Columbus Crew 2005
2005 Club by Club
As defending Supporters Shield winners with a largely unchanged roster, the Crew entered its 10th season with high hopes. But a series of debilitating injuries derailed those aspirations and by the time it was over, head coach Greg Andrulis had lost his job and the club finished out of the playoffs for just the third time in its history.
Despite the fact that important veterans Ross Paule (post-concussion syndrome/ retirement) and Duncan Oughton (knee surgery) had already been lost for the season during the preseason, the Crew opened the season by extending its MLS-record regular-season unbeaten streak to 19 games (9-0-10) with a 3-0 win over LA. But the Crew won just three more times over the course of the first half of the season, struggling to a 4-10-2 mark at the midway point, and Andrulis was relieved of his duties and replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Robert Warzycha. In the meantime, All-Star goalkeeper Jon Busch was lost for the season on May 26 with a torn ACL in his right knee, the club's most prominent offseason acquisition, forward Ante Razov was traded to the MetroStars for John Wolyniec after wearing out his welcome. Talented young midfielder Danny Szetela spent weeks with the U.S. Under-20 National Team, as it prepared for and competed in the FIFA World Youth Championship in Holland.
After taking over on July 12, Warzycha guided the Crew to a very credible 7-6-3 record in the second half of the season and he accepted the club's offer to stay on as Sigi Schmid's top assistant in the wake of his successful stint. Goalkeeper Jonny Walker, acquired from the MetroStars on July 1 to fill the void created by Busch's injury, was a bright spot over the second half of the season, as were the performances of a number of developmental players - including Knox Cameron, Jamal Sutton and Eric Vasquez - given opportunities by Warzycha. Following the season, changes were inevitable. Among the first of many were the retirement of Robin Fraser, one of the most respected and decorated defenders in league history, and the departure of midfielder Simon Elliott, who joined former Crew star Brian McBride with Fulham FC of the English Premier League after establishing a club record by playing every minute of every game and being named the team's MVP.