In his fifth year with the club, Columbus Crew Head Coach Robert Warzycha is poised to sit atop the team’s all-time win list with another MLS victory.
Saturday’s win over Toronto FC clinched the Trillium Cup for the club, earned them three crucial points in the Eastern Conference playoff race, and it also brought Head Coach Robert Warzycha into a tie for the winningest coach in team history.
“It’s a number that after a few years you can look back and say, ‘Okay, I was there,'” Warzycha said after training Tuesday, his 50th birthday. “It’s nice to win games, and 70 is a pretty good number. It shows that we won some games in the past and when I was the coach here, but it’s not the most important thing for me.”
Warzycha was so dismissive of the record that veteran defender Chad Marshall, who has been with the team since 2004, said he was not even aware of the achievement until he was asked about it.
“It’s cool,” Marshall said. “He’s been around a while and been a part of some great teams here, so that’s great for him.”
After Saturday’s victory over New York, Warzycha was in no mood to discuss records. Instead, he made it a point to reinforce that he was a team-first coach, and that individual achievements are the furthest thing from his mind.
“I’m about winning. And I’m about winning with the club,” he said. “It doesn’t mean anything to me, to be honest with you. It’s nice to win the games, but the more important thing to me today is that we won the trophy. More than anything for me, it’s just winning the game and having the satisfaction that the team is playing well.”
After a couple of days, Warzycha said that the achievement felt a bit better than he had thought “off the top of his head” after the match Saturday, and that while records aren’t his focus, it was nice to see his name atop the list.
The win marked Warzycha’s 70th victory at the helm of the club, where has been the team’s Head Coach since 2009. In his time as Head Coach, the team has won an MLS Supporters’ Shield (2009), four Trillium Cups (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013), finished as runner-up in the 2010 U.S. Open Cup, and made the playoffs in each of his first three seasons.
Prior to the 2009 season, Warzycha was both a player (1996-2002) and an assistant coach, and in 2008, the team won the MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield.
Only Tom Fitzgerald, who coached the team from 1996-2001, has equaled Warzycha’s mark.
The milestone made Warzycha one of only 14 MLS coaches to reach 70 regular-season wins, and one of just five active coaches to do so, including Seattle’s Sigi Schmid, Los Angeles’s Bruce Arena, Houston’s Dominic Kinnear and Salt Lake’s Jason Kreis.
Star forward Federico Higuain scored another Goal-of-the-Week nominee on Saturday, and Warzycha says that the incredible goal on the day of his 70th win will be one (of many) to remember.
“I remember a lot of goals,” Warzycha said with a smile in Saturday’s press conference. “But there’s something special there that you’ll always remember.”