Crew to bring playmaker in on trial
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Although Crew coach Robert Warzycha and assistant coach Ricardo Iribarren scouted many players during a trip in the fall to Iribarren’s homeland of Argentina, one they didn’t see could soon end up on the Columbus roster.
Santiago Prim (pronounced “Preem”), an attacking midfielder whose contract at San Lorenzo just expired, is expected to arrive in Columbus on Wednesday for a third look by the Crew staff. He trained with the team during the preseason in Arizona and briefly in Columbus in late February.
“We definitely saw something in him,” Warzycha said. “He’s a good player and we have an interest in him. We’ll give him more time.”
Warzycha doesn’t expect to sign the 20-year-old this week.
“With some decent weather in Columbus now, we can train him and we can stay afterward to see how he works out,” Warzycha said. “We have some reserve games and maybe he’ll play so we can see more of him.”
Warzycha and Iribarren missed a chance to watch Prim play for San Lorenzo in November because the midfielder was injured.
“He was out but we asked people,” Warzycha said. “He was one of the players people talked about. We heard a lot of good things about him.”
The Crew (2-1-2) are looking for any spark that can ignite a dormant offense that has four goals in five games.
“He can play anywhere across the middle,” Warzycha said of Prim. “He is more attacking than defending, but he can play defense. He has a pretty good shot from distance and wants the ball all the time.”
Warzycha said it would be unfair to compare Prim to countryman and former Crew standout Guillermo Barros Schelotto, who was released after the 2010 season.
“I wouldn’t compare Guillermo to anybody,” Warzycha said.
The goal by Robbie Rogers in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sporting Kansas City exhibited a rare trait – patience.
The Crew’s 22 offsides are second in MLS only to Portland’s 26 – and it has been a problem all season – but Kevin Burns and Dilly Duka earned their first career points with their smarts.
Duka had just been knocked down at the top of the box and was looking for a call that never came when the ball was cleared to Burns. Burns took several dribbles, then hesitated before sending a cross to the top of the penalty area to a scrambling Duka.
“He saw me and waited for me to get back on onside,” Duka said.
Duka flicked the ball to Rogers, who finished the play.
“It was good recognition by Kevin to take an extra touch and chip it in,” Warzycha said.
NOAH ON STANDBY:
Recent heavy rains made the Obetz training fields unplayable so practice was canceled Tuesday. The team may train Wednesday at Crew Stadium, on turf at nearby Ohio Dominican University, or if there are thunderstorms, indoor at the Super Kick facility that was used during preseason.