Could it be better for Crew fans? A team in the organization playing for a cup at home against a team owned by a former Crew owner. An unscrupulous owner who tried to move the Crew from Columbus. It’s Crew 2 vs Austin FC 2 for the MLS NEXT Pro Cup. Even if you don’t follow the Capys much, this one still has to mean something to you. For Crew fans, this one is personal.
Good vs Evil
All of you know the story. A few years ago, the Crew was owned by Anthony Precourt. He was not from the Columbus area, had no interest in being a part of the community, and rarely attended a game. He announced he intended to move the team to Austin, Texas and the war began to save the Crew. Ultimately, the city of Columbus and Crew fans prevailed, the team got a beautiful new stadium, and all were rid of Precourt, who was granted a team in Austin by MLS. Crew fans have never forgotten his shameless stunt, nor should they.
The Capys have not had it easy in getting to this championship game and are quite battle tested. After an opening round win at home against Orlando City B, they went on the road and got wins over the top two seeds in the Eastern Conference. They conceded just one goal in those three playoff games. In Austin FC 2, they are facing a team who also pulled off an upset on the road in their conference final. They beat Colorado Rapids 2 in a shootout, largely on the play of Damian Las, the MLS NEXT Pro Goalkeeper of the Year. Las and defender Joe Hafferty were named to the MLS NEXT Pro Best XI (the Crew did not have a player selected). It is not surprising that Austin FC 2 conceded the fewest goals in the league this season. The Capys have their work cut out for them.
Will a win by the Crew really stick it to Precourt? I doubt he’ll notice or care. His interest in fans extends no further than the dollars he can collect from them-and that includes his fans in Austin. Crew fans will still gain a measure of satisfaction if the organization can add a fourth cup in four years by beating a team owned by this guy.