OBETZ, Ohio — Saturday's win over Toronto FC was a three-fold success for the Columbus Crew: It clinched the Trillium Cup for the club, earned them three crucial points in the Eastern Conference playoff race and it also brought coach Robert Warzycha into a tie as the winningest coach in team history.
The victory was Warzycha's 70th at the helm of the club, tying him with Tom Fitzgerald, who coached the team from 1996-2001. The former Polish international has been the team's head coach since 2009.
With the victory, he became one of only 14 MLS coaches to reach 70 regular-season wins, and is one of just five active coaches to hit the mark, including Sigi Schmid, Bruce Arena, Dominic Kinnear and Jason Kreis.
On Saturday night, Warzycha played the diplomat, playing down the milestone and saying he was "all about winning, and I'm about winning with the club." But with a couple of days of reflection, the achievement began to sink in.
"It's a number that after a few years you can look back and say, 'OK, I was there,'" Warzycha told MLSsoccer.com after training Tuesday, his 50th birthday. "It's nice to win games, and 70 is a pretty good number. It shows that we won some games in the past and when I was the coach here, but it's not the most important thing for me."
Perhaps the best indication of Warzycha's nonchalant attitude about the record is the fact that veteran Chad Marshall, who has been with the team since 2004, said he wasn't even aware of the achievement until he was asked about it.
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"It's cool," Marshall said after training Tuesday. "He's been around a while and been a part of some great teams here, so that's great for him."
Star forward Federico Higuaín scored another Goal of the Week nominee on Saturday, and Warzycha says that the incredible goal on the day of his 70th win will be one (of many) to remember.
"I remember a lot of goals," Warzycha said with a smile in Saturday's press conference. "But there's something special there that you'll always remember."