What should have been a joyous night in Columbus during a 4-1 conference semifinal victory was mostly filled with anger, sadness and disappointment.
#SaveTheCrew was the theme of Tuesday night’s match at Mapfre Stadium. From banners waving to chants ringing out, the fans made their anger apparent.
Since it was announced that owner Anthony Precourt was angling to move the team to Austin, fans have shared their compelling stories on why the Crew means so much to the region.
- Local fan Katherine Standford told WCMH-TV, “We all grew up around this team. I have my fiancé because of this team.
- Kevin Glenn of the Crew Union supporters group told The Columbus Dispatch, “Gameday tailgates are like a family reunions to us… it’s like going to church every weekend and [Mapfre Stadium] is like our house of worship.”
- Dave Foust, one of the organizers of the #SaveTheCrew campaign, said, “Nearly all of my fondest memories are moments I shared with this [Crew] family and this team. I know I’m not alone in saying that the Crew is inseparable from Columbus. Crew is a part of who we are.
- Dave’s fellow #SaveTheCrew organizer, Morgan Hughes shared an even more personal connection. “To me, the Crew means everything. In real life, I basically have three modes; Crew, work, and sleep — usually in that order,” he shared. “I met my fiancée at a Crew game in 2013. Without the Columbus Crew, my life would be significantly different, in a very bad way.”
Tuesday was an opportunity for those people to unite around one cause.
Some voiced it through the not-so-kid-friendly “C-R-E-W, f*ck you Precourt, we are the Crew” chant. Others donned the tagline across their chests.
Whether the team stays past 2018 or not, these playoffs mean so much to the community.
Columbus Crew head coach Greg Berhalter said it best, “We repurposed our mission, and it’s solely to play for the fans and give them as many home games as we can and let them enjoy something,”