while allowing a city to sneak ahead of others that actually applied for an expansion franchise (and running the risk of provoking similar MLS relocations) and making a mockery of the community ties that have underpinned recent years of Garber's spiel. - Source theScore

FC Cincinnati fans heading to Columbus to “Save the Crew”

By Geoff Redick | June 9 2018

A few dozen fans of Cincinnati’s soccer club are planning a road trip north on Saturday afternoon, to cheer on the Columbus Crew SC against the New York Red Bulls.

The goodwill visit has a second purpose: supporting the “Save the Crew” movement as the team’s ownership explores a move to Austin, Texas next year. FC Cincinnati fans are eager for an Ohio-based rivalry, after their team was awarded a Major League Soccer expansion franchise just last week. - Source WSYX ABC 6

Grumet: Austin’s MLS stadium numbers aren’t as strong as they look

By Bridget Grumet | June 19, 2018

Austin is crunching and weighing all kinds of numbers as Precourt Sports Ventures, which owns the Columbus Crew SC, pushes for a commitment soon on soccer stadium negotiations. Precourt is asking for virtually free use of city-owned land at McKalla Place, where it would build a stadium that would pay no property taxes.

Make no mistake: Very real money is on the line. - Source Statesman

Just When We Thought We’d Seen It All

By Steve Arters | June 26, 2018

Precourt’s company, Precourt Sports Ventures, has a team of lobbyists leaning on the Austin City Council to get them to approve PSV’s proposal of $1 annual lease for the tract of land known as McKalla Place at the council’s June 28th meeting. One of the lobbyists, Richard Suttle, is a registered MLS lobbyist in Austin working with PSV. When other proposals recently emerged from investment companies to buy McKalla for as much as $22 million for mixed use, Council Member Leslie Pool, whose district includes the 24-acre site, suggested vetting the proposals in some sort of abbreviated RFP process.

Suttle, who many insiders believe is taking direction from MLS Commissioner Don Garber, blew a fuse and angrily denounced Pool’s suggestion of studying the plans to make the best decision, saying, "If we have to wait for months to see if McKalla is going to work out or not, then I think we have no other option but to look at other cities."

Source MLS in SA


Crew SC captain Wil Trapp achieves small milestone amid franchise turmoil

By Ben Ferree | July 18, 2018

Clark agrees. He called the #SaveTheCrew movement "just awesome," and said it’s incredible to see the passion of the people.

"The people that have been at the forefront of this movement, the amount of time, effort, their own money that they’ve sacrificed, it’s incredible. The save the crew movement has taken the right approach. They’re showing the world their support of the team. With social media, all the other MLS teams that have supported the Crew’s efforts with #SaveTheCrew signs, even our competitor’s stands. All around the world you see save the Crew stuff."

"It makes you feel really good that you’re a part of something that means this much to people’s lives. I can’t imagine an ownership group not looking at that and saying, ‘I’d love to have a customer base that is that loyal.’"

Source Pro Soccer USA

Crew Cuts: Austin USL official on upcoming press conference: ‘We couldn’t wait any longer’

By Andrew Erickson | July 19, 2018

“My main argument I have been using in Austin regarding this PSV deal is the fact that Austin is doing this in a rush,” [Roberto] Silva[, general manager of Austin's USL team,] said. “Where are they going to play? It’s impossible for a Major League franchise, even a minor league franchise to be in August of the year before playing not having a deal with a stadium.

“For them to make this happen, they have to show us what’s going to go on in ’19 and ’20. If not, it’s one more lie from the PSV group to the city and to the fans.”

Source Dispatch

Justin Meram Returns to Columbus Amidst Turmoil at Current and Former Club

By John Bava | July 20, 2018

Tangential as a small number of unruly fans may appear, it is part and parcel of the turmoil Orlando City is dealing with in 2018. The club’s opponent this weekend, whose recent history Meram is a huge part of, has its own fan-related issue. But it doesn’t have to do with verbal abuse directed at players. It involves a slumlord owner royally screwing over fans in Columbus by engineering a sickening betrayal replete with a toxic concoction of false narratives all the while letting the league’s first soccer-specific stadium fall into disrepair.

Meram is on record voicing his displeasure at these developments. Speaking to ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle a few days after officially getting traded to Orlando, he made it pretty clear that the situation involving the club’s future in Columbus played a part in his desire for a change of scenery.

"It had an impact on my decision. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t," Meram told Carlisle. "Let’s be real, the Columbus Crew is the team that drafted me in 2011 and gave me a chance to fulfill my dream. I have so much love for that city and for that club and for those fans. So for me, hearing the news is definitely not easy, and I hope the team stays, and I hope it all works out for them."

