Twitter gives a chance to get closer to players. It's that direct communication that fans love and MLS players have historically been great at. Former players Frankie Hejduk and Duncan Oughton have been at the forefront of the Crew's twitter brigade. Chad Marshall, Josh Williams, Justin Meram, and over a dozen other Crew players are on it.
Beyond that, It also gives a small peek into the fraternity that is a pro sports athletics. Hami Kara trained with the Crew in an attempt to secure the third goalkeeper spot. He was a long shot with Daniel Withrow and Samir Badr also in camp. It turns out that he was recently released and has more work cut out for him to continue to play soccer.
Kara fired off a public reply on twitter early this morning to defender Eric Gehrig with well wishes and thanks:
@egehrig16 Hey man it was a pleasure meeting you and briefly being ur teammate. Wish you and the team all the best. Wish I could be there— Hami Kara (@HamiKaraGK1) February 7, 2013
Gehrig quickly replied:
@hamikaragk1 you're a good kid, keep chuggin and take every opportunity you can. Use your time with us to help you elsewhere, should help— Eric Gehrig (@eGehrig16) February 7, 2013
Gehrig likely met Kara only a few times, but still took time out for words of encouragement for a player at yet another crossroads in his career. Kara will have to try and catch in another MLS camp or look at options in USL-Pro or NASL. Failure is a very frustrating and trying experience and a few kind words goes quite a long way.
This has been my experience in the locker room. Throughout all of the changes of the last five years, the front office has consistently brought in players of high character. Some players may be aloof, quiet, or loquacious but it's consistently a close knit group. Rookies or vets, the players on the team has always tried to help out each other.
A rookie trialist, Kara was treated to a warm welcome. The same has happened to veterans like Jairo Arrieta and Federico Higuain. Both players talked about how the team welcomed them and made them feel right at home. Columbus may lack the flash of a big city, but it consistently attracts players looking for community. They apparently find it both on and off the field.