Corey Ashe doesn’t have the best memories of MAPFRE Stadium, but that’s a good thing because it means the nine-year MLS veteran and newest member of the Black & Gold is joining a team that is a force to reckon with in front of its home crowd.
“The crowd’s always been good. I have very few good memories because every time we went there I think we lost,” Ashe says with a laugh. “It’s a great place to play. I’m looking forward to it. It’s great seeing the sell-out crowds for the playoffs and the final. It’s great to see the support that they have.”
Columbus is only the third stop in Ashe’s Major League Soccer career. The two-time MLS All-Star and 2007 MLS Cup champion spent 8.5 of his nine years as a pro with the Houston Dynamo before joining Orlando City midway through the 2015 season.
Though he says his family is weary about the cold weather in Central Ohio, Ashe is looking forward to a new challenge in the Capital City. The timing couldn’t be better, Crew SC’s first free-agent signing says.
“The advantage will be going to Columbus for preseason, getting to know the guys, building that chemistry, the relationship with them and understanding the style of play,” Ashe says.
The fullback knows a few of his teammates already. He was part of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2013 Gold Cup roster alongside Crew SC Captain Michael Parkhurst and he played with Kei Kamara in Houston in 2008 and 2009.
After several years of playing against Kamara, Ashe says he’s looking forward to reuniting with his old teammate.
“I’ve played with him, I’ve played against him. It seems like every time we play each other there’s always some kind of scuffle or some pushing. But it’s just two competitive guys going at it,” Ashe says with a laugh. “I’m looking forward to actually not having to mark him, except just in practice, but feeding him the ball and letting him do what he’s good at doing.”
In addition to making the 2013 Gold Cup roster and winning the 2007 MLS Cup, Ashe says, his favorite career memories are his two MLS All-Star appearances against Manchester United (2011) and Roma (2013).
Now, the fullback is looking forward to making new memories both on the pitch at MAPFRE Stadium and in the City of Columbus.
“[Former Crew SC forward] Jason Garey told me that it’s a great place and that I would have a blast in Columbus,” Ashe says adding he’s looking forward to building relationships with his new teammates and people in the community.
“That’s my thing because unfortunately soccer doesn’t last forever but those relationships can,” Ashe says. “I’m just looking forward to meeting new people and enjoying the experience.”