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Crew sailing on without Sigi

Post by Don Ruiz / The News Tribune on March 1, 2009 at 9:21 am with No Comments »
March 1, 2009 9:21 am

Naturally, most Sounders FC fans are thrilled to have proven MLS coach Sigi Schmid on board.

However, the team he left — the Columbus Crew — is trying to be upbeat about their replacement coach, the younger, warmer, fuzzier Robert Warzycha.

Here’s a report from the Columbus Dispatch, taking a look at the Crew under their new coach.

Here’s a key portion:

Schmid’s success with UCLA and the U.S. national team gives him credibility among MLS players. Warzycha has never been a head coach, but his impressive playing career might count for more among his players.

“I don’t have anything on my resume as a coach,” said Warzycha, who will lead the Crew against the Everton reserves today in an exhibition game in Liverpool, England. “But the players remember me from the field and that helps a lot.”

So he is a so-called players’ coach more than Schmid ever was. Or is he?

“The players are comfortable with Robert, but that’s probably the biggest obstacle Robert has to get past,” Lapper said. “You don’t want them too comfortable.

“Sigi accomplished a lot of things in his career with the national team and things like that. That earns automatic respect. But you don’t want a player thinking, ‘OK, this is just Robert.’ It’s not ‘just Robert.’ He is your head coach.”

To a man, Crew players approved Warzycha’s elevation, goalkeeper William Hesmer said. They were relieved they didn’t have to prove themselves to an outsider, but they were also pleased because they believe Warzycha is a good coach.

The Crew and Sounders will meet May 30 in Seattle and Oct. 3 in Columbus.

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