COLUMBUS, Ohio - In Robert Warzycha's home coaching debut, the Columbus Crew defeated the MetroStars 1-0 with a dramatic finish led by substitutes Jamal Sutton and Marcus Storey.
At the beginning of Wednesday's encounter with the MetroStars, Sutton and Storey had 89 minutes of career first team action and no points. Those numbers would be drastically changed by the end of the night.
It took all of the combined 57 minutes for them to give Warzycha his first win, but in the end the wait was worth it.
"I was very excited to be honest with you," said the Crew interim coach. "I am not as excited that the goal came so late in the game. We need to score some goals before the end of the game."
The Black & Gold sustained a large amount of possession over the course of the match that appeared destined to finish as a scoreless draw. As the match wore on, the Crew looked tired on the hot summer night and the Metros seemed happy with the road point.
However, the combination of Crew youngsters happily sent the supporters home with a late moment of brilliance. First, rookie Knox Cameron sent a ball behind the Metros defense that Storey was able to chase down.
"I ran past one of their guys and actually saw Jamal Sutton out of the corner of my eye. I just wanted lay it off," said Storey. "Obviously, he is a proven goal finisher in the reserve league and I had confidence that he was going to put it away."
Storey tapped the ball back to Sutton as Metros 'keeper Tony Meola came off his line and it allowed the MLS reserve division's leading scorer [six goals in seven matches] an open shot.
"It was almost unreal, but I was able to stay calm and composed," said Sutton. "I made it, but could have easily missed it. You can't describe it."
The superb combination between the two speedsters made Warzycha looked brilliant for his substitutions.
"I am looking at what the guys are capable of and what the game is missing. I didn't look at them [the subs] as though they were young," said the former Polish international. "I looked at them as though they were good players. Today, I think I made the right decision about putting these guys on the field."
Although he didn't continue his goal-scoring streak, Eric Vasquez had another solid match in the midfield. He narrowly missed with another long-range bomb that just sailed over the goal from well outside of the area in the first half.
Said Warzycha, "I think he had a very good game. I thought he might be nervous after getting the goal in Chicago, but he is responding to the challenge very well."
Warzycha received a warm welcome from the home fans in his first match under control of the Black & Gold.
"I saw the reactions today from the fans when I walked in and when they introduced my name," said the former Crew midfielder. "To be honest, I would love to hear that reaction for the next few years."
John Kuhn is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.