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Starting This Week: 2009 Title Defense

February 1, 2009

Two more signs that the 2008 season is fast becoming a memory. Training camp opened this week and the 2009 schedule came out. I would love to reminisce about last year’s title team, there are plenty of other teams looking to take out the defending champs.

I am always interested in the home schedule. I am always interested in which games are going to overlap with birthdays, weddings, and holidays. Being a devoted fan means keeping an eye at the schedule as the social calendar fills up. This year, I was also looking at a few key away games in hopes of going on a road trip.

The good news is that the Crew’s schedule is pretty well balanced while providing several breaks throughout the year. This will be especially important as the Crew will have Open Cup games starting in July and 6 extra games for Champions League starting in August and will have several players picked for national team duty throughout the year.

The bad news, personally, is that the one away game I really was thinking about going is already out. The May 2nd game at Toronto would have been a great time to take a trip north of the border, but I have already made plans for that day, so I guess my first trip to Toronto will have to wait.

Other than the good news/bad news aspect to the schedule, I am already looking forward to several games this year. The Toronto home opener (Mar. 28th) is shaping up to be a great atmosphere between two vocal fan bases. Chicago comes to town in April. Every Crew/Fire game was a taut affair. It will also mark Brian McBride’s second return to Crew Stadium as a member of the hated Fire. DC United comes to Crew Stadium on July 4th for an ESPN2 game of the week. Seattle, and the return of Sigi, happens in early October.

I am still looking forward to a couple of away games. I had so much fun in L.A. for MLS Cup that I would love to do it again. Toronto is out this year, but I still would like to take in a game in Chicago (7/11 or 9/20) or Washington (10/17). I have family in both cities and it would be fun to cheer on the Crew. The schedule still doesn’t have any Open Cup or Champions League games on it yet. It is shaping up to be another busy year for the Crew.

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