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The Crew stock watch after Game 1

Who’s stock is up or down in the world of the Columbus Crew?

Sam Fahmi - Massive Report

The Columbus Crew season is off to a blazing start. After a 4-0 thrashing of the Vancouver Whitecaps to open the year, the narrative surrounding this team has certainly changed from what many were saying coming into the season.

As fans, it can be difficult to keep track of the intricate talking points and headlines. To better guide readers throughout the season, Massive Report will compile market reports of the stock of players after each game.

Here we go with Game 1

BUY: Artur - Health is the biggest off-season acquisition

Two weeks ago. the previous statement would have been received with eye rolls and shrugs from even the most optimistic of Crew fans. It sounded like a cop-out to excuse a less than flashy offseason by the front office that didn’t feature any big-name signings.

Compounding on that perception, central midfielder Artur’s return wasn’t even guaranteed at the beginning of preseason camp after an injury that kept him out nearly all of last year. He was still rehabbing in his native Brazil at the time while the rest of the Black & Gold were beginning preparations for the season.

Fast forward to after the first 90 minutes of the year and Artur is back to making the Crew midfield one of the best in the league. Partnering with Darlington Nagbe, Artur looked like his old self and reminded fans just what the Black & Gold missed with him out last season.

BUY: Derrick Etienne Jr. - The most lethal Columbus winger

$DEJ stock is still a great value! If you read our season preview here on Massive Report, you would know there are early believers in this being the year Etienne finally sets himself apart from the other wingers on the team. He stands to be a huge benefactor of opposing defenses locking on to the rest of the Crew attack. We saw Saturday what he was able to do with all the available space, he finished the first game with a goal and could have had more.

While still bullish on the return on investment Alexander Matan can provide, the left-wing position is Etienne's to dominate until someone else rises to the occasion.

HOLD: Steven Morriera - Future best 11 fullback the MLS

We hope you bought stock in Tim Bezbatchenko’s late-summer acquisition last season. If you didn’t, it might be too late to get on this train.

The returns are still early, but so far, the French right back is hitting all the necessary marks of a Black & Gold fullback. Keep an eye on how his chemistry with newly acquired winger Yaw Yeboah develops as their interplay may result in a lovely merger of offensive gains.

SELL: “Porter out!”

If you were buying into this being an off-year for the gaffer, you should fire your financial advisor! No other MLS commodity has been as consistent in their year-to-year returns as Caleb Porter. You know how the graph of his career fluctuates…off-year, on-year, off-year, on-year, etc.

Now, it may be too early to take your savings and dump it all into the Crew as MLS Cup champions stock, not yet at least. Although we have seen this particular pattern before, the rumors of Porter’s demise may have been an exaggeration.