Gonzalo Segares added fuel to an already intense rivalry on Friday when he told MLSsoccer.com that playing in Columbus Crew Stadium isn't all that difficult. Especially when your front office volunteers to ship 600 fans out to the game.
“Once you come out, it’s almost like playing at home,” defender Gonzalo Segares told MLSsoccer.com. “Last year, I think we almost had a bigger crowd than they did and our fans were definitely louder. The only other time I remember that happening was when we were playing with [Cuauhtémoc] Blanco.”
While his comments certainly were aimed at praising traveling Fire fans, they serve a dual purpose of pointing out the fact that Crew home crowds have, at times, been underwhelming. Not that the Fire have room to talk about home attendance, given their own recent troubles selling tickets. The only reason many of these Fire fans are coming to Columbus in the first place is because the Chicago brass dangled this free bus trip as an incentive to buy season tickets (hello, Crew front office?)
Certainly, those Crew fans who have been at the games have been supportive and (mostly) noisy. However, when teams like Chicago or Toronto will pay for their fans to travel with the team, the Black and Gold Faithful will need to be even louder to keep the Crew's home field advantage. A few extra bodies in the seats wouldn't hurt in that effort, and from what we hear, tickets are moving at a fairly good clip. A four-game unbeaten streak and post-game concert with Flogging Molly would seem to be helping as well.
(In case you need any more motivation to come out to Crew Stadium, Chicago have also started the #FHEAST hashtag on twitter - a reference to the Fire front office, who apparently feel CCS is "Fire House East." In other news, congrats to Chicago for creating the dumbest twitter hashtag since #BieberFansWillRuleTheWorldAndMaybeSomedayBeOldEnoughToDrive ).
In any case, whatever number of Crew fans show up to the game, all of them need to be loud and engaged for 45 minutes at a time. I fully expect the Black and Gold to show their disapproval for Segares' comments every time number 13 touches the ball this evening. In fact - I'll be downright disappointed if the Nordecke isn't in rare form tonight. I have confidence the fans, along with the Crew, will bring their A-game, and show Chicago what a home game crowd REALLY looks like.