- Develop professional players
- Create a close connection and integrated pathway across our club
- Improve overall level of soccer and coaching within Ohio and our region
The Crew Academy is a fully funded professional academy, overseen by Crew President and General Manager, Tim Bezbatchenko, Technical Director and VP of Soccer Operations Pat Onstad, and led by Academy Director Kelvin Jones.
The purpose of our Academy is to develop professional players that embody excellent character for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer.
- Put our First Team in a position to make the playoffs each year and consistently contend for championships
- Play an identifiable Brand of Columbus Crew Soccer
- Develop a winning culture across our club and have a homegrown player appearance in every First Team match
- Create a consistent pipeline of Academy players signed professional every two years at a minimum
Academy Methodology & Style of Play
Columbus Crew has a clear identity based around specific principles of play that are integrated from the First Team through the Academy. We continually focus on our collective style of play, while ensuring the individual needs are fully developed. Our game model is built around specific, age appropriate principles, which go more in-depth as they become closer to arriving at the First Team.
Our culture is focused on the long-term holistic development of each individual player. We believe in developing people with outstanding character who will be stewards in our community in all capacities.
Our staff will work to instill the following characteristics in each player throughout our developmental process:
- Passion and intrinsic motivation for the game
- Accountability for their personal development
- Growth mindset to overcome moments of adversity
- Tireless work ethic and willingness to compete
- Team before self mentality
By using the game of soccer as the teacher, we will maximize each person’s potential and create a pathway for them to be successful in all facets of life.
First Team Integration
The connection between the Academy and First Team is critical to create consistent culture, training methodology and style of play. Experiences are designed to make the Crew Academy participants feel closer to the first team, while respecting the boundaries between the two levels.
- Consistent training opportunities (regular season, preseason)
- Friendly matches
- Crew Academy staff are expected to attend first team training
- Mentorship program with First Team
- First Team Head Coach-led Academy sessions/matches
- First Team Technical Staff-led workshops
Our primary objective of the Crew Academy is to develop professional players. Individual Learning Objective plans are offered to each player, providing clear aims to help guide them through their developmental process.
We focus on specific areas pertaining to each player’s age, skill level, role and or position within their respective team, while providing them a detailed individual plan. Through this process, we have five (5) meetings with each player per year, with the parents included in three (3), to ensure there is a clarity on how that player can improve his strengths and opportunities of growth.
High Potential Players
Through our Supplemental Training programming, we offer our high potential players two (2) additional training sessions per week outside of their normal team training. By working with their respective school and creating a flexible schedule, we have two separate groups of players come in the either in the morning or afternoon.
Our goal is to optimize each player’s individual development, providing and focusing on the following:
- Individualized training plan
- Position specific training
- Physical performance plan
- Psychological wellbeing
- Leadership development
- Nutritional well-being