Here’s the latest batch of Crew alumni reactions from calls/texts/emails in the wake of Columbus lifting the trophy for the second time. Some of these are condensed from much longer conversations.
JON BUSCH (2002-2006)
“They played fantastic! Absolutely awesome. Dominating. Everybody, from top to bottom, what a total team performance in the biggest game of the year. I am so happy for the fans. It’s been a roller coaster for three years for the fans of the club and everyone associated with the club. And it all starts with Dr. Pete Edwards stepping up to keep that team in Columbus. He spearheaded that and then with the Haslams. I hope he celebrated that thing like no other. I hope he’s been drunk every night since. I really do because he absolutely deserves it for what he did for that club. Full credit to the club, full credit to Caleb, full credit to the Nordecke and the fans. Every single person deserves to celebrate that trophy because everyone has put so much into that club. And the cool and awesome thing to think about as a Crew fan is that the club is set up to do it again. It’s only going to get better with the new stadium and the new training facility and all that stuff. This isn’t an old team. This team is built to do this for a few years and it’s only going to get better. It’s fun to think about that possibility.”
STEVEN LENHART (2008-2010)
“Huge shoutout to all the guys and their families, the staff, and fans for enduring this challenging season and finding a way to put something special together. Proud and not surprised to know the spirit of Columbus is alive and well!”
TOMMY HEINEMANN (2011-2012)
“The stamina and perseverance of the fans of Columbus should be an inspiration to every supporters group in this country. As clubs and supporters groups continue to form at all levels of the game in this country, this story of Columbus is a lesson and a testimony to the club’s connection with its community. No one should ever forget that. When adversity hit, they didn’t crumble, they stood together and pressed on. In the end, they willed themselves to be champions.”
TODD YEAGLEY (1996-2002)
“The Crew imposed their will. It was vintage Caleb. He can make a team believe. He can give you confidence that you don’t even know you have. He was reveling in that challenge and his team took on his personality. They were edgy and tough and they believed. They were really good on the night. I want to congratulate the fans first and foremost. They love their team. We’re a charter member and it’s important. And then Dr. Pete Edwards. He’s just a wonderful man with a wonderful family. He cares about Columbus and the Crew and he got together with the Haslams. So for all of us who played there, it was a cool night. My wife and I said we had to go. I wouldn’t have traded that for anything. And it’s an emotional field. I played my last game on that field. My dad coached his last game on that field with Caleb on the bench. We shared a lot of good times with Caleb after the game and it was a lot of fun.”
ROBBIE ROGERS (2007-2011)
“How incredible and such a cool story. One for the movies! I’ve always watched the Crew from a distance and have been very proud to be part of an organization and city that never loses faith, even when overlooked and under-appreciated. I hope this latest accomplishment sends a message to the league and to the soccer community in the U.S. that the Crew have always been and will always be part of the DNA of American soccer. Congratulations to the current team, the club, and of course, the city of Columbus — I miss you all and will continue to be inspired by the faith you have in one another.”
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