The Last Season?: Experiencing growing pains

Justin McIntosh
Crew SC midfielder Cristian Martinez battles for the ball

Columbus Crew SC has been so pitiful these last few weeks — and the World Cup so sublime — that I'm almost compelled to continue waxing on about the latter and completely ignore the former.

But alas, there are a few Crew SC things I must discuss. Astute readers of this column (“Hi, Mom”) might recall I suggestedCrew SC might sign a winger in the summer window. It hasn't happened yet, though Crew SC did, indeed, recently acquire Patrick Mullins, a far superior backup striker to Adam Jahn.

Dispatch Crew SC beat writer Andrew Erickson also reports there might be more moves before the secondary transfer window closes Aug. 8.

I hope he's right, but I have my doubts. You Know Whoclearly doesn't careabout maintainingthe 'Fre (i.e.,U.S. Soccer's “unofficial home"). This season was always a wash in his mind. His gaze was always set on 2019 and on You Know Where.

On the plus side, we've had a chance to watch the team's young and promising attacking talent — such as Cristian Martinez, Niko Hansen, Eduardo Sosa and Luis Argudo —get opportunities and grow.

The downside exhibited itself during the last 30 seconds of Crew SC's July 14 game against New York City FC, whenSosa went, well, mental. (There was also, lest we forget, theMay 27 momentary lapse of reason from his teammate, Martinez.)

During this lengthy scoring drought the team's currently, ironically, drowning in, I'm tempted to also drag it for its lack of production. My ire is instead saved for Crew SC Designated Player, winger Pedro Santos. On the season Santos has the same number of assists as our two outside backs — and one less goal. That's, uh, not good.

When the team is winning, Santos' lack of production is easy to overlook. After all, his attacks often look dangerous, and he can really draw a sick foul in dangerous areas. No one, save maybe Neymar, can fall over like Santos.

I'm being harsh, admittedly. The blame for this scoring —and winning — drought spreads far and wide. When the team's attacking style starts to feel like an Ouroboros (i.e., a going-nowhere, tail-eating snake), it's hard to pinpoint any one reason.

Actually, that's a perfect segue to my next topic of discussion, and though I've vowed to stay away from the off-field stuff, the end of this sad saga is only weeks away.

On Aug. 9, Austin City Council is set to receive bids for the use of McKalla Place, some city land that You Know Who and other, separate parties are interested in developing. The winning bid, presumably, takes all.

As we approach this deadline,who knows what boots might drop. I'm certainly going to be an anxious wreck. But I'm also sure a certain Ohio judge might have something to say about You Know Who negotiating with You Know Where, sincethe judge asked You Know Who to, like, not do that.

In the interim, hang in there, y'all.