Never Give Up

Since last we met our once stout then feeble and fickle Columbus Crew SC, the team has really, truly blossomed. More like exploded.

Three games, three opponent smackdowns. Bam, bam, bam.

Er, hold on. The hyperbole has gotten loose again. This run of 9 points in 10 days, while absolutely impressive, didn't exactly feature overwhelming devastation. Nope, this team, it would appear, prefers to wreak havoc with shocking Stone Cold Stunners that seemingly manifest out of nowhere.

Take the May 9 game hosting the Philadelphia Union. A mostly listless first half carried over into the opening minutes of the second before a Gyasi Zardes tap-in cold-cocked Uncle Ben's boys.

Then there was the May 19 game against the New England Revolution. The scoreline continued at nils until close to stoppage time. Then the Revs were suddenly Lalas Abubakar'd with a glancing header supplied on a platter by the Maestro, Federico Higuain. Please and thank you, goodnight.

In both cases the lead held, and you trusted it would. That, dear friends, is worth celebrating. Also worth a toast was the three-goal thrashing of the Chicago Fire that came sandwiched between those two tightly contested clashes.

And there's plenty more to cheer for these days, including:

You Know Who's Facebook cover photo

You Know Who's most recent social-media facepalm arrived on May 11, when He Who Shan't Be Named uploaded a new cover photo to his Facebook page. The photo is of the Austin Railroad Graffiti Bridge over Lady Bird Lake. On the bridge, in graffiti, is a picture of Pac-Man being chased by ghosts. And these ghosts are trailed by the phrase, “Never Give Up.”

It should be rather obvious, no, that You Know Who views himself as Pac-Man, the protagonist in this story, and Columbus as a bunch of ghosts trying to hold him back from his treasure.

But viewed from a certain angle (read: the right side of history), the inspirational message would appear to be aimed at the ghosts. That's how I'm taking it anyway.

Gregg Berhalter, striker whisperer

At this point, Berhalter's basically some kind of good-guy voodoo conjurer for MLS strikers, right?

Winger by committee

I'm already on record as supporting the arrival of a new winger come the summer transfer window, but I'll be damned if this merry-go-round isn't working. Keep it up, Niko Hansen and Mike Grella, Cristian Martinez and Luis Argudo.

Harrison Afful, awesome attacker

How many posts has he struck this year? Three? Four? He'd basically be an attacking god if he weren't so incredibly unlucky.

Gyasi tap-ins

Sure, there's luck (see: Columbus vs. Philadelphia on May 9). But there's also intuition and positioning and timing, and Zardes so far has those in spades. I'll take tap-ins all day, every way.

Jonathan Mensah chest passes

It's a small but funny thing, and it's something I've only noticed over the last few weeks, but Mensah's chest passes are a GD delight. Easily my most eagerly anticipated event every game.