Let’s chase away the first Monday blahs of 2021 with another batch of Crew alumni call/text/email reactions to the 3-0 win over the Seattle Sounders in MLS Cup 2020! Some of these have been edited down from much longer conversations.
ADAM MOFFAT (2007-2010)
“The Sounders have been tough to beat and they have all that experience, but Columbus is a quality team and it was an incredible finish for them. Caleb’s done a great job and it’s fun to watch them. There are people here in California that don’t watch MLS who watched the game and have told me, ‘Columbus is a fun team to watch. They play the game properly.’ This Argentine guy was talking to me about the match and he said, ‘I need to watch more MLS. That was exciting and there were some quality players.’ In this crazy hard year, it’s a reward for all their hard work. Not just the players and the staff, but the ownership and the fans, who played a massive part. It’s a shame they weren’t all allowed to be in the stadium and watch. I loved my time in Columbus, and this championship is a great thing for the city and a great way to cap off the year. And the future is bright with a new stadium and a great core that can keep contending for the next few years. Exciting times for Columbus!”
BILLY THOMPSON (1996-1999)
“My son Nicholas and I were there…what a fantastic game! More impressive, but not surprising, is how this club, our club, battled through the adversity over the past few years and came out absolutely on top with such class!!! So proud to be a part of it and grateful to be included as part of the family!!!”
CHRIS WINGERT (2004-2005)
“Last night was awesome. I was so proud of them for their performance. And Zelarayan…I mean, forget the goals for a minute, both of which were spectacular. I mean, his touch and holding the ball up with just a few little touches. I watched the game with my dad and we kept rewinding plays with him. Some his touches were mind-blowing, and just his demeanor and how calm he was under pressure. It was impressive. And Mensah was an animal. And Josh Williams played really well. Everybody played well. It was special. The only bummer for me was that I couldn’t be there. In a non-COVID year, I one hundred percent would have been there. It would have been amazing to be back in town and to see everyone and to have a real celebration. The fans deserve so much credit for hanging in there with the club and what it’s been through the last few years. So the most exciting part for me is that the fans were rewarded with this. And that’s what you want to feel as a player and as a part of a team. You want to reward the fans for being part of it through thick and thin. And the guys themselves deserve it. It was a crazy year, right down to the last game and missing two of their best players. But ultimately, I’m just happy for the entire organization and the fans. I hope that trophy is just the second of many.”
JEFF CUNNINGHAM (1998-2004, 2011)
“Going in, looking at it as a fan, and with the Crew’s situation with COVID, I thought Seattle as defending champs would be the stronger side, but nah. From the get-go, I realized that Columbus wanted it more and had more emotion. I don’t know what Porter said or did, but man, the city wanted the team and fought to keep the team there and the boys responded and gave them a Cup. It’s just fitting. It was a well-deserved win. Columbus keeps setting the bar. I just sit back and watch how it all played out, with the team having one foot out the door and the fans came in and said, ‘Nah, that’s not going to happen’ and now there’s another championship for the city to parade around. That’s just fairytale stuff, man. That’s the best possible way for it to all work out and it worked out that way. There’s just something special about Columbus. It’s just unreal, you know? Doing the fighting at City Hall and doing whatever you have to do to get the team to stay and to have the faith that the team would uplift the city, and then for the players to come out and reward that effort with a Cup? This is perfect. I’m happy for the boys, and as a fan watching, I’m happy for everyone in that community and that rich history of soccer in this country.”
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.