Friday, August 18, 2006
Can a season be saved?
After the midweek loss to Real Salt Lake Columbus Crew head coach Sigi Schmid stated that this may be the darkest part, right before the dawn. It's been so dark, so long as a Crew fan it feels like the team and it's fanbase have been relocated to Alaska.
Before the Salt Lake game here were some depressing stats about Crew records within reach, compiled over at bigsoccer...
The league record for fewest goals in a season is 29 by Colorado in 2004. With 12 games left, the Crew has 16.
Fewest assists in a season: Columbus 2004: 32. Thus far in 2006: 12.
The MLS record for fewest shots in a season is held by the 2001 Crew with 331. Currently we stand at 226.
In 2003, Dallas had a record low of 133 shots on goal for the season; the 2006 Crew has 84 as of today.
So all those facts are encourging. Yet this weekend, we get Duncan Oughton back, and some of us, including me are very excited about this. Yes, it's true Duncan Oughton is not the most talented player on the block. It's also true that he has only 1 goal in his Major League Soccer career. It's further true that he is not a playmaker or someone to hitch an offense too. As a defender he has a propensity for awful fouls, and he wasn't the quickest kid on the block before Surgery that has kept out since the end of 2004.
Yet, I find his return as something that can turn this team around. We are only 5 points out of a playoff spot, though we have platyed two more games. And Duncan, was and can be again the heary of the team. This is a guy who loves to put on the black and gold. And after missing a whole season and a half, when he puts it on tommorrow night, he'll be ready to play.
This season has been disaster. And moreso than that it's just left me cold. Watching the games feels like chore more than joy.It's hard enough only having made it to one game this season, down from the 10-15 I have made it to the past few years. But if I was there, watching a team who has yet to win at home this season, shuffle through a different lineup each game, I doubt I would feel any stronger connection. There is some pieces there, it just hasn't worked. But I think my friend Hughesy summed it up best...
Absent a quality striker, there is some talent on the field and I'm excited as can be about Duncan's potential to get out there and emotionally put this team on his shoulders. If nothing else, he provides that one connection to the Crew that I've always loved and that has been missing this year, especially with Busch and Hejduk being injured.
Shit. Let's finish the season strong, boys....