In his Columbus Crew debut last weekend, John Wolyniec got a little less than a half's worth of action in a 1-0 victory against the Colorado Rapids. With the first game out of the way, Wolyniec is now ready to face his former team in the MetroStars just one week after being traded for Ante Razov.
While the newest member of the Black & Gold is happy to be returning so soon, the Staten Island native acknowledges that it will be difficult to be a visitor after spending two years so close to home.
"When you spend over two years with a team, you get to know guys pretty well," Wolyniec said. "It will be really good to see those guys again, but it will be tough to go against them."
While Wolyniec was very happy in New York, he is still getting along quite well in Columbus.
"Everybody has made it pretty easy. People have been helpful," said Wolyniec. "It is a great bunch of guys. They all get along very well. It was pretty easy to fit right in."
Wolyniec will likely back up Edson Buddle and Cornell Glen in the match. Consequently, his view of the field will be quite different from just two weeks ago.
"I'll be on the bench on the other side of the field. It will be interesting," said Wolyniec.
Although Wolyniec has started more than half of his career MLS games, he will be used as a starter and a substitute in Columbus. He is well known for quickly impacting games as a substitute.
"I try to stay focused on the game. I don't get down when I am not starting," said Wolyniec. "The team needs me in a different capacity each game and just try to change the game when I get in."
Emotions could be running high in the first clash of the Eastern Conference rivals since last week's trade.
"I am sure that there are emotions attached, especially for John Wolyniec because he was with New York longer," said Crew coach Greg Andrulis.
With D.C. United's midweek win against the Chicago Fire, Columbus has dropped back into the Eastern Conference cellar. However, the Crew are only four points out of third place. With points at such a premium, Wolyniec's team first attitude shines through even though we would love to score at the weekend's match.
"It would be fantastic to score, but I would be happy with a win," said the seven-year MLS veteran. "We need the points. That's for sure."
John Kuhn is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.