RSL Soapbox) Since Kei Kamara came back to MLS after a brief stint in the English Premier League, do you think he is a better play or as good as ever?
Massive Report) Since Kei Kamara came back to MLS after a brief stint in the English Premier League, do you think he is a better player or as good as ever?
Since Kamara was last a member of Crew SC, he has certainly improved, but that was a long time ago. I think he is a better player than when he left MLS because he's more diverse.
Kamara thrived with Sporting Kansas City playing on the wing, taking players on and finishing, more of than not, at the back post. With Columbus he is playing as a striker, but in a very fluid offense. Wingers Justin Meram and Ethan Finlay are both former forwards and the front three interchange positions well, making Columbus more difficult to defend with Kamara in the lineup.
Statistically, this is the best year of Kamara's career and it's only halfway over. Kamara scored his career-best 12th goal of the season on Wednesday. He's leading MLS in goals and believes he can get better. Not only has he improved, but also he's fitting in perfectly in an offense that looks to give him a lot of chances.
All of those things combined have made the 30-year old one of the best strikers in the league.
RSL Soapbox) It seems like Columbus has the potential to be one of the best if not the best team in the East. What is holding them back or what is their Achilles heal?
Massive Report) I think that is the major question in these parts. Expectations were high heading into the season with the way Crew SC finished the year - playoffs excluded. The Black & Gold played well in the early portion of the season, but hit a slump recently with one win in eight and six games without a victory before the 2-1 win over the New England Revolution in the mid-week.
The biggest issue in my eyes is the absence of Wil Trapp. The Homegrown defensive midfielder doesn't put up stats, but he is the key to Gregg Berhalter's system. His ability to drop back as a center back when Columbus pushes forward and then jump out to prevent a counter is missed. He's a good young leader, helps to bring the ball up the field and plays well with Tony Tchani and Federico Higuain.
Mohammed Saeid has played well in the 12 games Trapp has missed, but the Swede is playing out of position and it's shown at times.
Also, the defense hasn't been as good as it was a year ago. Michael Parkhurst and Emanuel Pogatetz didn't gel immediately and there were some miscommunications early on. Crew SC went through a long stretch where the defense conceded at least two goals, which really puts pressure on the offense. Things seem to be better now, after holding the LA Galaxy and New England to just one goal each, but we'll see going forward.
With all that said, the Black & Gold are still in a better position than they were a year ago. Berhalter's side hit its stride over the second half of the season, so we'll see if the team can make another run like they did last year.
RSL Soapbox) Was the new logo needed or do fans prefer the old logo? What was the impetus for the change?
Massive Report) I think it was time for a change. The old logo was rather out of date, as this team hasn't really embraced the construction workers and the "America's hardest working team" slogan in a while.
Owner Anthony Precourt took control of the club in July of 2013 and I think he wanted to put his stamp on the team. He hired Berhalter to change the direction of the club on the field, made other changes around Columbus and within the organization.
The new logo symbolizes the new team and this new direction, while reflecting the history of the club as well.
I don't believe I've talked to anyone who wasn't happy with the change, although recent news that the iconic "gold" jersey won't be back in 2016 upset the majority of fans.
For RSL Soapbox's answers to Massive Report's questions, visit www.massivereport.com.