Monday, February 23, 2009

2/23/09: Warzycha Was A Light In The Dark Ages Of Crew Soccer

The 2005 and 2006 seasons were the worse in Crew history talent wise by far. In a shady horizon, Warzycha achieved an above .500 record with soccer's version of the "Bad News Bears." Warzycha took a 4-10-2 Andrulis team and made them a decent 7-6-2 side under his reign.

In 2005, back in the days of 35 man rosters, out of this whole team only 12 play today and most not very sucessfully. Only 6 players could cut it in MLS(Frankie Hejduk, Chad Marshall, Duncan Oughton, Domenic Mediate, Chris Wingert, and Jon Busch). To realize just how bad the Crew were in 2005, let's play a game of where are they now?

Q: Eric Vazquez?
A: Now playing indoor soccer with the Orlando Sharks, sort of. Only 5 goals in 7 appearances since 2007.

Q: Knox Cameron?
A: Knox is now a member of the Canton Celtic FC, an amateur men's team that plays in Michigan's MUSL Men's Open 1st Division. Celtic FC recently won the Michigan section of the USASA National Amateur Cup Championship and will represent the state at the USASA Regional tournament in Bowling Green, KY. Fancy, schmancy! Since 2007, Cameron has amassed 22 appearances and 8 goals for glorious Canton Celtic FC.

Q: Devin Barclay?
A: Young heralded talent Devin Barclay couldn't break into a MLS side after a successful rookie season with Tampa Bay and after being cut by the Crew in 2005, went to college at OSU and is currently the third placekicker on the Ohio State depth chart as a junior.

Q: Jamal Sutton?
A: Last played for the Charlotte Eagles of the USL-2 in 2007, didn't play in the 2008 season. No word of him since. Guess the Moberly Group hasn't helped him out too much.

Q: Stephen Herdsman?
A: Forced to retire as according to wikipedia, "Herdsman lost his spot because his leg muscle got ripped off the bone and now its not there." Ouchie!

Q: David Testo?
A: Mildly successful with the Montreal Impact since 2007.

Q: Stephen Armstrong?
A: Mildly successful splitting his time between the USL-1 Charleston Battery(outdoor) and the Chicago Storm(indoor).

Q: Luis Gallardo?
A: Playing in Costa Rica for Universidad de Costa Rica of the Costa Rican Premier League. 13 appearances in 2008 with 2 goals.

Q: Mark Schulte?
A: Had stint in Uruguay and with Cleveland City Stars. Signed for the Carolina Railhawks of USL-1 for the 2009 season in February. I smell a comeback.

Q: Ross Paule?
A: Had concussion problems and retired after the 2005 season. Coaches youth side Memphis FC.

Q: Domenic Mediate?
A: 26 appearances with DC United since 2006.

Q: Matt Jordan?
A: 44 appearances with the Montreal Impact since 2007.

Q: Marcus Storey?
A: Playing division 4 soccer in Germany with FC Wilhelmshaven. Awesome name.

Q: Bill Guadette?
A: Puerto Rico Islanders USL-1 goalkeeper with 33 appearances since beginning of 2008.

Q: Kyle Martino?
A: Doing something business-like, last played for the Galaxy in 2007.

Q: Danny Szetela?
A: Finally playing in Italy with Brescia on loan from Racing Santander. 23 appearances since 2008.

Since only 6 out of a roster of 35 play in MLS three seasons removed, I think it shows what a hell of a coach Warzycha was with this rag tag group to choose over for the starting 11. A more in depth analysis of Warzycha's 2005 season can be found here by mateo319. The big question is whether Warzycha who has yet to make a player acquisition in 2005 or in the 2009 offseason, can make good choices on the acquistional front. Crew fans should be patient as Sigi Schmid struggled mightily in the beginning to find the awesome group he put together for the 2008 campaign.

Just look at 2006 as the Crew didn't get much better with acquistions like Joel Kitamirike and Sebastian Rozental. Also betting the left defensive position on Tim Ward. Before Sigi made some amazing signings like Brian Carroll and Gino Padula, he screwed up the pooch a bit with signings like Joel Kitamirike and Sebastian Rozental.

Q: Joel Kitamirike?
A: Pleaded guilty for five charges of supplying heroine and crack cocaine in October of 2008. Last appearance was made in 2008 for Chelmsford City, going to be hard to make anymore appearances as Joel was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment in November of 2008. The Crew cut Kitamirike after one appearance, wonder if his trouble making ways had anything to do with it?

Q: Sebastian Rozental?
A: The Chilean Isreali is now playing or the last time he has played was in the 2007-2008 season for Maccabi Netanya with 14 appearances and 1 goal. Sebastian was cut from the Crew because he could never gain his fitness during his whole stay.

Q: Tim Ward?
A: Highly touted youngster with the Crew. Traded to Colorado for Nicolas Hernandez. Never played for Colorado and was waived after 2008 season.

Also there were Sigi duds like Jacob Thomas and Ricardo Virtuoso. Warzycha has a nice deck in front of him and won't have to make many acquisitions except for a few supplemental ones at the start of 2009. But, will be judged on how he coaches, how he gets the best out of the current squad, and how he supplement's the Crew's 2008 success. If his ability to get the most out of a less than sterling squad in 2005 is any measuring point, then Warzycha should be able to coach the current Crew to a solid record in 2009.


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