Mark Dougherty was the starting goalkeeper in the first-ever game at MAPFRE Stadium and was the MLS career leader in wins during his Crew career, which ranged from 1998-2001. He was was a #SaveTheCrew advocate, so here’s what he had to say on Wednesday night after it was officially announced that the Crew had been saved.
On the Crew being 100% officially saved:
Relief. I’m so glad that they’re going to be here. I don’t know the Cleveland Browns people, but I know Pete, who’s been there since day one and before. It feels good to me that we have someone with some vested interest and some sweat equity in the project, not just the dollars that are going into it. I’m excited about the stadium. The reunion, I’m still on cloud nine from a few months ago. I hope we can continue that tradition, which would have been crushed if the team moved to Austin. For many reasons, the fans most of all, they get to see the Crew in a new stadium. To persevere…I mean, since 1996, that’s a long time right?
On what the fans need to know about Dr. Pete as he joins the Haslams in team ownership:
I think fans need to know that literally the boy stepped up and rubbed two nickels together to get the financing. He’s been a part of the club forever. He’s taken care of all of the players, so he knows everybody he’s had to mend or fix over the years. It’s a lot of us! For him to just step up like that, it’s ballsy. I don’t know how else to say it. It’s ballsy to step up and put your own money into something where you may or may not be a winner or a money-maker, but his heart and soul is into the project and he’s been there forever. There’s no going wrong. He’s going to direct the club in the most positive direction. That takes money, but you also have to put the right people in place. Pete’s been around for a long time, so I don’t think he’s going to make leadership appointments lightly. That’s what owners should do, right? I mean, it’s your money. Make sure we’re successful.
On what he’d say to the fans who fought so hard to save the Crew:
Good job! Way to keep the faith because normally it does not turn out as favorable as it did this time. Most teams sneak out in the middle of the night like the Baltimore Colts. I’m glad they hung in there and supported the team. I can’t say anything about Precourt. I don’t know him, but obviously he’s not a soccer guy. He doesn’t have the experience and the sweat equity into the club that soccer in this country still needs. Soccer needs some love and tenderness and some caring and some hands-on. It’s not a turn-key system. You have to produce.
If you wish to support my writing, please consider becoming a patron at my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/SteveSirk
A MASSIVE SEASON is now available as an ebook.