Why one of the founding clubs of MLS may soon cease to exist

Why one of the founding clubs of MLS may soon cease to exist

Barring a change of heart by their owner the Columbus Crew will soon be no more
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MLS has had a slow rise in terms of popularity. For much of it’s history it languished miles behind all of the other American sports in terms of attendance and viewership. Recently things have been looking up for MLS, with attendance records being smashed by newcomers Atlanta United and an all time high viewership. While this newfound success should be celebrated, the clubs that toiled through years in an unpopular league shouldn’t be forgotten. These clubs provided the base that allowed the league to grow into what it is today.

One of these clubs is the Columbus Crew. The Columbus Crew were one of 10 founding teams in the MLS in 1996. For the first five years of its existence MLS bled money, resulting with a few teams folding due to financial difficulties. Despite this the league continued to persevere and expand. The Crew played a vital role in this by building the first ever soccer-specific stadium in the MLS. The clubs commitment to expanding the presence of the sport in Ohio has also lead to development of a professional soccer team in Cincinnati.

The Columbus Crew has had mixed success, with their only MLS Cup success coming in 2008. Despite this they have had a consistently dedicated group of supporters. While the core supporter group remains active and loyal overall attendance has not been stellar compared to other MLS teams, partly due to the relatively small capacity of the stadium (approximately 20,000). Because of this the owner of the club, Anthony Precourt, has decided to uproot the club and move it to a more profitable market: Austin, Texas. The deal has not been finalized as of yet, but all indicators point to it being finalized after the conclusion of the city.

An additional part of Precourts motivation to move the crew is that he wants a new stadium built, preferably with the money of the city of Columbus. The Mapfre stadium that hosts the club is less than 20 years old, making a significant investment into a new stadium an unjustifiable expense for the city of Columbus. This trend of sports team’s owners demanding new stadiums funded by public money is not a new trend, and has been seen for decades in the NFL and NBA.

If this were allowed to happen in the MLS it would potentially undermine much of the progress that the league has made over the last two decades. It takes time to develop and maintain new fanbases as they come into the league and the knowledge that any of these teams could be taken away at the whim of an owner could make potential supporters wary. If MLS wants to approach the levels of fandom enjoyed by the best clubs in Europe it needs to adopt a model that puts the supporter first instead of the owner. Many clubs have developed their fanbase over the course of the last century, MLS supporters should be given this chance too.

While their future lies in the balance, the Crew are making the most of their season despite the turmoil surrounding the club. They’re currently in the midst of a deep playoff run, hoping to at least bring one last trophy to Columbus.

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20 Signs You Were A High School Cheerleader

You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."
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Cheerleading is something you'll never forget. It takes hard work, dedication, and comes with its ups and downs. Here are some statements that every cheerleader, past and present, know to be true.

1. You always had bobby pins with you.

2. Fear shot through you if you couldn't find your spankees right away and thought you left them at home.

3. You accumulated about 90 new pairs of tennis shoes...

4. ...and about 90 new bows, bags, socks, and warm ups.

5. When you hear certain songs from old cheer dance mixes it either ruins your day or brings back happy memories.

6. And chances are, you still remember every move to those dances.

7. Sometimes you catch yourself standing with your hands on your hips.

8. You know the phrase, "One more time, ladies" all too well.

9. The hospitality rooms were always one of the biggest perks of going to tournaments (at least for me).

10. You got really tired of hearing, "Point your toes."

SEE ALSO: How The Term 'Cheerlebrity' Destroyed Our Sport

11. If you left the gym at half-time to go get something, you better be back by the time the boys run back out.

12. You knew how awkward it could be on the bus rides home after the boys lost.

13. But you also knew how fun it could be if they won.

14. Figuring out line-up was extremely important – especially if one of your members was gone.

15. New uniforms were so exciting; minus the fact that they cost a fortune.

16. You know there was nothing worse than when you called out an offense cheer but halfway through, you had to switch to the defense version because someone turned over the ball.

17. You still know the school fight song by heart and every move that goes with it.

SEE ALSO: Signs You Suffer From Post-Cheerleading Depression

18. UCA Cheer Camp cheers and chants still haunt you to this day.

19. You know the difference between a clasp and a clap. Yes, they're different.

20. There's always a part of you that will miss cheering and it will always have a place in your heart.

Cover Image Credit: Doug Pool / Facebook

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A Preview Of The Chicago Bears' Upcoming Season

New year, new team, but how will they perform in this upcoming season?

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I've been a Chicago Bears fan all my life, and I won't be the first to say that these past few years have been very frustrating. Watching the team was very hard considering we had coaches like Marc Trestman and John Fox along with Jay Cutler under center, and they put up some god awful records. But this year, things will be different. Fox is gone, Glennon is gone and Ryan Pace made some off-season moves to finally help the Bears on both sides of the ball. Starting with John Fox's replacement, Matt Nagy, who was the former Offensive coordinator for Kansas City under head coach Andy Reid.

Many fans had a lot of doubts about Nagy when the Bears first signed him on as the new head coach, and he still has yet to truly be proven but I still have a lot of faith Nagy will help turn slowly turn this team around.

The fact that he changed our offensive scheme to a West Coast offense and that we will be more aggressive on offense is promising, and this was evident as the Bears' offense helped them power through the Chiefs in their most recent pre-season game, but we will all truly see if we made the right decision with him when the regular season begins.

In my opinion, the Bears had a very successful offseason to help bolster the team on both sides of the ball. By signing receivers, Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel. Trubisky will now have some solid deep threats to help benefit the offense, along with new acquisitions Tre Burton, and rookie receivers Anthony Miller, and Javon Wims. Looking at it on paper the offense will no doubt be a threat as they now have depth in the receiving including Kevin White, who is fully healthy and ready to prove himself this year. Plus their running back duo is definitely an underrated one as they have power back Jordan Howard and "the human Joystick" Tarik Cohen who can be a threat with both running the ball and receiving. On the defensive side, first-round pick Roquan Smith has finally signed with the Bears and will no doubt make a difference at linebacker along with fellow Georgia alumni Leonard Floyd.

The Bears also made the big decision to match Kyle Fuller's offer to prevent him from signing with the Packers. There have been many doubts about this because fuller has been very inconsistent up until this past season, but I still believe he will be able to have another lockdown season. Along with the topic of defensive backs, one of the players no one saw coming was safety Eddie Jackson. A 4th round pick in last year's draft that everyone slept on made a huge impact on defense and he will be back for another big season.

Looking at the Bears now with Trubisky at the helm, now with a whole arsenal of weapons on offense and a young defense with potential, I think this will be a pretty solid overall season. Now, I'm not gonna say the Bears will win out the NFC North or make the playoffs, but I do think we will get at least 6 or 7 wins. We have a team full of players with a lot of potentials and I have no doubt this year will be a step in the right direction for this team.

Bear down.

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