Crew exercises 2011 option for Warzycha

Crew exercises 2011 option on head coach Robert Warzycha's contract

Robert Warzycha, Columbus Crew

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The Columbus Crew announced today that it has exercised the option on head coach Robert Warzycha’s contract for the 2011 season. Per club policy, no further terms of the deal were disclosed.

“Robert has done an excellent job of maintaining the high performance standards of this team,” said Crew President & General Manager Mark McCullers. “He has injected his own personality into our style of play and achieved outstanding results in the process. This is certainly his team now and he has, without question, earned the right to continue leading our club moving forward.”

Following a superlative debut campaign, Warzycha is now in his second full season as the Crew’s head coach. One of the Crew’s all-time greats on the field, he is now in his ninth season on the club’s coaching staff overall.

In his first full season at the helm, Warzycha guided the Crew to the 2009 Supporters’ Shield title, with a 13-7-10 record, and into the quarterfinals of the 2009/10 CONCACAF Champions League. In recognition of his efforts, he was named a finalist for 2009 MLS Coach of the Year honors.

In the midst of his tenure as an assistant coach, Warzycha also distinguished himself during a 16-game stint as the Crew’s interim head coach from July 12, 2005 through the end of that season. After taking over a 4-10-2 team, he went 7-6-3 the rest of the way. Overall, Warzycha has posted a 31-17-17 regular-season record on the Crew sidelines and a 35-23-21 mark in all competitions.

“I am very happy here and appreciate the opportunity to spend another year working with this group of guys,” Warzycha said. “It is rewarding to know that the organization appreciates what I’m doing and how I am managing the players and I am excited about the future.”

A native of Siemkowice, Poland, Warzycha joined the Crew during its inaugural 1996 season and he remains the club’s all-time career assists leader, with 61. He added 19 goals in regular-season play and finished with two goals and nine assists in 17 career playoff games.

A two-time MLS All-Star and the club’s MVP in 2000, Warzycha spent the 2002 U.S. Open Cup championship season as a player/assistant coach, before moving to the sidelines full-time in 2003.

Prior to joining the Crew, Warzycha made 47 appearances with the Polish National Team from 1988-95 and enjoyed a three-year stint with Everton of the English Premier League (1991-94), among many career highlights that also included time the Polish and Hungarian top flights.

Founded by American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the Columbus Crew is Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and entertainment enterprise. One of the league's Charter Members, it won its first MLS Cup championship in 2008 and has also won the 2002 U.S. Open Cup and MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009. It is currently in its 15th season overall and 12th in first-of-its-kind Columbus Crew Stadium.