18 October 2009


D.C. United 1 : 0 Columbus Crew

Six Word Novel Recap

A decent team, with terrible supporters.

Let me just start by saying that Steve Cronin impressed the hell out of me last night. He played confidently, and he did not hesitate to come off of his line or even out of the box. At one point last night, he ran almost to the corner flag to shield a Crew player off the ball until it ran out for a goal kick. He was completely alone in the corner, the goal mouth was empty and the wet conditions at RFK meant that if the ball had not rolled out, he would have been in a position needing to play the ball with his feet 1 v 1 against the attacking player. I wouldn't say that it was a nervous moment, because it worked out fine, but I mention it because it was the type of heads up, proactive goalkeeping that you don't see very often and with it, he made things a lot easier for himself. The score line shows him earning a 6 save shutout and he earned Man of the Match honors as a result of a text-message poll of fans there at RFK. I think it was well deserved, even more so than Emilio, your goal scorer, and Khumalo, the assist man.

I can't decide whether the Crew played like the best team in the league last night. On the one hand, they spent virtually the entire 2nd half in the United end. But on the other hand, they got shut out by a team struggling to even make the playoffs and only had 2 or 3 decent chances. One thing that I know for sure is that their supporters should definitely stay at home next time.

The most experience I've had with supporter's groups is with Barra Brava, Screaming Eagles and La Norte and so I've always thought of these groups as positive things. They support their team. It seems that these assholes from Ohio only came to RFK last night to unleash a barrage of senseless profanity. And don't get me wrong, I love me some profanity, but as my wife pointed out, the Crew supporters (does anyone know what their are known by? Massively Terrible?) were seated in a section directly above the VW Garage area, which was filled with little kids getting their faces painted and getting free VW t-shirts. So when Cronin took his first goal kick of the night, the Crew supporters responded very clearly with "FUCK YOU ASSHOLE!" My wife and I were still down there getting our VW t-shirts at that point and the looks of complete puzzlement on the 10 year old faces was saddening.

So I hope you guys enjoyed your visit to your nation's Capitol, but please, don't let Emilio's boot hit you in the ass on your way home. I hope your team loses the Supporter's Shield.

Oh yeah, hilarious story of the night: when GBS came over to the corner for an early corner kick, under the Crew supporter's section and right next to the VW Garage area where my wife and I were still standing, watching the first few minutes of play, the supporter's greated him with an ongoing chant of "Guillermo! Guillermo!" HAHAHA Because it sounded exactly like they were chanting, "Terrible! Terrible!"

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At 18 October, 2009 13:17, Anonymous Grunthos said...

Agreed, Cronin had a strong match. Somebody needs to give him a look and see if he can do that on a regular basis. He's not physically imposing, and last night was no test of his reflexes apart from the one full-stretch save, but he's obviously an intelligent player who positions well and doesn't get rattled easily.

At 18 October, 2009 23:57, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uh, re: the "Fuck You, Asshole!" scream when the keeper kicks the ball . . .lots of supporters groups do that. La Norte used to do it for years, although I don't know if they still do. It was somewhat of a surprise to hear them do it at reserve matches. Lots of other groups around MLS do it. Almost every team in Mexico and Central America does it, except they yell "Puto!" instead because, you know, Spanish instead of English.

But anyway, now that we're at the end of the season, is this blog going to become more active again? Will D start posting analyses of draft trends? This used to be a high vote-getter for the best blog in the league; but it seems dead these days.

At 19 October, 2009 01:47, Blogger paulsepp said...

Portland Timbers fan here and I just wanted to say that it is good to see Cronin filling in well. He can take you to the playoffs and then some.

At 19 October, 2009 09:27, Blogger Bob said...

I realize that I probably came off as naive in my discussion of the Crew supporters, but I prefer the singing and the smoke bombs to the cursing at children...

At 19 October, 2009 10:39, Blogger rke said...

I've become an overnight Cronin fan. He impressed me far more than Wicks ever has. Sure, it's just one game, and consistency is key. But his confidence was rock-solid and he controlled the box like it was his birthright.

Not bad for a guy who hasn't been in DC long enough to visit a single monument.

As for the chant, I'd agree that it's pretty bone-headed. They may not have realized that they were singing to kids, but it still shows no class. Crew fans living up to their reputation...

I'm a big fan of the Barra Brava, but do cringe a little at the "FU Ref" chants, and others that are overtly vulgar. Not for my kid's sake -- I'll teach him about language and what's appropriate, that's my job. More for game aesthetics and fan unity. There are plenty of great songs and chants that everyone can get behind, and I generally prefer those.

