It's the age-old question in soccer, club or country? Where does your loyalty lie? For Columbus Crew SC fans, this week that question emerges in a pretty intense way.
On Saturday, the Black and Gold welcome (if you can use that word) rivals Toronto FC. Last year, the Reds underwent a makeover, opening the wallet to acquire Michael Bradley and Jermain Defoe. TFC may not have made the MLS Cup Playoffs, but their big-name signings helped them capture the Trillium Cup, the trophy given to the two MLS teams' rivalry, by the largest margin in the contentious seven-year history.
Defoe is no longer in Toronto, but in his place is American striker, Jozy Altidore. Crew SC fans now have to watch their country's top forward not only play in Canada, but do so for their club rivals from the north.
Last Saturday, Altidore scored twice in his TFC debut and a Columbus fan I was talking told me he planned on cheering for Jozy as long as he wasn't playing against the Black and Gold. He followed up by saying, actually he didn't care if he scored against Crew SC, as he was country over club.
I asked around that night and got a myriad of answers from fans gathered to watch Crew SC take on the Houston Dynamo. Some told me they want Altidore to do well so he's in form when he plays for the United States Men's National Team. Others told me they didn't care nearly as much about the U.S.'s success, especially during non-World Cup years.
Not surprisingly, considering this rather informal survey was taken at a bar where some fans had been gathered for a few hours, I got some responses I cannot share on this site.
It seemed that the majority of Crew SC fans want to see Altidore do well when he's wearing the Red, White, and Blue, but struggle for his club - something that would likely be difficult to occur.
So how do you, as a Crew SC fan, feel? If Altidore scores against the Black and Gold on Saturday, will a part of you be happy he's off to a fast start to his second stint in MLS? Do you want the 25-year old scoring for Toronto when he's not playing your hometown team or will the success of the Reds still make you unhappy?
Let's also not forget about Bradley, who is also a key for the U.S. Do you feel the same about the midfielder as the striker?
You can vote below and feel free to voice your opinion in the comment section.