Columbus Crew Stadium is turning ten this year - they're a little early with the birthday, but what the hey. The link leads to one writer's opinions on the top ten soccer moments in CCS history. The original 2-0 US-Mexico game is there, of course, the cold one. A Women's World Cup game is there, too, probably because it was Mia Hamm - it's not a game I remember, and I almost certainly watched it on TV.
What's missing? Two things, one understandable, one a little less so.
The glaring omission is the Rochester Raging Rhinos Open Cup victory over Colorado in 1999. I understand why Columbus fans wouldn't put that in the top ten - first of all, Columbus soccer fans ignored the game like it was a homeless veteran. The Crew not being there to host the final was the low point in the history of the franchise to that point. The Rhinos triumph had much, much fewer long-lasting effects than we thought it might at the time.
Remember all the hype the past few months about Puerto Rico and Montreal outdoing MLS? Rochester did that ten years ago. And people made some of the same conclusions then - that Rochester deserved a place in MLS, that the gap between MLS and the USL wasn't nearly as great as advertised, and that significant structural changes were needed in American pro club soccer.
I need to give Robert Wagman's SoccerTimes more love, because trying to find archives of obscure games ten years ago can be a chose. But this link is perfect, absolutely perfect, if you wanted to capture the spirit of the time:
Today, the Rhinos are struggling team in the wrong half of the USL standings. At least they exist, which is more than you can say for the vast majority of their 1999 A-League opponents. Whatever lesson you want to draw from Rochester failing to make what was widely assumed to be a given leap to MLS, at least one is indisputable - it'll take more than one year of beating MLS teams.
Anyone at the time see Toronto in the league before Rochester? Or, for that matter, Seattle? Me neither.
The other thing that jumps out about the Columbus Crew Stadium great moments? That big yawning gap between 2004 and 2008. But at least they have a recent moment on the list. When the Home Depot Center has a similar list in 2013, how many will be after the year 2005? Last year's MLS Cup, maybe a Beckham game. Depends on how the Sol do, I guess.
Speaking of LA, Ives lets us know he doesn't necessarily think there's an MLS pro-Galaxy conspiracy.
The same league that didn't take the opportunity to pull a Serie A and get the Galaxy into any of FOUR MLS Cups that Los Angeles has hosted, three of which in the Home Depot Center - the same league that couldn't even get David Beckham into the playoffs as often as McKinley Tennyson - the same league that last year couldn't even send Cootiemac Blanco to MLS Cup ahead of the unglamorous Crew - is still not fixing games. Although:
Is it really a conspiracy if the attempted crime backfires year after year after year?