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Brian Bliss Has Eight Games to Prove Himself

Brian Bliss takes over the reigns of the Crew tomorrow evening as Houston comes to town. His fingerprints are all over the roster. This is his chance to prove his plan can work.

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Bliss, as Technical Director, had a big role in constructing the Crew roster over the last several years. It's team that has been declining. He was the chief scout and had direct input into player signings. He worked to bring in Jairo Arrieta, Federico Higuain, Agustin Viana, Glauber, and Matias Sanchez. Injury and ineffectiveness has caused all but Higuain to miss significant time this year.

With the dismissal of Robert Warzycha, President Mark McCullers and Owner Anthony Precourt obviously saw Warzycha as culpable for at least some of the team's issues. Warzycha was given a team and the result was diminishing returns.

Certainly the coach bears some of the blame when a team underperforms. The other issue may lie in the parts the team was build from. Higuain is obviously a class player, but Arrieta has two goals on the year, Glauber could be a defensive liability with his slow first step, Sanchez struggled to contain his aggression, and Viana has struggled with some speedier options as he holds down the left back position. Is the issue talent or management.

With a short time to leave his imprint, Bliss mentioned some of the changes he's likely to make during his opening press conference on Monday. He wants to play fast and get to goal quickly. Possession, while nice, isn't the goal of the game. Scoring is. On defense, he wants to get the ball back quickly after turnovers.

With the playoffs more myth than reality at this point, this is the chance that Bliss has to demonstrate that he's built a competitive roster and that factors beyond his control caused the team performance to suffer. Judging by his comments, he has a plan in mind. Now he has to execute on it. His chance at a MLS head coaching job relies on it.