What you didn’t see Saturday at Blackbaud Stadium in Charleston, S.C., is likely what you’ll get next week when the Columbus Crew open the regular season at Colorado.
The Crew’s match vs. D.C. United in the Carolina Challenge Cup was supposed to be their last of the preseason, but it was cancelled because of inclement weather, denying coach Robert Warzycha a look at the expected lineup for the game against the Rapids on March 10.
Andy Gruenebaum was scheduled to start in goal with Sebastián Miranda at right back, Danny O’Rourke and Chad Marshall in the middle and Carlos Mendes on the left.
Tony Tchani had the defensive midfield spot while Eddie Gaven would have been on the right and Dilly Duka on the opposite flank. Rookie Kirk Urso was to be in the middle where Milovan Mirosevic was to play behind forward Emilio Rentería.
“If the [Colorado] game was today, that’s probably what we’d go with,” Warzycha said.
He was disappointed the group was unable to work together. Injuries throughout the six-week camp caused havoc and Duka missed the first two games of the Carolina Cup Challenge while away with the US Under-23 team.
“This was our final game,” Warzycha said. “It was the most important one in the preseason for us. We tried different formations. We tried different players. It came down to today and 90 minutes for a lineup that would start Saturday. That’s basically what we were missing tonight.”
The washout also cost Warzycha and his staff another possible evaluation of Guadeloupian midfielder Stéphane Auvray. The trialist was a late addition to camp and played 64 minutes Wednesday against Chicago in his only outing. There are two openings on the 30-man roster but Auvray is reportedly heading to Sporting Kansas City for a tryout with his former club.
“He played only one game,” Warzycha said. “We can’t make a decision now. We’d love to see him a little bit more but at this point has a tryout with somebody else coming up so he has to go over there. We can’t commit to him right now 100 percent.”
Meanwhile, Warzycha told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday night that 2012 MLS SuperDraft pick Kevan George has been offered one of the vacancies and that the midfielder was going to talk to his agent before making a decision.
Another trialist, Montenegrin left back Nemanja Vukovic has been invited to train with the Crew next week in hope of possibly earning the final spot.