Warzycha, Birchall back in the fold
By: Adam Jardy (The Columbus Dispatch)
Two familiar faces were back in action as the Crew conducted its annual Thursday intrasquad scrimmage.
As midfielder Chris Birchall worked with the first unit, head coach Robert Warzycha oversaw the proceedings.
For Birchall, it was his second day back in uniform after getting married during the weekend. For Warzycha, it was his first day back in charge after missing the last week to attend Euro 2012 hosted by his native Poland.
Although Birchall said he was mostly able to keep his emotions in check during the big day, Warzycha said he enjoyed letting his go while watching from the stands as Poland draw a pair of matches.
“That was an incredible feeling to be a fan,” Warzycha said. “I’ve spent so much time on the field playing and sitting with the VIPs watching but this time I decided to just be a fan and I really, really enjoyed it.”
Poland drew with Greece on the opening day June 8 and then also drew with Russia four days later.
Warzycha said he had hoped for more, especially given the fact that Poland was ahead 1-0 on the Greeks and playing with a man advantage before giving up the equalizer.
“We should do a little bit better against Greece because we should’ve won that game being a man up and having a one-goal advantage but that’s the beauty of soccer,” he said. “You’re supposed to win but you didn’t and you have to be happy with the point. Like somebody said, we were in heaven and then we dropped down.”
Prior to the game with Russia, opposing fans unfurled a gigantic banner reading “This is Russia”.
“That was actually nice,” he said. “That was great to see. The banner was huge but they took it out right away and then concentrated on supporting the team.
Warzycha also said he painted his face for the matches, although I am not confirming until I see photographic proof.
As for Birchall, he was married back in England. The Crew’s official site has a photo here.
“It was brilliant,” Birchall said. “It was the culmination of everything coming together. There were no mishaps and everything happened according to plan. It went fast like everyone said it would, but it was a great day.”
Birchall said the best part was when he and his bride, Lucy, were first introduced as “Mr. and Mrs. Birchall.”
“The way (the room) was decorated and all the friends and family were there, it was just perfect,” he said.
“In the evening everything got a bit crazy and the drinks were flowing but it was a fabulous day.”
As for whether he nearly choked up at any point, Birchall smiled.
“I had a little lump in my throat when I was doing a speech and had to say nice things about her,” he said.
“She was tearful in the church saying the vows and I managed to keep it strong there but it was a great day.”