Crew fans weigh in on coaching move

The Columbus Crew organization used information from every angle before they decided to relieve Greg Andrulis from his head coaching responsibilities.

Included in that appraisal were opinions from the fans. In the last few home games, some fervent supporters had shown extended concern in form of banners and songs regarding the future of the club under Andrulis.

"In the two games before the San Jose game, I went and sat with the fans that were chanting," said Crew general manager Mark McCullers. "I think I surprised them."

The chanting fans were adamant in favor of sacking Andrulis. Despite his success as the Crew leader that included the 2004 MLS Supporters Shield and the 2002 U.S. Open Cup championship, the supporters vehemently opposed the continuation of the Crew under the reins of Andrulis.

"They were clearly had an opinion and clearly not satisfied with what was going on," said McCullers. "I was available to hear their opinions and comments."

Rather than viewing such remarks as meddling, McCullers saw the concern as a way to keep checks and balances over the club.

"I appreciate fans that tell us how they think and are engaged in the organization because that demonstrates their loyalty," said McCullers. "Certainly, we have had quite a bit of fan feedback and our fans have lots of opinions."

The feedback from the fans is important to Crew management because it shows their interest in the Crew.

"We are extremely fortunate to have passionate fans," said the Crew general manager.

NOTES: Cornell Glen should be back with the Crew for the match at Chicago as his Trinidad & Tobago squad was eliminated from the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Tuesday night against Colombia. Glen made two appearances, including a start against Colombia, and scored a game-tying goal against Panama.

The services of Frankie Hejduk will not be available as swiftly. The USA clinched the Group B title with a scoreless draw against Costa Rica on Tuesday and take on Colombia in the quarterfinals in Foxborough, Mass., on Saturday -- a match for which Hejduk is suspended. Hejduk played the full 90 minutes and earned a yellow card against Costa Rica and in the 4-1 victory against Cuba. In addition to the match at Chicago on Saturday, Hejduk may miss the two more matches if the United States make the June 24 final.

John Kuhn is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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