Crew look to rebound against winless Union
It's clear: Robert Warzycha and the Crew aren't happy with the way the team played in the the first half of last week's 4-1 loss to the New York Red Bulls at Crew Stadium.
However, it's a new week and a new opponent. The Black & Gold will look to rebound from the loss by taking control from the opening whistle on Saturday against the Philadelphia Union.
"We have to start the game the right way," Warzycha said after Thursday's training session in Obetz. "We have to go out on the field and play from the first minute to win instead of just trying to go (to Philadelphia) and possess the ball and kill time or something like that."
The second half of the Crew's loss to New York was much more like the attractive soccer Warzycha had in mind going into the match. Rookie midfielder Kirk Urso did his part in creating chances for the Black & Gold, banging a curled shot from distance off the crossbar and picking up his first career assist on a corner kick headed into the net by captain Chad Marshall.
Urso looks to bring that same intensity the Crew had in the second half against New York into PPL Park for the weekend clash.
"Second half, we came out and went after (New York)," the rookie told TheCrew.com. "We put on the pressure and I think we're going to have to win some balls, win some tackles, then look to possess and get forward like we did against New York in Philadelphia."
Winless thus far in 2012, the Crew know the Union will be desperate for three points on Saturday.
"I know (Philadelphia) is having a rough time right now, but they're a good team," Urso aknowledged of the Crew's upcoming opponent. "They move the ball well. Right now, they're not getting the results, but they're going to be hungry and we've got to make sure we have the same hunger. It's not going to be an easy game."
Urso's partner in Columbus' central midfield, Milovan Mirosevic, thinks the Union's desperation could be an advantage for the Black & Gold.
"(The Union) haven't gotten the results that they wanted," Mirosevic added. "Maybe they will be a little bit desperate about winning some points. That could be very useful for us. They are a good team that will battle us a lot. They're going to fight like every ball is the last one, so we'll have to be ready for that and give them the same fight they're going to give us."
In addition to the Union's hunger for points, the Crew will have to manage playing in front of an increasingly impatient Philadelphia fan base. However, Warzycha is confident Columbus can earn a result on the road just as it did in Toronto two weeks ago.
"There's going to be 20,000 people cheering for (the Union) and I'm sure they will do everything they can to win the game, especially having the record that they have," Warzycha said of the task at hand. "It's going to be a tough game, but I think on the road in Toronto we knew it was going to be a hard game and we came out with the victory."
The Crew and Union kick off from PPL Park at 3:30PM EST on the NBC Sports Network.