Federico Higuain signs one-year extension with Columbus Crew SC

“”We are pleased to announce that Federico Higuain will be in Black & Gold as a Designated Player for the 2018 season,” Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement. “Federico has been instrumental in establishing our style of play over the last four years and played a significant role in helping the club secure playoff berths in three of those four seasons.”

Link to Source

Work begins in earnest on PSV-owned mls2atx.com AstroTurf site

Response headers from mls2atx.com indicate that WordPress was installed by October 4th, 2017 at the latest.

The css file “http://mls2atx.com/wp-content/themes/Avada-Child-Theme/style.css?ver=4.8.3” contains a “last modified date” of Wed, 04 Oct 2017 16:34:27 GMT

Pictorial evidence of the response headers has been documented.

Thanks to @knass for digging through these records and making this discovery.

The mls2atx.com AstroTurf site’s crest on white background image is finalized

Response headers from mls2atx.com indicate that the header image was last modified on October 10th.

The png image file “http://mls2atx.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Crest_WhiteBackground-1200×1274.png” contains a “last modified date” of Fri, 06 Oct 2017 00:04:35 GMT.

Pictorial evidence of the response headers has been documented.

Thanks to @knass for digging through these records and making this discovery.

The mls2atx.com AstroTurf site header image is finalized

Response headers from mls2atx.com indicate that the header image was last modified on October 10th.

The png image file “http://mls2atx.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/mls2atxheader.png” contains a “last modified date” of Tue, 10 Oct 2017 01:25:09 GMT.

Pictorial evidence of the response headers has been documented.

Thanks to @knass for digging through these records and making this discovery.

MLS in Austin reveals a new green logo that matches the one released later by Precourt/MLS

The MLS in Austin supporters group led by blogger Josh Babetski had inside information. They knew to change their logo to be green BEFORE the new green scarves and logo were released by MLS and PSV. This, combined with the “not public” knowledge they had in February from non-public Crew insiders, indicates that MLS in Austin may be an Astroturf organization, or at the very least has a source from w/in MLS and PSV.

From the blog on Oct 16: “We did come across this shade of green we liked as an accent color. It doesn’t really collide with any EPL teams, MLS teams, or will anger Aggie or Longhorn fans for being red or burnt orange. However, it does pair nice with many of their existing color palettes.”

Link to Original Source

More quotes from that blog post implying inside knowledge held by blogger Josh Babetski that was not yet public:

“A some point soon however, MLS themselves will be here on the ground and things could start to get confusing.”

“So once we attract a team to town, what then? Well, we’ve given that some thought” – why use “attract a team to town” … they don’t assume expansion, they assume relocation.

The post metadata establishes that it was published at 10:25pm UTC <meta property=”article:published_time” content=”2017-10-16T22:25:05.105Z”>.

22:25 UTC = 17:25 CDT – in other words, this was published at 5:25pm in Texas (daylight savings taken into account). By comparison, the first PUBLIC news was published over four hours later, by Grant Wahl on Twitter, at 9:51pm CDT (10:51pm on the east coast).

MLS clarifies that Precourt is not on the expansion committee

Tweet by Ian Thomas: “New members of MLS Expansion committee; Minnesota’s Bill McGuire, Seattle’s Joe Roth & Sporting KC’s Cliff Illig https://t.co/aQY6wMUC3t” (link to tweet)

The committee as of this day is: Jonathan Kraft (Revolution), Cliff Illig (Sporting KC), Bill McGuire (Minn United), Andy Hauptman (Chicago Fire), Jay Sugarman (Phila Union), Joe Roth (Seattle Sounders).

Link to Original Source

Crew form an advisory council in Austin, including hapless blogger Josh Babetski (who admits to advanced knowledge of the move, see Oct 16 2017 and Nov 22 2017)

Crew SC ownership has formed an advisory council in Austin that includes Josh Babetski, founder of MLS in Austin, and businessman Alejandro Ruelas.

[blogger] Babetski has been tirelessly drumming up support for Major League Soccer in Austin through social media. He was the first to publicly suggest Columbus might move to Austin in a February blog.

