Meet the Crew's soccer rockers, Sloan and the Keepers

Chris DeVille, Columbus Alive

When Carlos Mendes joined the Crew in 2012, the defender and part-time percussionist recruited goalkeepers Andy Gruenebaum and Matt Lampson plus midfielder Eddie Gaven to play music. They got together weekly to play covers and jam. Mendes was the driving force (and the guy who supplied all the gear).

"Carlos is legit," Gruenebaum said. "He actually plays in front of people."

Mendes moved on to the New York Cosmos of the NASL this season, and Gaven scaled back his involvement after the birth of his second kid. But Gruenebaum kept the band alive by bringing new signees Daniel Withrow (goalkeeper) and Shawn Sloan (forward) into the fold.

"Preseason's so long," Gruenebaum said. "It's a grind. This kind of gave us an outlet."

Adopting the name Sloan and the Keepers, they've had just one practice since the season began, but a second one was unfolding on stage at Crew Stadium after training last week. Mr. Big's "To Be With You" became the parody "Hold On to the Ball," while Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" became a tribute to "Fast Guy" Dominic Oduro. Hootie and the Blowfish was covered.

Would they ever play a real show?

"When everyone's too drunk to know we're not that great," Sloan suggested.

On the spot, they set a goal to schedule at least one show before season's end.

"For Crew fans?" Sloan asked.

Withrow replied: "For music fans, man."