Source Last Word on Soccer

Grumet: Don’t disparage the ‘Anti-$100 Bill Coalition’ in soccer debate

By Bridget Grumet | July 20, 2018

I know it’s a popular sport to joke about the passionate level of civic engagement at Austin City Hall, especially when ideas get bandied between advisory groups for months on end and City Council meetings run till 3 a.m.

But we should cheer for the smart, inquisitive people who make the time to attend public meetings, read up on various proposals and ask tough questions, especially when taxpayer dollars are on the line. They make our city better.

I was disappointed Thursday evening when Precourt Sports Ventures lobbyist Richard Suttle, speaking to a roomful of people at the Central Library about the possibility of bringing a Major League Soccer franchise to Austin, drew an unfortunate analogy to the city’s reputation for civic engagement.


The most recurring criticism I heard Thursday evening, though, is that Precourt wouldn’t pay property taxes on the stadium, which would be built by the franchise and then given to the city. One estimate puts the unpaid property taxes at $5 million in the stadium’s first year, including roughly $2.7 million for Austin schools, $1 million for the city of Austin, nearly $850,000 for Travis County, almost $250,000 for Central Health and about $230,000 for Austin Community College. Source Statesman

SaveTheCrew scarf

By Men In Blazers | July 28, 2018

"This. Is. Amazing" in reference to a photo of Jürgen Klopp, manager of Liverpool Football Club, holding a Save The Crew scarf in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Source Twitter


Save the Crew reveals plans for a new stadium near downtown Columbus

By Haley Nelson | August 6, 2018

It was rounds of applause, ultimately erupting in cheers and chants, when members of the Save the Crew movement revealed plans for a new soccer stadium.

"We have a future place to call home, we have our stadium here at the west end of the Arena District," Save The Crew leaders told the crowd at Seventh Son Brewing Company in Columbus Monday night.

Plans for a new soccer stadium include a view of the downtown Columbus skyline, along with a restaurant, team museum and more.

Source ABC6

Comparing the Crew proposals (spoiler alert: Columbus wins)

Beau Dure | August 9, 2018

We do have to admit a couple of unpleasant things here. This effort to Save the Crew — the stadium proposal, the 10,000-season-tickets-and-counting pledge, the engagement of a business community that frankly hasn’t done enough to this point — wouldn’t exist if Anthony Precourt wasn’t looking to move the team.

So MLS has to find another way to press its clubs to do better. If you want to add that to your promotion/relegation talking points, fine, but bear in mind that a lot of English owners don’t build or renovate stadiums precisely because they don’t have the guaranteed income of top-division soccer. (See Reading.)

But that’s a long-term concern. In the short term, if MLS doesn’t immediately make the Columbus stadium vision its top priority, then it’s going to be dead to a lot of its longest-serving supporters.

Source Ranting Soccer Dad

If it was up to @davisjsn, the 'keys' to the Columbus Crew franchise would've been taken away from Anthony Precourt a long time ago.

By Jason Davis | August 16, 2018

"Where is MLS in all of this? Your brand is being dragged through the mud. ... How do you stand by and just let Anthony Precourt do this? ... You have 23 priceless cars. Your brand is those teams. ... Anthony Precourt is like an irresponsible 17-year-old. He’s driving it off road, he’s getting into fender benders, and instead of taking the keys away and moving on from the situation ... MLS owns the team; Anthony Precourt gets the right to operate it. Can you not take it away from him when he proves irresponsible?"

Source Twitter

Save the Crew doing good as they fight to keep team

By Michael Arace | August 18, 2018

"Save The Crew, the grass-roots movement, parried Wednesday’s Austin council vote and continued forward apace. In fact, it used that day to promote two of its initiatives: The group raised $1,600 to fully fund soccer programs at two local schools via DonorsChoose, and it brought to a finish its drive to collect school supplies for students at Livingston Elementary. The yield was 839 items, including 139 boxes of crayons and 249 packs of pencils.

Two weeks before that, Save The Crew had a party to celebrate its ticket-pledge drive — and to deliver a surprise. The group unveiled a site plan and architectural renderings for a stadium in the Arena District, to show what is possible. I was there, and it was mind-blowing.

And a week after that, a Save The Crew team rode in Pelotonia, that (huge) annual bicycle event that benefits cancer research. The Black & Gold team has raised more than $11,000 so far. It also helped a local Crew fan, Jonathan Dale, raise money for medical bills."

