All three players were made available in the MLS Waiver Draft that afternoon. Grossman was selected by Real Salt Lake, the only player picked out of 42 in the entire draft. It should be noted that midfielder Konrad Warzycha, Robert Warzycha’s son and a former Ohio State palyer, was also released by Sporting Kansas City. The players available in the Waiver Draft are not eligible to be picked in December’s Re-Entry Draft.
Nemanja Vukovic quickly became the Crew’s starting left-back after the year began. In fact, the team released their only other natural left-back Shaun Francis midway through the season. Vukovic provided steady defensive coverage while being an above average crosser and set piece taker, chiming in with three assists in only fifteen games. However, he eventually lost his spot to Josh Williams, who, while an okay player at left-back, was an absolute animal in the center of defense and should have stayed there.
Olman Vargas was signed before the season with hopes of becoming the Crew’s next great target forward. He showed rather well in some early season scrimmages, scoring a few goals with his head. Vargas began the year as a starter and scored in the first game, but that was his only goal in eleven appearances, as he later lost out to an ankle injury and newcomer Jairo Arrieta as the season wound on.
Despite only appearing in ten games during his second year with the team, Cole Grossman made quite an impact. The center midfielder scored his first career goal in a 2-2 tie with Houston, and the team was undefeated in the five games Grossman started, going 3-0-2. Some of those games were against the Crew’s toughest opponents, including their first ever win over the Seattle Sounders. For a much more in-depth look at Grossman’s impact, check out this post on Helltown Beer.
After being released, Grossman made this Facebook status:
Seeing that Grossman recently praised his fellow teammates in an interview with Adam Jardy on the Columbus Dispatch’s website, I think we all know who he is talking about.
Vukovic also voiced his opinion on his lack of playing time with Jardy a few weeks ago and later clarified his opinion on the Crew’s coaching staff with this Facebook comment, which has since been deleted:
Along with with Grossman and Vukovic, young forward Aaron Horton also recently grumbled to Jardy about the coaching staff’s lack of communication with players.
If only a single player had stated these concerns, one would think them to just be mad and upset, taking swings once they are out of harm’s way. However, these sentiments have been expressed both publicly and privately numerous times over just the past month. How much longer can the Columbus Crew be coached by someone who seems to have egregious communication skills and a lack of respect for his players?