Tuesday, June 30, 2009

6/30/09: Crew Crap Out Of Open Cup Against Rochester

Greunebaum watches off to the side as Raging Rhinos reserve keeper Tim Melia makes the only save in penalties. (Pic from: Rhinossoccer.com)

U.S. Open Cup: Rochester Rhinos 1, Columbus Crew 1 (Rhinos win 5-3 on PK's)

I'm not a happy man right now.

Look if New England or Chicago wants to stink it up against a second or third division side, that's fine. But, we are the Columbus Crew.

We shouldn't lose against the fricken Rochester Raging Rhinos, no matter who is on the field. Also, if you want to be a top flight organization, you actually have to attempt to win everything. Or if you have to throw a few duds out there, at least attempt to give an above half-hearted performance. However, it seems that Warzycha has graduated from the Sigi Schmid, "who gives a damn about the Open Cup" school of knowledge.

The overall lineup the Crew started with tonight would be lucky to compete with USL-2. Guys like Elenio, Nyzamba, and Grendi may be hard pressed to find starting time with the Crew's opposition tonight.

The result was the predictable pitiful Open Cup performance, where the Crew hold on and limp into overtime. But, you're fully aware that the little minnows that could will prevail because the MLS side just doesn't give a damn. The team's display wasn't helped by the fact that apparently the Crew have a scared coaching staff who apparently don't want to win trophies and don't have a killer instinct. Of course, players like Schelotto, Hejduk, and Padula are out of the question at this stage, but as far as I'm concerned everyone else is fair game for at least 45 minutes. The coaching staff has to put some competitors out from the start if they want to compete. Even a side called the Raging Rhinos isn't going to fall over just because you're the defending MLS Cup Champions.

Also, this would have been a grand old time to have Pat Noonan for 90 minutes, wouldn't it have been? That trade doesn't seem like a lovely "because he is surplus" idea now, does it? Especially since the Crew didn't have a player they were itching to sign right away as a replacement. What the hell is the point of getting rid of Noonan and letting his roster spot occupy dust for a month when he could have helped us out in this competition? I'll fill you in, it was a dumb move timing wise if you don't have someone better in mind to take his spot.

But, hey who cares? Right. I know some might be saying at the moment, "why all the frustration? It's just the Open Cup, only USL teams care about that." I say "b*llshit."

This isn't the hardest competition to win and if Warzycha wants to keep his job, it would be helpful for Warzycha to have a trophy to point at by the end of the year. As the Crew just had to beat a USL-1 and USL-2 team on the road, and then beat probably another USL-1 team, and then possibly a MLS team at home in the final. The result would have been another nice shiny trophy for the Crew. But, Warzycha just let opportunity number one roll on bye with less then a fleeting glance. Opportunities two and three will be much harder to woo into a black and gold submission.

So, overall to sum up the night, a cross between pathetic and ridicoulous comes to mind. How hard is it to talk this up?

The name on the trophy is Lamar Hunt, the guy who built our stadium and the father of our owner. The U.S. Open Cup is the domestic cup for all of the United States. Further, its a grand accomplishment to win any tournament and it might have been the easiest and only route this year for Warzycha to capture hardware.

Hey, though, I'm glad that the Crew are overly confident that they got the 2009 MLS Cup and the Concacaf Champions League in the bag. Because I'm not totally confident yet that they will be the last man standing in either competition. Heck, even the less useful Trillum Cup hasn't been captured yet. And, MLS mise well hand the Supporters Shield to Houston already.

Oh, and one more slightly important thing, Crew fans actually care about this competition. Heck, a nice group of them made the 7 hour trek today to watch part-timers like Grendi screw the pooch and give Rochester and their retarded announcers (on 107.3 who laugh at injuries and talk aimlessly about anything but the game for a good 10 minutes) something to cheer about. A similiar nice group that included myself, made an insane, U.S. Open Cup there and back trip to Peoria last year for another overtime loss (and as an aside, I think that might be our fourth overtime Open Cup loss in five years and six overall matches. Our only victory in all the years since 2005 against RSL last year). So, yes we all do care about the Open Cup. It's silverware and we want our side to try hard to win every little bit of it.

And, with that in mind, bravo to Warzycha and the Crew! Way to fight for the shirt today!


  1. We need a bigger cap and more slots on the roster. But more importantly maybe now some(team owners/ MLS office) are going to see and wonder what if we had the reserve league to get Elenio, Nyzambia, Grendi and others some minutes. Then perhaps it wouldn't have ended this way.

  2. MLS will take the Cup seriously when US Soccer steps up and creates a reward for winning the Cup. For MLS sides that could be an additional senior international slot (plus $250,000 to fund the slot)and for all non MLS teams it may be simply a cash amount or other consideration.

  3. Dude, stop crying about the announcers. Your injured guy got in the way of a scoring opportunity. He should have stepped off the field (like in the NE game). And they talked about nothing for 10 min because the Crew gave them nothing to talk about (like goals or opportunities). Here's a hanky. Blow your nose and go win some other trophy.....

  4. Time to send emails to McCullers to let him know that we care about it. The MLS needs to start caring about it as well. There needs to be more money for participants, (better) TV coverage, as well as a CCL spot for the winner. Why did the Crew even bother traveling up there? They could have scrimmaged a local beer league team right here in town.

  5. it wasn't just the crew that crapped out. New England, Chivas, & Chicago all lost as well. MLS teams just don't care about the US Open Cup.

  6. So the crew is a bunch of whiny brats that can't deal with injury? That's what subs are for, learn to use them effectively.

    One more thing, the crew was lucky the rhinos have horrible forwards, if they put away half their chances it would have been 4-1 Rochester.

  7. Sounds like we have some Rochester visitors. Howdy.

    P.S. Yes your announcers are ridicously awful and unprofessional. They sounded like they were drunk for the entirety of the broadcast.

    Anyways, I wrote this right after last night's game when I was a little more annoyed with losing to a USL team, which should be unacceptable.

    Here's in more detail why from a Columbus standpoint, not because Rochester is a great franchise as well and blah blah blah. But, from our side of things, this is why I think it's unacceptable.


  8. Agreed the score could have been worse but for the lack of forwards on the Rhinos side (they are known as the Rhinos now. Also, Crewfighter for you to belittle the team that beat you 2-1 sounds like poor losers to me. Remember the Rhinos were without 3 of their starters too.Further your players care more than you think (were you at the match?) they played hard out their and don't deserve to be put down so harshly by one of their fans. I've always liked the Crew and I still do but it's whiners like you that turn me off.

  9. One of the commentators was actually the coach that kept the Crew out of the '99 Open cup finals, which was being held in their own stadium. Crew was supposed to win that game, too.

  10. That must have been fun for the Crew players to watch the Rhinos win the 1999 Cup title in their own stadium.

  11. Sorry, but with the CONCACAF Champions League coming around and our playoff chase, I don't see the problem with being knocked out of the Open Cup. I would rather see Robert try out his reserves to see what he has to deal with when the CL does roll around. I'm not so worried that we are out, but it worries me that if these are the reserves we have to count on later in the season, then ruh roh.

    Other than that, can't say I care!