Crew Cuts: New ways to watch

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Two new views for the Crew: The north-end stage and the Huntington Club.

Back when the club eradicated its north-end stands to build a permanent concert stage before the 2008 season, members of the super-fan supporters clubs were irked about the removal of their favorite sections. Of course, the groups banded together in the northeast corner to form the Nordecke, one of the loudest, proudest supporters sections in MLS.

Now fans have the option of returning to the north end, but not due to a new set of bleachers. The Crew has opened up the stage as a patio and beer garden, easily accessible from the adjacent sections. It's a fun alternative for fans who want to mill and mingle but stay close to the action.

The Huntington Club, meanwhile, is still a work in progress. Previously a closed-off facility reserved for special events, the club is now open to the public and will function like an English pub when construction is completed this summer.

The indoor facility now features glass walls with a clear view to the new patio area outside. The bar - which doesn't feel quite like a bar yet thanks to its cafeteria-ready carpeting - sells a variety of drinks including $8 beers in souvenir cups.

Part of the interior remains closed off for construction. Here's hoping the Huntington Club's makeover is extensive; the space could be an amazing asset to Crew Stadium if they do this right.

Last week's action:

Columbus played its most exciting match of the year last Saturday against New England, prevailing 3-2 thanks to a stoppage-time goal from Robbie Rogers. Rogers remained frustrating for much of the match, but he was involved in all three of the Crew's goals, including an own-goal by New England's Corey Gibbs that deflected off a Rogers cross.

Eddie Gaven scored the Crew's first goal, though his most memorable play was a backheel that clanged off the crossbar during the Crew's late-game surge. The play -nearly an all-time Crew highlight - capped Gaven's most energized attacking performance in some time.

While the offense finally got in gear, the defense was questionable even with the return of two-time defending MLS Defender of the Year Chad Marshall. William Hesmer made an awful mistake to allow New England's first goal, while Zack Boggs' second strike of the night can be attributed to a lot of standing around by several Crew starters. Tsk, tsk.

Coming up next:

Struggling Chivas U.S.A. comes to Columbus Saturday looking to rebound from a 2-0 home loss to Houston. Prediction: 3-1 Crew.

Columbus Crew vs. Chivas U.S.A.

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 15

Where: Crew Stadium, North Side