Oh my goodness.
I could probably use more colorful language from that, but after this weekend, I’ll just stick with the above. By now, if you follow along with MLS news, you know the Columbus Crew traveled to Washington D.C. to play Eastern Conference rivals D.C. United for their playoff lives. Although they took the lead twice in the match, D.C. were able to tuck away more more goal than the Black and Gold and virtually send the team not only packing their bags home, but packing up their playoff hopes. (The match ended 3-2, by the way.)
I’m heartbroken and for several reasons. Most naturally because I’m a loyal Crew fan and I – like any other MLS fan – want to see my team not only get to the playoffs, but do well there. I’m also heartbroken because following this team, I know the trials and work they’ve been through to push toward the playoffs.
The 2012 season for the Columbus Crew has been an interesting one to say the least. Such as it is when major changes happen in a team. Several core players left, new ones came in. It’s the cycle of life of a team. But I believe everyone from the players and coaching staff all the way to the youngest fans were craving for a strong Columbus Crew once more.
There’s been good and bad. Some may look only at the fact this the first time the Crew haven’t been in the playoffs in quite a number of years. And I can agree with them that it’s disconcerting. It is for every team that did not make the playoffs.
But if you look across the board, there are good things to take away from this. A few include:
- The Crew are not at the bottom of the table. They fought every inch, every step of the way through the season.
- They have some fire power to work with: most of the “heavy hitters” for the team came in half way or close to the end of the regular season. Naturally, they didn’t have a lot of time to gel with the team. They did amazing things coming in when they did, but just think of what they can be once they get preseason under their belts together.
- Crew have always been “the Little Team That Could.” There’s a reason they’re called the hardest working team in MLS. They don’t have a lot of perks or resources available to them as say, New York or L.A. But they work with everything they have and they strive to prove themselves. Their ambition at the end of this season is definitely something to commend.
There are more. I could probably go on for a while at least. But the most important point I think here is to not dwell. If anything, that’s one thing the Columbus Crew have always been excellent at. The team never dwells on the past; the guys don’t concentrate on the goals missed, they don’t harp on the mistakes they’ve made. They address what went wrong, strive to fix it and move on to the next game.
And I know this past weekend will be no different. The players of the Black and Gold will take what they need from the game, apply the lessons they learned to their play and it’ll be on to the next one. So don’t fret, fellow Crew fans. There may be playoff heartbreak now, but before long, it will be March and a whole new season of opportunities.
Photo courtesy of Columbus Crew’s Facebook page.