Warzycha: Too many guys had a bad game

Columbus boss apologetic after Crew fail to register shot on goal

Jeff Cunningham

Photo Credit: 
Josh Couper / TheCrew.com

On Saturday night, Crew forward Andre Mendoza issued an apology for
taking a penalty Wednesday against Real Salt Lake when Jeff Cunningham
could have tied the MLS career goal mark.

Less than 24 hours after Mendoza’s statement was released, coach
Robert Warzycha had to give a mea culpa of sorts, too, for the Crew’s
dreadful 1-0 loss before 13,498 people in Crew Stadium.

“Too many guys had a bad game today – too many at once, put it that
way,” Warzycha said. “Chicago was a team that wanted it more. When you
have a combination of a team that wants it more and good players,
obviously you’re going to lose the game."

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The Crew's first home loss of the season was punctuated by Cristian
Nazarit's goal in stoppage time that was the Fire's first in three games
and which ended a 0-4-7 streak.

Worse still, the Crew’s moribund attack was outshoot (18-8) for the
first time in 13 games and didn’t register a single shot on goal. It
also did not take a corner kick.

“I’m disappointed we lost," Warzycha said. "You can lose three
points at home or away, but I’m more disappointed in the way we played.
We didn’t create any offense, we defended for 90 minutes.”

He couldn’t use fatigue as a factor despite the Crew (4-4-6) beating
Real Salt Lake on Wednesday because the Fire played a scoreless draw at
Sporting Kansas City the following night.

While Chicago made four changes, Warzycha opted for only one by
giving rookie Justin Meram his first start for midfielder Kevin Burns.

“This was the same combination when we started the game the way we
finished the game against Salt Lake, which we played very, very well,”
Warzycha said.

Meram was by no way the culprit but he was replaced by Dejan Rusmir
in the 52nd minute and Burns replaced forward Jeff Cunningham in the
73rd.

“They were the best team from the eighth minute on,” Burns said of
the Fire. “We had two early chances and then after that we maybe thought
it would be kind of easy.

“They were fighting and winning most of the battles," Burns added.
"They were the superior side. It happens. It’s very disappointing. We’ve
been on the other end of those where we’re getting ties when we think
we’re dominating the games. They took it to us.”

Warzycha tried to shake things up by moving right back Sebastian
Miranda to the right flank among several changes in the second half.

“Obviously we tried to do something tactically that would help the
game,” Warzycha said. “We couldn’t possess the ball, we lost the middle
of the field.”

Despite the Crew’s struggles offensively, they were headed for a tie
until Nazarit was left unmarked for a rebound of Orr Barouch’s shot.
Hesmer got a hand on the first attempt but had no chance on the second.

“We were shaky,” he said. “Anytime you forced to defend, you’re bound to break down at some point.

“They broke through us,” he said of the goal. “We lost the
one-on-one battle. I don’t know what happened. I got almost too strong
of a hand on it.”

The Crew had no time to mount a response, and for the fifth time in
history did not get a shot on target. The last time that happened was
March 23, 2002, vs. the Fire.

“If someone would tell us before the game we would lose this game
today I definitely would say no,” forward Emmanuel Ekpo said. “It
happens this way sometimes in soccer.”