Robert Warzycha (Polish pronunciation: [ˈrɔbɛrt vaˈʐɨxa]) (born 20 August 1963) is a Polish former professional association football player.
|Full name||Robert Warzycha|
|Date of birth||20 August 1963|
|Place of birth||Siemkowice, Poland|
|Height||1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Right winger|
|Ruch Chorzów (Manager)|
|2003–2008||Columbus Crew (assistant)|
|2005||Columbus Crew (interim)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Warzycha had a long career in Europe, playing for teams in Poland, Hungary and England with Everton in the Premier League. He won two Polish Ekstraklasa titles and a Polish Super Cup with Górnik Zabrze. Warzycha was also a regular member of the Poland national football team throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s, amassing 47 caps.
After beginning his career in his native Poland, Warzycha moved to England in March 1991 when Howard Kendall signed him for Everton in a £500,000 deal. He started well, scoring twice in his first eight games for Everton, and missing just five league games in the 1991-92.
He was one of only thirteen players not from the British Isles to play on the opening weekend of the FA Premier League along with Jan Stejskal, Peter Schmeichel, Andrei Kanchelskis, Roland Nilsson, Eric Cantona, Hans Segers, John Jensen, Anders Limpar, Gunnar Halle, Craig Forrest, Michel Vonk and Ronnie Rosenthal and was also the first player from mainland Europe to score in the Premier League. His goal was the only one scored by a Polish player in the competition until Marcin Wasilewski scored in January 2015, 22 years later.
His goal against Manchester United in a 3-0 win at Old Trafford proved to be his last goal for Everton. He fell out of favour later that season and played just seven times in the 1993-94 season, and was clearly not part of new manager Mike Walker's plans. He went to Hungary at the end of the season to sign for Pécsi Mecsek. A year later, he was sold to Kispest Honvéd FC of Hungary.
In 1996, he joined Columbus Crew for the Major League Soccer's inaugural year. Warzycha became a staple in the lineup for five seasons, and then a bit player in his final two, as he battled injuries. He retired as the Crew's all-time assist leader with 61 and also scored 19 goals in MLS league play. During his playing days in Columbus, Warzycha was known as "The Polish Rifle," in part because of his accuracy from free kicks. On 25 March 2000 Warzycha scored the first-ever regular-season "Golden Goal" in Major League Soccer history to defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1. He played two more years for Columbus Crew before retiring from playing in 2002 at the age of 39.
For Poland, Warzycha was capped 47 times, scoring seven goals between 1987 and 1993.
After retiring as a player, he became an assistant coach with the Crew. After Greg Andrulis was fired in July 2005, Warzycha assumed interim head coaching duty. He went back to assisting after Sigi Schmid was hired for the full-time job.
After spending several years as Schmid's assistant, Warzycha was promoted to the head coach position at Columbus Crew for the 2009 MLS season, in which he coached the team to the Supporter Shield, awarded for the most points during the regular season. Warzycha signed a multi-year contract extension with Columbus on 1 September 2011 that kept him under contract through the 2013 season. He was released from his contract early, on 2 September 2013.
- Hungarian Cup (1): 1996
- Felix Keith (3 November 2014). "91 Nations, 1 League: List of Different Premier League Goal Scorer Nationalities Continues To Grow". Just-Football.com. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Columbus Crew: About: timeline Archived 2007-10-17 at the Wayback Machine
- Craig Merz (1 September 2011). "Crew give Warzycha new multi-year contract". MLS. Retrieved 12 December 2017.
- Andrew King (2 September 2013). "Crew cuts ties with Robert Warzycha for late run at postseason, fresh look in 2014". MLS. Retrieved 12 December 2017.