Another batch of alumni reactions from all the calls, texts, and emails that followed the Crew’s 3-0 stomping of the Seattle Sounders in MLS Cup 2020. Some of these are condensed versions of much longer conversations.
TONY TCHANI (2011-2017)
“I think it was a good game and the boys played well. I couldn’t have been happier especially for the city because they almost lost the team, but this is a great reward to them for fighting and keeping that team in Columbus. I have two guys in particular that I wanted to congratulate. One being Afful because he has been a stellar player in this league, but not with so much recognition or accolades to his name, and I’m proud he finally got one. The other one is Nagbe because I always tell him that he took one from us unfairly in 2015, but now that he got the city one, we will be cool now. Congrats again to the city of Columbus, the Crew, and Dr. Edwards!!!”
ANDY GRUENEBAUM (2006-2013)
“So happy and proud and most of all LUCKY to be associated in any way with this club and city of Columbus! The fans are so deserving of this, and I am so happy Doc Edwards and the Haslams have been rewarded with another trophy. What a way to close out that stadium!”
TOM PRESTHUS (2001-2003)
“What a wild ride! That was an outstanding team performance in a Cup final. I can’t think of a Crew player that didn’t have a great game. In a strange way, it was a little bit like the 2015 Final. I think we were all wondering if it was really happening. Fortunately, this time it felt like a dream rather than a nightmare. The thing I will remember most is that I got to experience that with my three boys. They are all involved in the Crew Academy, and we got to watch our team lift the MLS Cup in our stadium, in our city. That is a memory that will last a lifetime and it doesn’t happen without #SaveTheCrew.”
KYLE HYLAND (2013)
“I’m proud to say I played for the Crew academy and the first team. This MLS Cup win is something everyone should be proud of. Everyone who has been through the system has been a part of building what the Crew is today! Columbus has been through so much and they all deserve it. It proves soccer belongs there and deserves to stay there. Congratulations to everyone! Thank you for this win!”
MIKE CLARK (1996-2003)
“On the pregame predictions, Alexi Lalas said 3-1 Seattle and I almost put it out there that the Crew were going to win 3-0. I legitimately almost said that, but then didn’t put it out there. But I was surprised people thought of them as that big of underdogs. I certainly didn’t. I don’t know why everyone thought they were going to get worked. The Crew have been dealing with adversity all year. That’s a testament to the players and Caleb. I mean, that was a straight up ass-whuppin’.
“I think any organization, if it starts with good roots, it’s going to bear good fruit. There are many examples of organizations that don’t get started for good reasons, but this is an organization that was started by Lamar Hunt, and you know how great of an individual he is. So the Columbus Crew had great roots, and then we had a period where there was some disease and we weren’t sure if we were going to come back from the disease, but then miraculously Dr. Pete and all the citizens of Columbus came in and we’ve bounced back even stronger. We had to prune the disease, but our roots are stronger than ever. With a championship, we normally celebrate the team’s success, but I think this championship is about every person who fought for the Crew’s survival. It was a championship that wasn’t won starting at 8:30 on Saturday night; it was a championship that started three years ago on the steps of City Hall and culminated on Saturday night. And it’s so exciting that the new stadium is being built and the sky is the limit for this club. I’m so happy.”
My latest book “A Massive Collection, Volume 1” is now available!
Also, for those who like to support local businesses, signed paperback copies are available at Prologue Bookshop in the Short North.