Welcome to the Columbus Crew's digital content home for the 2014 FIFA World Cup: Black and Gold on Brazil.
Here, you'll find everything you need stay informed throughout the tournament, particularly as it relates to Columbus, extending far beyond the club's two World Cup representatives in Costa Rica's Giancarlo Gonzalez and Waylon Francis. The Crew has many players and staff members with ties to this tournament:
- Techncial staff members Gregg Berhalter and Josh Wolff are veterans of the FIFA World Cup, having made numerous appearances for the United States Men's National Team, as has Brand Ambassador Frankie Hejduk. Berhalter, Wolff and Hejduk were teammates during the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and between the three of them they have faced upcoming USMNT Group Stage opponents Ghana, Portugal and Germany in previous World Cup play.
- Federico Higuain's brother, Gonzalo, is a featured attacker for Argentina.
- Tony Tchani (Cameroon), Fifi Baiden (Ghana), Alvaro Rey (Spain) and Jairo Arrieta (Costa Rica) all have their home countries participating in the tournament.
We aim to bring their stories to you over the next few weeks, providing Columbus-centric content that you can't get anywhere else.
We'll also have all the information you need about the club's viewing parties for the United States' three Group Stage matches at Fado in Easton, Central Ohio's largest gatherings of their kind.
TheCrew.com checked in with Gonzalez and Francis in Philadelphia for their pre-tournament friendly against Ireland, but our coverage for the 2014 FIFA World Cup really began with Dos a Cero, which once again cemented Columbus as the spiritual home for soccer in the United States.
No matter which country you support, we urge you to use the hashtag #CrewAndCountry to chronicle your experience watching the FIFA World Cup. You can find me on Twitter (@Crew_Insider) or Instagram (@CrewInsider), where I'll be providing club-centric news and notes, as well as general thoughts from each of the tournament's matches.
As for me, I fell in love with soccer through watching the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Germany. I have strong German-American heritage (with a last name like Schwepfinger, couldn't you guess?) and watching the national pride displayed by German citizens during that tournament and how it spilled into dramatic soccer got me hooked on the game for life. Two World Cup cycles later, that passion is alive and well here in the United States, a burgeoning soccer nation fueled by fans like you that have helped make Columbus a center for the sport.
In the end, we're all soccer fans, and this is sure to be a great month for our game as the world watches the biggest global sporting event as one. Thanks for reading!