MLS CUP | Reflections from original Season Ticket Members with the 2020 MLS Cup trophy

The following are excerpts from conversations had with 26-year Columbus Crew SC Season Ticket Members as they reflected on what the 2020 season meant to them and more.

Pieter van der Lans

“For me, it means a lot that Caleb wanted to come here. It means a lot that Tim wanted to come home and take care of the team that he grew up rooting for. That’s ultimately what we as fans really, really love about this team; we have leaders that want to be here. The biggest thing about what the Crew has become for me – it’s about friendship. … For me, that’s always been what the Crew has been about. And when there was the danger of the Club leaving, that community, that friendship, that was probably the sourest part that we would lose. … It’s that feeling of friendship and community, and I think this team did the best job of tapping into it. The ownership that is there really embraces it and with the new stadium, it will only strengthen.” - Pieter (back row, right)

Erik Eriksen

“[Winning the 2020 MLS Cup] was more of a ‘We took part in it. We helped keep the team here.’ So, you feel a bit more a part of it. The Crew has always been important. … This is going to sound corny, but the Thanksgiving after the team announced they were going to leave, my mom – she always loves Thanksgiving. She’s always the first to go 'What is everyone thankful for?' She was always the first to go, and that year she said she had nothing to be thankful for. It crushed her, honestly, and that was rough. … As fans, you pour a lot into the team, so having that ripped away was going to be tough. Saving the team was amazing, and then winning MLS Cup on top of it was kind of completing that.” - Erik

Rick & Andrea Hecker

“To go from feeling we were going to lose to a team, to being able to keep the team, to winning a championship and building a new stadium, the transformation has been amazing. We were truly, honestly grieving. It’s been such a wonderful part of our lives to go to games, and to experience that and enjoy the weather and folks that we see there, and to give that up was beautiful. So this year has been transformative in that sense, that again, the Crew has arrived and established itself and the Crew is not going away.” - Rick

“I think for me, the Crew has been such a part of our lives for so long that their victories are almost indistinguishable from our own. There is just a sense of personal pride when they do well. I don’t know if other cities get to experience it to that level or not, but you just feel very, very connected to it, and I think that’s something we’ve enjoyed over the years.” - Andrea

Kari Engen

“It was a day-one thing. As soon as I heard about the possibility of this new professional sport being in Ohio … I had to be a part of it. So come all the way around to 2020, having been a part of this for 25 seasons and then just having the excitement of the whole new program with the Haslam’s and the new attitude and season ticket sales going up, everything is totally different now about just the way we are going to sell soccer in Columbus and be a good product for the fans.” - Kari (right)

Darryl Rogers

“It was a powerful moment because of my long-term support for the Club. Everything that the team has gone through in the past few years, in terms of potentially moving, and then this year with the pandemic and how the team persevered and won the cup. So, it hit me pretty hard, in a good way, to celebrate and be with that cup and be in that stadium, as we’re winding down its use for the Crew matches. It was a special moment for me to celebrate where the team’s at currently, and then the bright future this Club has with the new ownership group, and an amazingly talented group of players and staff.” - Darryl


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