“I tried to put two and two together, took bits and pieces of information and my opinions, and drew it out as best I could,” said Babetski, whose day job is chief operating officer of Handsome, a design innovation company. “As a soccer advocate, I’m excited that it all came down this way, but I’m also happy because it shows I wasn’t just some crazy guy behind a computer.”

Link to Source

See entries for Feb 2017, October 16, 2017, and November 22, 2017 for more on Babetski. He claims “sources” in February and published new logo and that MLS would be in Austin shortly on Oct 16, 2017, 4 hours before Wahl broke the story. Blogger Josh Babetski admitted prior knowledge on November 22, 2017.

Thousands rally in support of keeping team in Columbus

Folk hero and #SaveTheCrew spiritual leader Morgan Hughes organizes a massive rally at Columbus city hall in support of saving the Crew.

“Hughes helped welcome speakers on stage, which included: Jeni Britton Bauer, the founder of Jen’s Splendid Ice Creams; Nate DeMars, the CEO and Founder of Pursuit, a local suit company and corporate sponsor of the Crew; Jeremy Loper of 99.7 The Blitz’s morning radio show, Loper and Randi in the morning; Jess Gainor, a longtime Crew fan and #TIFOSweat legend, according to Hughes; Steve Sirk, a Crew writer; two former Crew players, Dante Washington and Mike Clark; former Ohio State basketball player and five-year Crew season-ticket holder Mark Titus, who currently writes about college basketball for The Ringer; and Jonathan “T-Bone” Smith of 97.1 The Fan”

Link To Source

Garber insists no decision has been made to move the Crew

“Garber took a question from a moderator who said that Precourt wants to move the club to Austin and the commissioner stated, “It’s not proper to say that they want to move.

“What they’re doing is evaluating what their options are to determine whether it makes sense to move to Austin or whether or not it makes sense for them to have factors that will improve their performance and stay in the city of Columbus, so no decision has been made to move to Austin.

“Sitting as a commissioner, no league, certainly no leader of a league, wants to move a club.”

Link to the Source

Crew sponsors frustrated about the potential move

“The whole thing is really bizarre. It almost seems predetermined,” said Ira Sharfin, CEO of Crew sponsor Continental Office. “It just seems shifty in a way.”

“Frankly, we had planned on this being a foundation for us in terms of our relationship with the Crew fans and the Columbus community,” Kelly said. “We’re pretty disappointed now in terms of the potential here. We were very happy with how it worked our first year, and we’re very disappointed that it may not continue.”

“Even if a local company has customers there (in a team’s relocation city), some sponsors’ customers might view their association with the team as a potential negative,” Carter said. “They might ask, ‘How could you support this franchise after what you’ve done to the fans?’”

Link to Source

MLS issues a statement regarding Bexar County Jundge Wolff’s letter

“Major League Soccer has received the letter from Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff. We are in the process of reviewing the letter and preparing a formal response. Although that review is not yet complete, we strongly disagree with Judge Wolff’s assertion that we misled either him or any public official about the prospects for San Antonio acquiring an MLS expansion team.”

Link to Grant Wahl’s Tweet of the Statement

Massive Report publishes hoax emails that show Dave Greeley’s and Anthony Precourt’s contempt

Referring to whether Greeley or Precourt (AP) would be at the game on October 31, Greely said:

““AP nor I will be there,” Greeley replied. “While AP has said he may never go back to CBus, he did not say it per se, but I kind of know it. I will be back in ATX.”

The hoaxer was surprised to receive a response and elected to continue the conversation.

“Probably for the best,” the hoaxer replied. “This Save the Crew thing is getting way more attention than I initially expected. I suspect you and AP feel the same?”

Greeley’s response: “Yes. We have done prelim analytics ­ very vocal minority making large share of noise. The irony is that this group ­ inch wide and a mile deep ­ is the one being let down by the broader community and corporations. PSV is the easy target. Kind of think we have not done well with getting facts and findings out there…what do you think?

On moving, this has not been a plot all along or an epiphany one morning. Few know why.”

Massive Report’s Analysis – “The takeaways from these e-mails are multiple. Greeley states Precourt, who was rumored to be at the knockout round win in Atlanta, may never come back to Columbus. He also says the plan was not always to move the team to Austin, nor was it a quick decision and left the door open for a potential savior for the team in Columbus.”

Link to Source