Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America Classifieds
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
Crew goes with the flow with Warzycha
by Ridge Mahoney, December 23rd, 2008 7:01AM

MOST READ
TAGS:  mls

MOST COMMENTED

[MLS] Robert Warzycha, meet Bob Bradley and Peter Nowak. They won league championships in their rookie seasons as MLS head coaches, and neither had the luxury of taking over a team fresh off an MLS Cup triumph/Supporters' Shield double. Warzycha, 45, will start the 2009 season staring up at a bar set very high by departing head coach Sigi Schmid, who took Columbus all the way to its first MLS Cup in the final year of a contract he let expire before signing up with expansionist Seattle.

"My family and I have been with the Crew and called central Ohio home for the last 12 ½ years and I am looking forward to this next chapter, leading the club as its head coach," said Warzycha, who as a player joined the Crew in 1996 and finished his career in 2002. "I am proud to have been with the Crew since its first season and excited about the opportunity to lead it into its 14th [season] as MLS Cup champions."

Whether that title provides Warzycha a solid base to push for a second consecutive title or leaves him with a smug, overconfident bunch of players won't be known until a portion of the 2009 season have been played and the status of a few players is resolved.

German Second Division leader Mainz has declined to tender an offer for Defender of the Year Chad Marshall, who trained with the club and played in a "test" match against Darmstadt earlier this month. Crew management did shell out Designated Player money to retain Guillermo Barros Schelotto but wasn't prepared to out-bid Seattle for Schmid, whose preference to work on the West Coast most likely would have rendered any budding bidding war moot.

Schmid's extensive overhaul of the Crew roster - only Marshall, Frankie Hedjuk and midfielder Duncan Oughton were retained during his tenure - featured several key additions during each of his three seasons. Schmid didn't endear himself to every player - as on any team, a few chafed under the means and philosophies of the head coach - yet they rode out occasional rough patches and finished strongly.

Like Nowak, Warzycha is a former Polish international, having played 47 times for his country. That international experience and his long tenure with the team are sure to be tested in 2009. In addition to its league commitments, Columbus will play in the Concacaf Champions' League, which exposed three MLS teams in 2008; Chivas USA and New England faltered in the preliminary round and D.C. United stumbled in the group phase.

As per league policy, the terms of his contract weren't revealed. Schmid was earning about $175,000; Warzycha's deal is in the same range, but slightly less, according to a source.

During the drawn-out process to resolve Schmid's situation Crew general manager Mark McCullers cited several times he had a ready-made replacement in Warzycha, whose playing career in Poland, England, and Hungary included four seasons with Everton. In his MLS career, he played 160 games (fifth all-time among Crew players) and set a team record with 61 assists. He scored 19 goals in the regular season and two in the playoffs.

Several other potential candidates were contacted but none of them formally interviewed for the position.

"Robert's resume is impressive, from his playing experience in the English Premier League and at the international level to his experience playing and coaching in Major League Soccer," said McCullers. "He was influential in building our program and understands what has made us successful, but he also has the vision to put his stamp on this team with his own brand of soccer. He is one of the most knowledgeable soccer minds in our league and he's ready to assume the head coaching responsibilities of our club."



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Soccer America Daily
Ream gets assist in Bolton Wanderers' victory    
[AMERICANS ABROAD] It has been another barren weekend for U.S. national team players abroad. Of the ...
An excellent goal-line clearance     
[VIDEO PICK: Off the Post] Cruzeiro managed to earn a 1-1 tie with Palmeiras thanks to ...
Woodwork can't hold down USA     
[CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIP] About the only thing that stood in the way of the U.S. women's ...
Fire goes out with late win over Houston    
[MLS: Friday] Frenchman Florent Sinama-Pongolle made sure Chicago did not finish the MLS season with another ...
James' skills highlight Real Madrid pre-clasico practice    
[VIDEO PICK: Skills] The Real Madrid-Barcelona clasico delivers entertainment even before kickoff. Here's a 40-second peek ...
What They're Saying: Luis Suarez    
"Everyone has different ways of defending themselves. In my case, the pressure and tension came out ...
Ft. Lauderdale is ready for challenge against red-hot Eddies    
[NASL: Week 16] Minnesota United FC and the 2013 champion New York Cosmos played to a ...
Finlay signs new deal with Columbus    
[MLS TRANSACTIONS] For helping drive Columbus into the playoffs after a two-year absence, midfielder Ethan Finlay ...
Referee suspended after felony arrest on fraud charges    
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] Referee Jose Carlos Rivero, who has worked 17 MLS matches in 2014, has been ...
Wambach nominated for Women's Player of the Year    
[AWARDS] Abby Wambach, who leads the U.S. women with 10 goals but is no longer a ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives