COLUMBUS, Ohio – Crew coach Robert Warzycha lamented after the game Saturday against Seattle Sounders FC that Columbus “couldn’t buy a goal” when they trailed 1-0 and the game turned into a 4-0 rout.
But with the rosters frozen as of Sept. 15, he will have to look inward for the solution, and his choices might put leading scorer and MLS All-Star forward Guillermo Barros Schelotto on the bench, at least for Saturday’s game at New England.
“At some point, you have to find somebody who can score the goals,” he said. “We were scoring the goals earlier [in the season]. I am confident we are going to keep scoring.”
[inline_node:317660]Warzycha likes to keep the 37-year-old forward off the artificial turf if he can, and Schelotto has not played in Gillette Stadium since 2007.
It might be a good time to give Schelotto a break after he was effectively marked out of the 3-1 defeat against the Galaxy on Sept. 18 and in the loss to Seattle over the weekend.
“If he plays well, I don’t have a problem putting him on the field," Warzycha said. "But for some reason he can’t find the game right now."
The manager also hinted at changes for Tuesday’s CONCACAF Champions League match at Santos Laguna of Mexico.
“I would look for more power in front,” Warzycha said. “Obviously, with Steven [Lenhart] and Guillermo, the last game I don’t think we had enough.”
The Crew play with one target, usually Lenhart, with Schelotto in a withdrawn position. And although the Crew’s 33 goals are still third in MLS behind Los Angeles and Real Salt Lake (both with 38), the pairing up top doesn’t seem to be working as of late for Columbus, who have scored just twice in the past four games.
Warzycha's attacking options beside Lenhart and Schelotto (seven goals in 24 MLS games this season) are Jason Garey, Andrés Mendoza and Emilio Renteria.
“Maybe we’ll go with a little bit of speed up front [against Santos],” Warzycha said.
He ruled out playing Schelotto on a wing because of the extra running required to go box to box for defensive coverage.
Home, Not So Sweet Home
The mystique that carried the Crew to an MLS record 22-game regular-season home unbeaten streak in 2008-09 was shattered Saturday.
On the same day RSL broke the mark with a win against Chicago at Rio Tinto Stadium, Columbus suffered their worst defeat in Crew Stadium since the same score against Kansas City on May 14, 2005.
The Crew have more home losses this season (three) than 2009 (two) and 2008 (two). Columbus have been blanked in all three defeats and also had a scoreless tie against FC Dallas this year.