team generic celebration vs MTL
Daniel Herlensky / Columbus Crew SC Communications

SIRK’S NOTEBOOK: Random throw-ins

Some random tidbits following Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Montreal Impact…

Crew SC next hosts MLS-expansion side Atlanta United FC on July 1 at MAPFRE Stadium. The match will celebrate Military Appreciation Night while featuring post-match fireworks in honor of the upcoming July 4 holiday.

 

The Black & Gold welcome German Bundesliga-side and DFB Pokal-finalist Eintracht Frankfurt to MAPFRE Stadium for an international friendly on MondayJuly 17. The match is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m.

*****

FASTEST TO 25

On Saturday night, Ola Kamara scored his 25th career goal in his 43rd appearance in Black & Gold. Broadcaster Neil Sika wanted to know where that ranked all-time in club history. I looked it up for Neil, and now I offer my findings to you.

It turns out that Kamara is tied for second-fastest to 25 Crew SC goals, sharing that spot with Brian McBride.

The No. 1 spot won’t be a mystery, but here is the full list for all 12 members of Crew SC’s 25 Goal Club:

Fewest Appearances to Reach 25 Crew SC Goals

RANK

PLAYER

APPEARANCES

1

Stern John

27

2

Brian McBride

43

 

Ola Kamara

43

4

Dante Washington

61

5

Federico Higuain

62

6

Kei Kamara

64

7

Edson Buddle

66

8

Guillermo Barros Schelotto

68

9

Jeff Cunningham

81

10

Ethan Finlay

119

11

Justin Meram

158

12

Eddie Gaven

161

*****

OLA’S FINISH AND POSSIBLE IP INFRINGEMENT

Kamara’s goal was a beauty. He waited on a cross from Kekuta Manneh, burst toward the ball, and then hit a left-footed volley across his body and tucked it inside the far post. After the last home game, Kamara said his tight-angle goal off the far post was as good a shot as it gets with his left foot. He outdid himself this time.

“I tried one in the first half, and that went over, and then the second one in the second half was good,” Kamara said of his own personal Left-Footed Volley Night. “I think I got some confidence on the assist to Kekuta. It was a good feeling to get an assist and to go up 2-1. And then the ball came and I saw it and just wanted to hit it hard.”

He did.

One minor problem though. Back in 2013, when Josh Williams suddenly became a scorer of goals, he specialized in waist-high volleys that redirected crosses into the net. It got to the point that I asked readers to come up with a name for that particular shot, and I remember “The Viking Volley” being what Josh and I agreed was the winning entry, since Josh played collegiately for the Cleveland State Vikings. Unfortunately, Josh has gone all Danny O’Rourke on us ever since. He literally has not scored an MLS goal since the Viking Volley got its name.

But anyway, the point is that Ola’s finish reminded me a lot of a Viking Volley. And I’m not the only one.

“Yeah, I feel like he stole that from me,” Williams agreed. “If he gets money for that, I want some. If he gets a goal bonus, I want my cut.”

Maybe because he’s from Norway, Kamara felt he was entitled by birthright to freely use the Viking Volley to score goals. It seems, however, that Williams is expecting royalties. Hopefully, as teammates, they can peaceably work out some sort of licensing agreement.

*****

GBAUM, LEGEND

We interrupt this Notebook for a gratuitous Andy Gruenebaum joke. As we discussed Zack Steffen’s assist, I told Williams that his old buddy Gbaum is one of the seven goalkeepers to record an assist for Crew SC.

“Gbaum also got scored on from 80 yards out by the other goalie, so there’s another stat on Gbaum,” Williams said without skipping a beat. “I will never let him live that down. Gbaum, man, what a legend.”

Gruenebaum suffered the indignity of a giant turf-bounce goal off the foot of New York goalkeeper Danny Cepero in 2008, although “suffered” is surely the wrong word for the hilariously self-deprecating and good-natured Gruenebaum.

*****

FROM CREW SC TO HEAD COACH

This week, former Crew SC defender (and Pickerington native) Chris Leitch was named head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes. Leitch is now the fifth former member of the Black & Gold to assume head coaching duties in MLS. I don’t know where that ranks, but it’s just a neat thing to keep track of.

Here are the former Columbus players who have been a head coach in MLS.

NAME

CREW SC PLAYER

MLS HEAD COACH

RECORD (W-L-T)

Robert Warzycha

1996-2002

Columbus 2005, 2009-2013

70-59-41

Brian Bliss

1996-1997

KC 2006, CLB 2013, CHI 2015

9-12-6

Robin Fraser

2004-2005

Chivas USA 2011-2012

15-32-21

Mark Watson

1996

San Jose 2013-2014

17-14-20

Chris Leitch

2002, 2006

San Jose 2017-present

0-0-0

*****

ONCE MORE FOR THE SUBS

Saturday’s game will always be remembered for the crazy amount of instant offense provided off the bench. Manneh subbed in and scored on his second touch, then an added an assist two minutes later. Adam Jahn came off the bench and recorded an assist on his first touch. All of it left their teammates scanning their memory banks and coming up empty.

“I don’t think I’ve remembered a game like that,” said captain Wil Trapp. “I remember games where subs come in and make a difference, but never THAT immediate.”

Williams also couldn’t think of a comparable substitute-led instant onslaught.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been in a game where two subs had such an immediate impact on a game like that,” Williams said. “That says something about the character and about their preparation. It says something about Brook [Hamilton, Crew SC Strength & Conditioning Coach], who is always preparing us on the sideline and telling us we never know if we’re going in, so a shout out to Brook for always making sure everyone’s ready. It’s amazing. I was just talking with Ethan [Finlay] and he said that the game was waiting for something, like it was a dam about to burst open. It started with Kekuta and the game changed. And then Adam came in and that’s what he’s in there for. He’s in there to battle. I was happy for everyone.”

Surely coaches love it when they make substitutions and the subs immediately make them look like a genius. Berhalter, however, directed the plaudits to the field, not the technical area.

“All of the credit has to go to those two guys for executing,” Berhalter said. “Kekuta is a guy that has been waiting for an opportunity to make such an impact like he did today. Adam has been fighting the whole year to have this type of impact as well. So I’m proud of both of those guys and they deserve a ton of credit.”

Deservedly, they’re getting it.

Questions? Comments? Able to cite relevant case law for this potential Viking Volley dispute? Feel free to write at sirk65@yahoo.com or via twitter @stevesirk
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