The end of the second era of Columbus Crew leadership has finally come. At 10:15 AM EST Crew GM Mark McCullers announced that head coach Greg Andrulis, referred to comedically as “GA”, “Anclueless” and “Andruloseris” by detractors (including myself), was sacked. Former Crew player and assistant coach Robert “the Polish Rifle” Warzycha was named interim head coach until a national and international search for a new head coach can be completed.
All I can say is “thank goodness”.
This is the first step in a list of many changes that needed to be made in this organization. Using past games are examples, clearly there was no leadership morale as basic soccer skills eroded and young stars struggled alongside veterans loss after loss. Attendance dwindled with the team.
Some other steps the Crew need to take:
- Identify some franchise players, compensate and treat them as such, then hold them up to the community as a whole and let them run this team.
- Acquire a well compensated outsider, perhaps an international, to add experience and a second vision.
- Fill in the gaps with good developing talents and steady players with league experience
Realistically, most of those items won't be happening this season as the Crew are probably near the cap in roster size and player salaries with the recent acquisition of Walker and Henderson. The 2005 season will end and then the Crew can dump some players.
As for Andrulis, I wish him the best of luck with his next experience. The Crew won a Supporter's Shield and an Open Cup under his reign. But as it was when Tom Fitzgerald was released from coaching duties, it's time to move Greg on. The current roster was built by Andrulis and is underperforming. It's time to fix things, starting with the head coach.