Time for another batch of Crew alumni reactions! For this particular series of posts, the plan is for this batch of three, another batch of three, and then two more extended solo pieces. These all stem from calls/texts/emails from Crew alumni after MLS Cup 2020. Some of these are excerpts longer conversations.
BRIAN CARROLL (2008-2010)
“Congratulations to the Crew family! It’s been a wild year, but the players, staff, and ownership rose to the occasion on multiple levels. It was fun to watch the group put together one of the most complete games I’ve ever seen on the MLS Cup stage. As a member of the first MLS Cup trophy in club history, it was a proud moment seeing the club and city lift #2. Well done, much deserved, and good luck in 2021 and beyond in the new facility. I can’t wait to bring my kiddos to a home game in the new stadium.”
MICHAEL PARKHURST (2014-2016)
“The game was awesome. Like most people, I worried if Columbus was going to be able to overcome those two big losses. (Nagbe and Santos.) Then you watch the game and from the first minute to the last minute, they were the much better team. It was such a great performance on the biggest stage in the biggest game of the year. After such a tough season for everyone involved, it was great to see them rise to the occasion and dominate what’s been the best team in MLS over the last six years or so.
“I’m definitely happy for the guys that are holdovers from the 2015 team. Harrison and those guys are all such good people. Hector is such a good professional. He obviously doesn’t play a ton of games, but he’s ready when called upon and he contributes. He’s one of the best guys in the locker room, so I was happy to see him get on the field. And Waylon and Harrison, obviously the last time we were in that situation on that field, it didn’t go the way we wanted it to, so I’m glad they were able to have good fortune this time. A massive congratulations to everyone involved. And the players wouldn’t have been in a position to win a championship for Columbus if it weren’t for the fans and all their hard work a few years ago. It’s crazy how life works. Everything happens for a reason. Columbus was meant to stay in MLS and those guys were meant to bring a trophy there.
“I wish that more fans could have been in the stadium to create the atmosphere that they created for us in ’15, but I hope the fans enjoyed it wherever they were watching it, because all of us that have ever been a part of the team in Columbus over the years still root for the team. It’s such a good relationship with the fans, so we all felt glad that they were able to pull it off.”
DANNY O’ROURKE (2007-2013)
“I would be lying if I didn’t say it was a whirlwind of emotions last night, and not just because I was hanging out with Frankie (Hejduk) and Chad (Marshall). It’s the first time I’d been back to the stadium since I retired. I had the same anticipation driving up to the stadium as I had in all the prior championships I won there at other levels, and all those games with the Crew, so it was a little bittersweet (to be a spectator rather than a player.) Like Frankie said, ‘We’re the old guys now.’ We’re like the ’72 Dolphins now or something. (laughs).
“But it’s nice to sit back and be appreciative for everything that’s been done over the past few years to save the Crew and never saying die. And then to be thankful for the guys on the team so that we were able to enjoy last night. I can’t even imagine all the adversity and curveballs those guys went through. I hope they were able to enjoy the trophy and can get some well-deserved time off to spend with their families. They deserve it because it was a hell of a ride for those guys. It was an all-around perfect game. Welcome to the (Massive Champion) fraternity! With the fabric of that team and the way they work together, we couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to join the fraternity. The more the merrier!”
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.