Crew dumps Warzycha, names Bliss interim coach
[MLS SPOTLIGHT] It took new owner Anthony Precourt just five weeks to decide to shake up the Columbus Crew, firing head
coach Robert Warzycha and his assistants, Ricardo Iribarren and Vojislav
Stanisic, and replacing Warzycha with technical director Brian Bliss as interim coach.
The Crew dropped its last two games to fall to
8-13-5. It is in eighth place, eight points out of the fifth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
“I have been intently following this team since mid-April when
we decided to explore the possibility of acquiring the Crew,” Precourt said in a club statement. "When we came to the conclusion that we were not going to retain Robert beyond this season, it
was apparent that we needed to make this change now so that we can refocus the club around Brian’s leadership for the remainder of this season, as well as get the process started on finding a
new head coach."
Brazilian defender Glauber and veteran midfielder Eddie Gaven went down with season-ending
ACL knee injuries in back-to-back Open Cup matches, and the Crew has gone 4-9-0 in its last 13 games after playing .500 ball (4-4-5) through its first 13 games.
Warzycha, who came
to play for the Crew in its inaugural season in 1996, took over as head coach 2009, a year after it won the MLS Cup title under Sigi Schmid. The Crew won the Supporters' Shield in Warzycha's first
season as coach.
Bliss will retain his duties as technical director while serving as interim coach.
“It is with mixed emotions that I accept this position,” Bliss
said in the club's statement. “Robert is a true professional and a close friend, and I will personally miss working with him."
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