It doesn't matter how hard Columbus Crew GM Mark McCullers
tries to spin it, the team "dropped the ball" by not getting former coach Sigi Schmid
contract before the Crew won the MLS Cup, writes Bob Hunter. But they have been saved by the fact that his assistant Robert Warzycha
Hunter believes that
Schmid "proved his worth, rebuilding an abysmal team into the best team in" MLS, and that "if the Crew had made Schmid a good offer last summer, when it was clear that the team was much
improved, he would be the coach today." His departure is an embarrassment for the club, and the only thing that makes it palatable "is that Warzycha was available."
McCullers denied that Warzycha was his ace in the hole while negotiating with Schmid, but Hunter finds that "hard to believe." McCullers said that although the team wanted to retain Schmid,
"we also knew that when we hired Sigi at some point he would be leaving, so it was prudent for us to be prepared for that. And one of the ways we prepared was by having somebody we valued on
staff who could compete for the position when it came open."
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