What to make of how the Columbus story is playing out? The Crew faithful started the week worrying about playoff position. They spent most of it dealing with the news that their club might be leaving at the end of next season. Making things worse, reports followed that the club processed season ticket renewals prior to any announcement of the intent to leave for Austin. SI.com and others let us know that refunds weren’t an option.
The league’s involvement is now an open question. It’s the old "what did they know and when did they know it" scenario, applied to a pro soccer team in Columbus, Ohio. If MLS will let this happen in an original market, complete with that reportedly shabby treatment of season ticket holders, what won’t they let happen?
It’s a safe assumption that the league would’ve preferred to have us all wondering about Decision Day on Sunday instead. That’s the league’s marketing for the final day of the season. Play all the games at the same time and hope for the kind of drama that gets people interested. Instead, it’s the drama that comes from sports business with a surprise announcement that one of those playoff teams might be moving.
Where this leaves the Crew fan base is a good question. Investor/operator Anthony Precourt has tried to engage the club's fans through social media following his announcement.
The players and coaches and staff deseve your support as they make a run for an MLS Cup. They have nothing to do with ownership’s decisions.— Anthony Precourt (@APrecourt) October 19, 2017
I really do feel for you Crew fans. Its an uncertain time I recognize, and I take full responsibility for the situation I have put us in.— Anthony Precourt (@APrecourt) October 19, 2017
Also in the soccer news, Matt Miazga and Vitesse Arnhem drew 1-1 at Zulte-Waregem in the Europa League. An own goal put Zulte-Waregem up in the 23rd minute with Thomas Burns equalizing in the 27th. Miazga picked up a yellow card in the 37th minute. Vitesse is in 3rd-place in Group K, five points behind 2nd-place Nice and ahead of Zulte Waregem on a tiebreaker.
American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta profiles USMNT U-17 player Sergino Dust. Inside World Football's Andrew Warshaw has European Professional Football Leagues chairman Lars-Christer Olsson pushing back against allowing more Champions League places for Europe's top domestic leagues. Reuters' Brian Homewood reports that FIFA will investigate the transfer system to help settle FIFPro's complaint to the European Commission.
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