Crew, DC battle again after physical USOC tilt
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Crew coach Robert Warzycha expects D.C. United to be out for revenge, not blood, when the teams meet Saturday in RFK Stadium for the second time in four days.
Columbus won 2-1 in extra time Wednesday thanks to a Guillermo Barros’ Schelotto’s penalty kick in the 98th minute, securing a spot in the final of the US Open Cup on Oct. 5 in Seattle.
The USOC semifinal match featured hard tackles and hard feelings. In the 59th minute, DC’s Pablo Hernández was ejected and the Crew’s Danny O'Rourke was yellow-carded after a scuffle that featured kicking, tripping, glaring and cowering.
Afterward, DC defender Marc Burch accused the Crew of playing dirty and said there would retribution in the rematch. Burch, however, will not have a chance to do it himself because he reinjured his right foot during the game and will not play, according to dcunited.com.
“We are professionals, they are professionals,” Crew coach Robert Warzycha said. “I don’t think anyone will be out there to risk injury to somebody else.”
Nor, does he feel that the officials will be intimated after DC president Kevin Payne berated US Soccer for fielding what he felt was an inferior staff for Wednesday’s game.
“Listen, there are calls in every game that don’t go your way,” Warzycha said. “You can do all the complaining you want and it won’t change a thing.”
The Crew know that well. They argued long and loud about a disallowed goal in a Champions League match last week and even filed an appeal to CONCACAF.
Of more importance to both sides is the health of the squads. United will be playing for the third time in six days, while the Crew have played the same amount in eight days and have been shacked up in the nation’s capital since Tuesday.
“We’ll see who recovers the best and who gets put out there, but I think it will be the same type of game,” Crew midfielder Brian Carroll said.
While DC are playing for pride, the Crew (12-5-5) are looking to stay close to Los Angeles in the Supporters’ Shield race and ahead of New York in the Eastern Conference.
“This team has done a good job over the last couple of years of putting a game behind us and focusing on what’s next,” Crew midfielder Eddie Gaven said.