US Open Cup: Match postponement could mean lineup changes for Columbus Crew
The weather-related postponement of Wednesday's Lamar Hunt US Open Cup fourth-round match could force Columbus Crew head coach Robert Warzycha to adjust his lineup on the fly when they face the Chicago Fire in Thursday's rescheduled match (1 pm ET).
"I think that's possible," Warzycha told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Wednesday night. "We have to cover all the bases."
After the match cancellation, Warzycha and his coaching staff had a dinner meeting to discuss how to best manage the players through the rescheduled match and Saturday's home game against Eastern Conference leaders Montreal (7:30 pm ET, watch on MLS Live).
Warzycha had planned to field a strong team for the Open Cup game, including forward Federico Higuaín, but may have to reconsider in part because the Crew (4-5-5) are struggling to stay within reach of a playoff spot due to a 1-3-2 stretch in league play.
Severe weather that included lightning, high winds, rain and tornado warnings in the area caused the match to be postponed before it started, a decision Warzycha agreed with.
"We had no choice," he said. "We could wait another three hours and find out we were not going to play anyway."
The delay may also cause problems in getting the team back to Columbus, and Warzycha said travel plans for Thursday are still being worked out. A chartered flight is possible but expensive and unlikely, he noted.
Another plan would be to have have two groups fly separately, with each arriving home late Thursday.
As for trying to move Saturday's game to Sunday – the Crew's match at Montreal on April 13 was postponed a day because of snow – Warzycha doesn't see that as an option.
"People have plans for the game to be Saturday," he said. "I don't know how that would work to change it on them. I haven't thought that far ahead."