Source Dispatch

Here’s the full email sent to #CrewSC season ticket holders today

By Andrew Erickson | August 20, 2018'

"Thank you for your support as a Crew SC Season Ticket Member. You are currently enrolled in our autorenewal program. Autorenewal makes securing your membership(s) for next season a more convenient process and ensures you pay the lowest possible price for your 2019 Crew SC Season Ticket Membership.

Below are important dates to remember regarding the autorenewal process for 2019.

August 20th, 2018 - Opt-out window for 2019 Season Ticket Memberships begins September 17th, 2018 - Deadline to opt-out of the 2019 season via the link provided below September 18th, 2018 - Most up to date card on file is charged

Below are the current terms of your autorenewal agreement for your Crew SC Season Ticket Membership(s). Your seat location for 2019 will be the same seat location you currently have for 2018.

Your 2019 Season Membership will include:

  • Your same seats
  • Lowest price of 2019
  • 2019 Member Only Events
  • 17 Regular Season MLS Matches
  • 10% Discount at the Crew SC Shop
  • Season Ticket Member Gift
  • Special Member Only Pricing for Additional Single Match Tickets
  • Ticket Exchange Program
  • Membership Team
  • MAPFRE Stadium Special Event Purchase Priority
  • Playoff Priority with Member Only Pricing
  • U.S. Open Cup matches hosted at MAPFRE Stadium through the quarterfinals

If you would like to add memberships, relocate, or change your payment plan preference please call your membership specialist or the membership team.

Should you choose to opt out of auto-renewal for the 2019 season, you can do so by clicking here and filling out the necessary form by September 17th, 2018 at 5pm. This link is account specific and intended for your use only-do not forward this link to others.

Membership Terms & Conditions

If you elect to opt out, you will lose access to the auto-renewal benefits and your exact seat location for the 2019 season will be available to the public. Also, your 2018 membership will continue to be on autorenewal for the 2018 playoffs. You will receive a separate email regarding playoff strips and how to opt-out of the 2018 playoff strips if you choose to do so.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact your membership specialist."

Source Twitter

Moreno: Columbus owners working in parallel realities

By Alejandro Moreno | August 20, 2018

Alejandro Moreno calls out Crew SC's ownership for celebrating a stadium vote in Austin while asking Columbus fans to renew their season tickets.


Thoughts on MLS in Austin

By Paul Tenorio | August 22, 2018 "Maybe this will come back to me with @OldTakesExposed the way it did for some Atlanta doubters, but I think Austin will be one of the great failures of #MLS at a time of otherwise smart, deliberate growth."

Source Twitter

Branding similarity

By Paul Carr | August 22, 2018

"Columbus tifo in November: 'Respect Your Roots'

Austin FC slogan today: 'Grow the Legend'


By Sebastian Salazar | August 22, 2018

"Did the man responsible for uprooting one of Major League Soccer’s original teams really just put roots in his stupid new logo? It’s either the ultimate troll move or the most egregious lack of self-awareness yet in a long string of it from @APrecourt. Disaster either way."

"Defended MLS for long time against foreign/domestic critics. Honestly felt like MLS mark at times. Beyond defend league, I’ve actively promoted it. Been part of machine that asks people to commit passion, time,money to MLS. Once Crew go can I do that anymore with a straight face?"

"MLS is about to allow a betrayal of some of its most loyal fans. Some of same fans it puts in commercials to try and attract more folks to the league. I’ve defended MLS because they gave me a team that connects me to my family and many of my friends. DCU is a big part of my life."

"Was 12 when MLS launched. Wasn’t long before D.C. United meant THE WORLD to me. Would’ve been devastated if they left. How do I promote a league that is allowing someone to yank a team away from a generation of 12-year-olds in Ohio? Cover MLS? Fine. Promote it? Not sure how."

Source Twitter

Branding opinion

Ives Galarcep | August 22, 2018

"We all know what the FC stands for. (Rhymes with Ducking Folumbus)"

Source Twitter

Austin Gets A Major League Soccer Deal While Columbus Gets Stiffed

Jason Notte | August 22, 2018

"Even in Austin, where it's estimated that the Crew would have to play for 45 years for the city to make back the cost of its $24 million public land commitment in rent, theres sympathy."

Source Forbes

Revealed stomach-churning Austin FC badge sums up the whole situation

August 23, 2018

"Anthony Precourt and PSV first showed their lack of originality when they announced the name of the team would be ‘Austin FC’. However, things have got even worse now that the badge has been revealed. The club’s colours, I assume, will be green and there is a clear ‘tree’ theme within the identity. Where have I seen that before?

