Columbus Crew fans use East semifinal to send message to ownership

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Greg Bartram
On a night when the club was hosting an MLS Eastern Conference semifinal first leg, fans came out to make it clear what was on their minds

The Columbus Crew faithful had plenty on their minds for Tuesday night's Eastern Conference semifinal first leg against New York City FC

Despite having a home playoff game, the terribly timed announcement that the club is considering a move to Austin, Texas, had fans at Mapfre Stadium thinking about the future as much as the match at hand. 

Chants of "Save the Crew" were heard loud and clear multiple times throughout the night, while the fans on hand could be seen with signs, some painted on their own bodies, sharing the same message. 

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Save the Crew

The bumbling timing of the announcement was compounded by a number of factors, including Crew owner Anthony Precourt calling for support for the team in the playoffs despite his admission that the club might move, and a since-reversed policy that the Crew would not refund fans who no longer wanted to invest in 2018 season-ticket packages.

In all, it could have lead to a scary Halloween night in Columbus. 

Instead, Crew fans came out in force, held their signs, chanted their chants and, in the end, supported their team.

They'll be hoping for another home match to voice their concerns before the season ends. As it stands, with the Crew up 4-1 heading into the second leg, they may well get it. 

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