OBETZ, Ohio – Columbus Crew coach Robert Warzycha saw no reason to change the starting lineup the past four games, but a poor performance at Chicago last week could mean moves are afoot this weekend.
"Some players are maybe a little fatigued," he told MLSsoccer.com. "Maybe it's a chance for other players to step up and be aggressive to try to win the start."
In accordance with his policy, the coach did not offer specifics for Saturday's match vs. D.C. United when the Crew (2-2-3) look to regain their winning ways (7:30 pm ET, watch on MLS Live). The problem last week wasn't losing 1-0 to the Fire as much as the way they played, especially in the second half when they spent the entire time unsuccessfully chasing the ball to end a four-game unbeaten streak.
"That was a pretty poor performance on everybody's part and something that everybody should be embarrassed about," right back Josh Williams said.
Others who talked to MLSsoccer.com this week were equally candid.
"We can't play like that again," center back Chad Marshall said. "The second half was pretty brutal. We're hoping it's a one-off. We haven't played that way through preseason and through the first six games."
Added left back Tyson Wahl, "As a collective unit we were pretty poor, especially in the second half. No one is proud of our performance."
Warzycha said weariness from playing five road games as well as training under less-than-ideal weather conditions lately may have taken a toll. Despite that, the coach noted, "We played too slow. They hit us in transition. We were in the wrong spots. They had two passes and were able to get a shot on goal."
Now the Crew start a three-game homestand against the team they defeated 2-1 on March 23 at RFK Stadium, looking for more possession and better handling the pressure every team goes through as part of the ebb and flow of a match.
"Unless you totally dominate a game, the other team is going to their chances," Wahl said. "You have to get through that storm. It was a 45-minute storm [at Chicago]. That was way too long."