Editor’s note: As Massive Report expands its staff, we will introduce each new member by having them write a little something about themselves to help the MR community get to know them. Who are they? What’s their soccer background? How long have they been a fan of the Crew? Whatever they want to share to introduce themselves to our great and loyal readers. Today we introduce Zachary Martin.
Everyone has their story of how they became a Columbus Crew fan. Some came from their parents passing on their love for the team to their children. Some may have been dragged to a game by friends and fell in love with the team themselves. All of that leads to one common trait: we all became fans, of the Black & Gold.
My name is Zachary Martin, or Zach, if you will. I’m here to introduce myself and give you all a dive into who I am and why I’m a massive Crew supporter. Shall we begin?
For me personally, my fandom for the Crew started when I was five years old in 1996 when Major League Soccer was formed. Luckily for me, being from Ravenna, Ohio, and someone who started playing soccer at three until high school (and during college for intermural leagues), it was easy to pick my home-states team. Plus, let us be real, the jerseys were pretty sweet, for 1990’s soccer jerseys at least.
Furthermore, my favorite player was Brian McBride who became said favorite player when he started scoring goals for the Crew back at Ohio Stadium. Obviously, I’m five at the time, so my younger senses were just watching these guys fly around the pitch in sick-looking jerseys and scoring goals. I followed the team as best as I can as a kid, but what really helped me become a massive fan was when Backyard Soccer: MLS Edition came out on the PC back in 2001. To be able to play as the Crew was amazing. Just by looking at the logo, you knew you wanted to play as Columbus.
Fast forward a few years and I’m living outside of Sacramento, California in 2008 and the Black & Gold made the MLS Cup Final down in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, I couldn’t go to the game, but there was no way I was missing it. I mean it’s the MLS Cup Final and the Crew is in it. Watching that team win it all was so perfect that words could never describe it. To see my team, our team, win the 2008 MLS Cup will forever be remembered.
After graduating college, I met my now wife who’s dad is a massive Crew fan himself. We talk about the team and various other soccer teams that we follow. But to talk about the Black & Gold was always the best. When the Crew won it all again in 2020 was a next-level type of excitement because of what happened a couple of years before. That moment, that wins, that, “We did it. While everyone thought this city could never embrace us” was blown out of the water. It showed that this team will be around forever.
For me, the Crew is the MLS. To be the first-ever team in the league with the first specific soccer stadium showed that Columbus does it better. This city and team are the trendsetters for what American soccer is and always will be.
My favorite players of all time are of course McBride along with Frankie Hejduk, Justin Miram, Wil Trapp, Federico Higuaín and Jeff Cunningham. Of the current players, I would say it’s Artur, Josh Williams, Lucas Zelarayan and Pedro Santos.
I’m excited to see what is to come for the 2022 Crew and I’m very fortunate to help bring the best possible coverage to fellow Black & Gold fans here at the Massive Report. I will bring a segment called “Three Hard Hats of the Game,” where I will pick three Crew players who stood out for each match. Some may agree, some may not, but I’m excited to interact with you all during this wild ride we call the MLS.
Vamos Columbus and go Crew.