It is definitely a sad day for the Crew organization but in the long run it is just a day. We all knew that good guys like Oughton and Hejduk that have put a face on this team would no longer be able to contribute toward the common goal of the organization and most fans; hardware. Legends like Schelotto that brought class and talent would eventually either move on or be pushed out. Even Padula, the pirate at left back, who just a season or two ago was considered the key component of the Crew championship run, would fade away.
I think what makes today really hard to deal with is the sudden harshness of the events. Our season was over in an instant with a missed penalty and most of the heart, soul and leadership is likely gone just as abruptly. As the shock of the playoff loss set in maybe only a handful of people realized that would be the last time they would see those four players in a Crew uniform; it sure did not for me.
As mentioned in my previous blog post, I was hoping Schelotto was going to be retained one more season to help teach and shape the attacking midfield and his successor. That is what he should have been doing this 2010 season; getting his replacement ready and perhaps even using his last season as a rallying point to will the rest of the team back into the finals. Instead it is an abrupt end that will leave a bitter taste.
It is easy to feel like twice shat feces about this but it is now up to the Crew organization to deliver. They want to go young, fine. Fans have survived youth movements with each coach before Bob.
The most important priority now is to get that skilled player and face for the Crew. My wife knows little about soccer but she knew who Schelotto and Hejduk (the surfer dude with the long hair, no!) were and more importantly what they brought to the team: he was their best player and he was one of the favorite players (big fan favorite, remember the pictures of him in the north end).
We still need a finisher up top. I like Renteria but seriously, it is about time we invested a little more at the position beyond what we have done before.
I also am willing to hold off on judgment until we get some results. It will be months and a couple of drafts before the Crew will know where they need to throw their money. That is going to be a long, suck-ass couple of months, too. We were fortunate to have Schelotto and Hejduk while they were here and should be thankful for it. It is now up to the Crew to find the next group of players for us to be thankful for.
- Fan-favorite Schelotto leaving Columbus Crew (TheDispatch)
- Schelotto has elite place in city's sports history - great comparison to Sergei Fedorov
- Keep GBS around
- A letter from Mark McCullers (MassiveReport)
Also, just read on the forums: Barley's Christmas Ale Guest Tapper: Columbus Crew captain Frankie Hejduk