As an Englishman, I am used to our generic names for our football [soccer] teams. You know, the likes of ‘Town’s’, ‘United’s’, ‘City’s’ – you catch my drift. In Major League Soccer, you find unique and funky names such as the Portland Timbers, Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy to name a few. Austin FC just sounds lazy, unimaginative and like an attempt to sabotage existing identities."

Source Major League Shocker

What the Crew’s potential move means for MLS fans

By Harrison Hamm | August 23, 2018

"We don’t know who the next Anthony Precourt is. That’s the scariest part. Precourt was sitting there for years, plotting at the same time as Precourt Sports Ventures helped drive the Crew forward. They rebranded. They hosted more international games. They found first-rate coaches players, became one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the league, and almost won MLS Cup. Precourt quietly dreamed of destroying it all.

There could be another Precourt somewhere in the league, as we speak. It could be Gabriel Brener, for all we know. I don’t think it is and I have no reason to believe it is. But we don’t know. That’s why the Save The Crew movement is important, and that’s why it matters to fans of every other team in the league. You could be next."

Source [ Dynamo Theory]

Soccer leagues care more about money than fans

By Jon Marthaler | August 24, 2018

MLS pays plenty of lip service to its commitment to its fans, but this should make it clear: MLS does not care about soccer fans. It doesn’t care about Crew fans who have put 22 years into supporting their team, who made Columbus the spiritual home of the U.S. men’s national team. If business is slow in St. Pauldown the road, you can bet that it won’t care about Minnesota United fans, either. In the same announcement that Precourt called himself a “steward” of the Crew, MLS commissioner Don Garber lauded his "his commitment to joining our other owners in continuing to build the league and sport in North America."

Source Star Tribune

Columbus and Austin can coexist if MLS stands by its supposed values

By Daniel Rouse | August 24, 2018

But the biggest loss obviously wouldn't be in city budgets; it would be felt by the fans. If the relocation goes ahead, the tailgaters outside Mapfre Stadium would be robbed of a family, and the emerging generation of supporters would lose their first love in the Crew. The passionate and welcoming collective Save the Crew - a grassroots initiative that supports charities and is among the closest things MLS has to the community-serving foundations of club football - will have been ignored.

Source The Score

New England Stands With #SAVETHECREW

By Mathew Bluestein | August 27, 2018

"To anyone who is new to this movement, it’s not just a hashtag. It’s not a few hundred people tweeting angrily at the ownership. It’s a whole community that involves all the fans from every team." ... " There have been protests at other teams’ stadiums, such as the Patriots’ own Gillette. The message is clear- MLS fans want the Crew to survive. Because you can’t hate a team if they don’t exist." ... "Like I’ve said, the Crew has been here since day 1. Getting rid of them would not be good for the sport or the identity of MLS. Soccer should not be run with a business mentality, it’s not like other sports. The fans give their all for the club, and it’s up to the owner to give just as much back. If attendance is bad, the owner is not doing something right. It’s up to the owner to fix it, not pack everything up and relocate the team. With that being said, I speak for all of New England and for all of us here at BSE when I say that we stand with you Columbus. You would fight for us, so we fight for you. Together, we’ll #SaveTheCrew"

Source Boston Sports Extra

Parchman: MLS has reached a new low in its cynical relationship with fans

By Will Parchman | August 27, 2018

"Whatever happens, this Austin episode is already the single most shameful event in MLS history—- worse than the San Jose/Houston row, and even worse than the Chivas USA debacle."


"Whatever your thoughts on the matter --whether you believe Columbus has lost its right to host a club because its attendance figures aren't very high, or whether the entire situation shoots your blood pressure into deep space-- we should be able to agree on one thing: MLS has lost the moral authority to speak about club culture. The league and its owners --the owners of every team-- have both condoned and endorsed the move as the Crew is ripped from the people who have supported the team for the past 22 years, well before most of them cared a whit for the sport."

Source The Athletic


Front-office staffers cope with Crew SC relocation saga

By Andrew Erickson | September 9, 2018

“Greeley was obviously upset from the remarks from Fischer about PSV’s lack of engagement with city officials and investors,” said an employee who was at the meeting. “I felt worse after hearing Dave Greeley. He had a negative view of Columbus. I could tell right there that if Austin was even a small option, they would be out of here.”

One meeting attendee called the message “hollow.”

“You’re talking to staff ... not to the first team and the technical staff,” the person said. “It was just the most heartless and cold conversation that I’ve ever professionally been a part of. There was no empathy for people whose entire lives had been this team and working for this club.”

Said another: “I feel terrible and at times I feel sorry for myself, but that ain’t gonna pay the bills.”

“It’s tough when you’re working in an organization and you’re putting your time, energy and effort into it and you believe in what it is and then the person that’s running the organization is spending their time and energy somewhere else,” a former employee said.

Source Dispatch


Saturday offered Massive proof of fans’ bond with Crew

By Michael Arace | October 1, 2018

They weren’t given much notice — invitations went out in August, and the event wasn’t marketed until three days before it went down — but they gushed in their appreciation for the single member of the front-office staff whose idea it was to have this reunion. This staffer planned the whole thing and ran the execution of it. It was a herculean task, well-done.

It is clear that some higher-ups weren’t hot to do this. (Precourt didn’t even show up, per usual, not that anybody wanted him there.) It is clear the higher-ups had a fear that there would be a commingling of the 10th-anniversary celebration and Save the Crew messaging. It is clear that the higher-ups didn’t want the former players adding voice to the sentiments of supporters — especially the second- and third-generation supporters, who are like family.

More than a thousand fans waited for the old players to show up at tailgate parties, before and after the game. Message to these fans:

“It would have been awesome if we could’ve had our own tailgate, so we could raise a glass with all the supporters in one place,” one former player said. “We love them all.”

But the schedule was too tight. Players were shuttled to the stadium at 6:30 and arrived at 6:45 or so. They were taken directly to a private box. The halftime ceremony didn’t start right at the beginning of halftime. Was it delayed by design? The players were told not to cross the field to celebrate with the Nordecke because there was no time to do so.

“We said, ‘Yeah, we hear you,’ ” said another player. “And because it’s us, we said, ‘We’re going over there anyway.’ ”

Massive is as Massive does. The old players grabbed the hands of their children, or put them on their shoulders, and sauntered over to the notorious Nordecke, to the very heart of what makes soccer so great in Columbus. They were regaled by a couple of the old chants — and one new one.

“Save the Crew.”

Source Dispatch

Monaco’s Falcao linked with MLS move

By Nicholas Mendola | October 2, 2018

"The Columbus Crew is named as a suitor (again, though the move could mean Austin (#SaveTheCrew)), while Inter Miami is the other name tipped as a landing spot for the Colombian striker."

Source NBC Sports

Anthony Precourt is testing the compatibility of MLS’s dual visions: to be a world-class soccer league and a major North American sports business

By Jeff Rueter | October 3, 2018

“Either we have a soccer system that might one day take its place alongside other respected leagues around the world, or MLS is just another North American sports business operation.”

Source The Athletic

SaveTheCrew support from ESPN show host

October 4, 2018

"We like to start our FriYay with beer in boots.

What’s your weekend starter?

We are live from Columbus..."

Mike Golic, Jr. wears a #SaveTheCrew scarf on most of the broadcast of ESPN's Golic and Wingo radio & television show.

Source Twitter

One Year Annivesary of One of American Soccer's Darkest Weeks

By Grant Wahl & Luis Echegaray | October 10, 2018

Wahl: And now for our parting shots. This week marks two separate one year anniversaries and events that were horrible for American soccer fans. We know they were significant events because media people like me are going to take the time to commemorate the one year anniversaries this week.

On October 10, 2017, in the worst moment in the history of U.S. Soccer, the U.S. Men's National team lost to Trinidad & Tobago and failed to qualify for World Cup 2018. Then, six days later, on October 16th the new broke that the Columbus Crew, an original MLS team, was set to move to Austin, Texas if a new stadium couldn't be built in Columbus, Ohio. For anyone who's a fan of the U.S. Men's National Team or the Columbus Crew these are seismic shocks to the way they experience this sport.

But I have a special place in my heart for the people who fit both parts of the Venn Diagram, the people who are both U.S. fans and Columbus Crew fans. For those supporters, the ones who made Save The Crew a rallying cry and a hashtag, the ones who helped turn Columbus into the best home field advantage for the U.S. Men's National Team, those two cataclysmic events just six days apart had a devastating multiplier effect. And while the U.S. Men will play again in the World Cup, the fans of the Columbus Crew are facing the dire prospect of having no team at all.

That alone makes me a firmer supporter of Save The Crew.

Echegaray: Well said my friend. It's definitely a situation where the loyalty of a fan is never questioned and now more than ever, it's actually the relationship between club franchise and the supporter themselves. And we often forget in 2018 these are very important relationships. that if they're broken the fate and the future of that, you know, enterprise, whatever it is, will never be the same again.

Wahl: Yeah. And I still think there's a very good chance that Columbus won't have a team, and for those fans there, I think you're really going over the top if you're in the media and trying to make a case that somehow this is the right move to put that team in Austin.

Source SI Parting Shots Video