That said, I've done my share of swearing at refs and opposing sides. So I'm a hypocrite. But there you go.

At 19 October, 2009 18:44, Anonymous Skippy said...

My understand was always that it was "You suck, asshole" and yeah, tons of groups around the league do it. I hear it at MNT games too. I've always been glad that we don't do it. Having no children and tending to shout obscene phrases at refs, opposing players/fan, my primary objection is just that it seems a little lame and reminds me too much of going to Ohio State games and chanting "O-H-I-O" for kickoffs. Its just not part of the DC United experience for me.
I didn't have a huge problem with the Columbus fans, I chatted with some of them, though as I implied earlier, I was raised in Ohio (hated it, wouldn't go back). They brought a fair few supporters to a game that didn't really matter to them and in the cold and rain no less. Have we had classier supporters, sure. But I'm not sure how much United fans really can say about being abrasive or obscene. I understand the kids issue, but they didn't pick their seats and if you saw them directing obscenities at the children rather than over them, then you've surprised me.
But then, I believe Crew fans have that dubious honor of having been involved in the first US soccer riot and got in trouble for racist jeers last year as well. So maybe its something that should be checked before it gets out of hand.
There's a lot of Cronin love floating around. Hey, he was good and I was impressed. But I don't want to overstate it though, it was a strange game. The pitch was miserable and Columbus' attacking options were limited and relatively slow. He did well, but this is not really a game by which to judge him.
I seem to be a bastard this post, but I must confess, nothing from that game made me confident about KC or Toluca. There were a lot of low points to the game. I couldn't care less if Tom Soehn keeps his job and DC has a decent playoff or CONCACAF run. I want to see it. But I know that I am holding out hope against my better judgement.

At 21 October, 2009 16:44, Anonymous Bootsy said...

Sorry, Skippy, but there's something you wrote that I think is misleading and unfair. I'm the furthest thing from a Columbus fan; but these are serious allegations, and anyone deserves fair treatment over such things:

But then, I believe Crew fans have that dubious honor of having been involved in the first US soccer riot and got in trouble for racist jeers last year as well. So maybe its something that should be checked before it gets out of hand.

First of all, if by "the first US soccer riot" you're referring to the fights between supporters of Columbus and West Ham at their exhibition at Crew Stadium, it's worth taking the time to look into the details of what happened. If the reports publicized in the press of the behavior of many West Ham supporters in attendance are to be believed, I'm confident that such fights would have broken out at pretty much any stadium at MLS, including RFK. I have exactly zero doubt of this.

Second, regarding your reference to "racist jeers" . . .Crew fans didn't get in trouble for racist jeers. *One Crew fan* was recorded (audio only) in a video posted to YouTube (the fan was out of view of the camera) yelling a racist slur; that fan was eventually identified and received a stadium ban. Tarring "Crew fans" uniformly because one guy was recorded being an idiot seems over the top; any large crowd is going to have its idiots. You think that doesn't happen elsewhere in MLS? I know it does, because I've heard racist taunts at RFK. As just one example, but one close-up and personal, at one match two years ago, two other people and I had to deal with this guy near us who kept screaming racial slurs at certain players for CD Guadalajara.

Any large crowd is going to have its idiots. If it was more prevalent, or if the Crew organization was dismissive of what did happen, then a complaint about the Crew or its fans might be warranted; but there's no evidence of it being more prevalent, while the Crew went above and beyond to track the guy down, identify him, and deal with him.

At 22 October, 2009 10:15, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the Behind the Badge lads have done their sums correctly, tonight I'll be watching the telly yelling "Chivas! Chivas! Go, goats, go!

[memo to BTB and whoever made the highlight video for the Toluca match, the "red-and-black" don't exist anymore, much less did they qualify for the Champions League, IYKWIMAITYD

At 26 October, 2009 23:55, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not all Crew fans are like those. Our "North Enders" "Supporter Group" have some good people in there. Unforunately, lots tend to get drunk or at least act like it. I love that they sing the National Anthem but I could do without the profanity as it shows a lack of class.

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At 22 September, 2010 22:34, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chang is the most overpaid, incompetent idiot on earth. The cost to tailgate with DC united fans for a couple of beers - how about seven digit loss. Year after year. The old man leaves an eight digit fortune so that the fame chasing loser can piss it all away. What a waste!

At 07 September, 2011 20:24, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The world will become a better place when Will Chang is dead. The motherfucker collects $40 million in bonus. Extortion. The bozo loses $20 million in venture capital and another $10 million in real estate. No accoutability of transparency. Harvard thinks Willie is a "distinguished Alum". My ass!!! The asshole is the biggest fucking con artist on the planet!!


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