Crew players appreciate midseason time off

Warzycha hopes rest will rejuvenate team for second-half run

Robert Warzycha

Photo Credit: 
Jamie Sabau - Getty Images

Getting away from the game for a few days was just what the Columbus Crew needed at this point of the season.

After last Wednesday’s 1-0 win at Vancouver to start the second-half of
the 34-game schedule, head coach Robert Warzycha (pictured above right)
didn’t regroup his team again until Monday and many players scattered
across the country.

“It was a nice refresher, a chance to get away and take our minds off things,” forward Tommy Heinemann said Monday.

He and his wife spent the weekend about two hours south of Columbus in
Cincinnati strolling the riverfront and downtown and visiting an
aquarium across the Ohio River in Newport, Ky.

Water was a big attraction, which is no surprise for anyone living in
landlocked Columbus. Chilean defender Sebastián Miranda went to Chicago
its beaches, and Warzycha and his wife went to Niagara Falls. Goalkeeper
William Hesmer, meanwhile, opted returned to his native North Carolina.

“I got a chance to go to the beach, enjoy the ocean,” he said. “It’s always good to go back and see my family.”

Forward Jeff Cunningham, fresh off scoring the goal at Vancouver that
tied Jaime Moreno for the all-time MLS lead, was able to enjoy the
mini-vacation with his wife and child in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

“They have a big Jamaican community,” the Jamaica-born former US
international said. “So I was able to get some good food and get to the
beach. I missed the ocean.”

Midfielder Robbie Rogers went to New York City, but defender Josh
Gardner and his wife and two young children decided to stay in Columbus
and utilize their season pass at a suburban water park to survive the
90-degree-plus days.

“It was a good break at a good time,” Gardner said. “We needed it because this month is extremely difficult.”

The Crew likely wouldn’t have had time off if they hadn’t lost a Lamar
Hunt US Open Cup match to third-division Richmond on June 28 because the
quarterfinal match would have been Tuesday night at Sporting Kansas
City. Instead, the Crew have the week to prepare for the arrival of San
Jose on Saturday to start a stretch of four league games and a friendly,
against England’s Newcastle United, on July 26.

Warzycha liked the energy and rejuvenation he’s seen at practice since reconvening.

“After so many games it’s nice to get a break,” he said. “They got to
spend some time with their families and go where it’s a peaceful place.
Hopefully they were thinking about how to get a championship this year.”