Crew: 9 reasons to attend the home opener

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

You've probably heard that the Crew cut ties with its stars and lost its season opener 3-1 at D.C. United. And you may know the forecast for Saturday afternoon is rather chilly. There will be basketball on TV. All things considered, the casual Crew fan might decide to pass on Saturday's home opener against the New York Red Bulls.

In the words of Lee Corso, "Not so fast, my friend." Here are nine reasons to cheer on the Crew this Saturday.

1. A bigger Nordecke means a better Crew. The 2008 title run proved there's a reciprocal relationship at work. No need for a chicken-and-egg debate; just fill up the supporters section '08 style and see what happens.

2. It's the only game in town. Buckeye basketball plays on Friday and (hopefully) Sunday. The Blue Jackets are off Saturday, too.

3. New York is stacked. You want star power? The Red Bulls have Thierry Henry and Rafa Marquez, two of the most famous and talented players in the world, imported directly from Barcelona FC.

4. The Crew has nowhere to go but up. So says coach Robert Warzycha, who told the Dispatch, "[The D.C. game] is going to be our worst game of the season because I don't think we can play any worse."

5. One loss doesn't mean much. The Crew has lost its first game five times before. Twice they missed the playoffs (2000 and 2006), but once they won the Supporters Shield (2004).

6. The Crew hasn't lost its home opener in seven years. Even during a three-season playoff drought from 2005-07, Columbus always delivered on opening day in Crew Stadium.

7. Jeff Cunningham could set some records. Next time the reacquired striker scores for Columbus, it'll be his 63rd in black and gold, breaking a tie with Brian McBride for the all-time club lead. A goal would also pull Cunningham into a tie with Jaime Moreno for the all-time MLS lead at 132.

8. No matter how cold it gets, it won't be colder than the Champions League game last month. Saturday's expected high of 43 seems balmy compared to 26 degrees on Feb. 22.

9. The song goes "Columbus 'Til I Die ! " not "Columbus 'Til My Favorite Players Leave and Our Championship Prospects Start To Look Bleak!" At least, last time we checked.

Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls

4 p.m. Saturday, March 26

Crew Stadium, North Side