Some friendly advice to Crew fans: let's all relax


It’s been a month since the Crew won a match not decided by penalty kicks. After the latest draw on Saturday night, some fans were beginning to direct comments at the team criticizing their recent form. Here is some friendly advice for my fellow Crew fans: relax, it’s still very early in the season.

Look, I get it. I want to see my favorite team win each game as well and, with the exception of Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake, this stretch has been a bit frustrating. But let’s look at the big picture. The Crew is only eight games into a 34-game MLS schedule and just went through a stretch of five games in 15 days that included a dogfight two-game-total-goal series with a Liga MX traditional power in the CONCACAF Champions Cup. Let’s also keep in mind the amount of players who have been unavailable at one time or another because of injuries or red cards. Alex Matan, Rudy Camacho, Christian Ramirez, Sean Zawadzki, Aidan Morris, Derrick Jones, and Cucho have all missed games. Despite everything the Crew has gone through in the last month, they are still just two points out of first place in the Eastern Conference and have made it to the Champions Cup semifinals. There is still plenty of time for this team to find its rhythm and get healthy.

Another reason I advise everyone to relax is because I firmly believe the Crew is a better team than they were last season. The additions made by GM Tim Bezbatchenko have given them the quality depth needed to deal with such a challenging schedule. Marino Hinestroza, Derrick Jones, and Nicholas Hagen are definite upgrades over Kevin Molino, Jimmy Medranda, and Brady Scott. Although Jacen Russell-Rowe has had some struggles lately, he and shootout hero Max Arfsten are much improved from last season. The Crew is much deeper than they were a year ago.

The final reason Crew fans should relax is Wilfried Nancy. He took a bit of heat for sitting Cucho for a few games, but he’s the best coach in MLS and gets the most out of his players. Against Real Salt Lake, he took a cobbled-together lineup that featured an 18-year old making his MLS debut and a defender who had not played in 11 months, and managed to coax them to a draw. He understands how to use his players and they understand what is expected of them.

Let’s all just relax. There’s a long way to go and the Crew is just getting warmed up.