John Wolyniec celebrates his goal with several of his teammates.
Rich Schultz/MLS/

Wolyniec's homecoming not to be

It was shaping up to an ideal return to Giants Stadium for former MetroStars fan favorite John Wolyniec.

In front of about 30 friends and family wearing his yellow No. 11 Crew jersey, Wolyniec scored his first goal since being traded to the Crew from the MetroStars in June.

His goal gave the Crew a 1-0 lead in a dominating opening 20 minutes. But following a 92-minute rain and lightning delay, the MetroStars rebounded to beat Columbus 2-1 at Giants Stadium Sunday night.

"It would have been great. It would have been a made-for-TV movie but it doesn't always go that way," Wolyniec said. "We wanted it, but we just didn't put forth the type of effort it takes to get us the win."

The Crew missed an opportunity to take a step closer out of the Eastern Conference basement and was left to lament a second consecutive loss after Sergio Galvan Rey and Youri Djorkaeff scored a pair of goals in the opening 20 minutes of the second half.

"I think (the delay) gave them a chance to regroup and make some changes and to their credit they did. They came out and put us on their heels," Wolyniec said. "We made it to halftime, which was good. We should have had a wake-up call then and come out firing. Unfortunately they were the ones who came out firing at us. You can't come out (in the second half) that slow. We really let them come at us and that's unfortunate because for the first 20 minutes we really did the right thing. We really had them."

And in the stadium where he scored his greatest professional goal -- an overtime winner against the Crew -- Wolyniec nearly burned his former club for a second goal in the 39th minute. But after outmuscling Chris Leitch his low shot to the left of Tony Meola was touched away by the diving 'keeper.

"It definitely would have tilted the scales in our favor a long way," Wolyniec said. "To go up 2-0 in the first half really would have been a difference in that game. Tony made a great save and unfortunately I wasn't able to put enough on it to put it where I wanted it."

Another former MetroStar had a pair of chances to equalize in the final quarter hour. Cornell Glen, who did well to round Meola to his right, blasted an off-balance shot over the crossbar and then had Meola tip the ball over the bar in the third minute of stoppage time. "Momentum definitely changed but that was our fault, that's not the fault of the rain or anything like that," defender Chris Wingert said. "We just came out and didn't play as well as we did before that. It's as simple as that." After Galvan Rey equalized two minutes into the second half, Djorkaeff scored what proved to be the game-winner in the 65th minute. He followed Galvan Rey's blocked shot and put it into the net off Wingert for his sixth goal of the year - and third vs. the Crew. "It's my lucky team," Djorkaeff said with a smile. "Hopefully we play every game against Columbus."

Dylan Butler is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.

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