Columbus Crew Academy is currently looking for prospective families for the 2021-22 season and beyond

Crew Academy is offering high potential youth soccer players across the United States of America an opportunity to live in Columbus and to play with our Academy through our Billet Program.

Our Billet Program is made possible when a local family accommodates the housing needs of players who travel outside in the Columbus region to participate in the Crew Academy.

Matching players with safe, caring and healthy families in the Columbus area will contribute in meaningful ways to the development of each player, both on and off the field.

While all families can apply to be a potential billet family, we may not be able to accommodate all families due to the limited number of players participating in this program.

Our main objectives within the Crew Academy Billet Program are:

  • To accommodate the academic, athletic and holistic development of each player and to promote the overall well-being of Crew Academy players;
  • To broaden the geographic pool of players, maximizing Crew Academy’s ability to recruit the highest talent possible.

Columbus Crew Academy is a fully-funded professional academy, overseen by our President and General Manager, Tim Bezbatchenko. The purpose of our Academy is to develop professional players that embody excellent character for the Columbus Crew of Major League Soccer. For more information please contact Manager of Academy Scouting and Recruitment, Nathan Cotton, at ncotton@columbuscrew.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of becoming a Columbus Crew Academy billet family?

  • As a Crew Academy billet family, you will play an integral role in supporting the Columbus Crew's player development pathway.
  • Billet families will have an opportunity to build a relationship with and offer support to a dedicated young athlete as he works to achieve his goals.
  • Crew Academy players can serve as positive role models for younger family members.
  • A chance to connect on a deeper level with the Columbus Crew and to gain a new perspective on soccer, as seen through the eyes of an elite player.
  • Crew Academy billet families receive a monthly stipend to support the financial expenses of hosting a player.
  • Crew Academy billet families receive Columbus Crew season tickets for all members of the immediate family.

How are players placed with billet families?

Several factors are considered when finding the right placement for a player and his potential billet family. The billet family application process is designed for the Columbus Crew to find the best fit for both player and family.

What are billet families committing to when they agree to host a player?

Billet families commit to providing a family away from home for the player they host, and in doing so, they help an individual reach his full potential. Billet families are responsible for but not limited to:

  • Three healthy meals per day, snacks included;
  • Their own room, which must include privacy, a bed (double size or bigger), desk, dresser, closet and bathroom;
  • Transportation to and from Crew Academy training and games;
  • Access to internet, television use and laundry;
  • A safe family environment;
  • Access (key, code) to the home environment;
  • Support and inclusion as one of the family members;
  • Inclusion in family activities at the player’s discretion;
  • Assistance with the player’s Academy and personal growth process; and
  • Appropriate homeowners or renter’s insurance.

How can my own children benefit from being part of a billet family?

Players for the Crew Academy have been hand-selected. They are not only outstanding athletes, but they are young men with excellent character. Crew Academy players are young men who have demonstrated commitment to the values, the excellence and the unique and elite opportunity that Columbus Crew represents. The Club has selected athletes dedicated to training for the sport they love, determined to maintain high academic standards and inspired to pursue their dreams, even at the cost of leaving their own families.

Is there compensation for the billet family?

Each billet family will receive a monthly stipend for each player. Hosting a player will incur extra food expenses, just as they would with any other teenager or young adult. The stipend is used merely to support the billet family, not to cover all costs associated with the program. Families are not responsible for the player's medical, academic or other incidental expenses.

At what age are players eligible for the billet program?

The Crew Academy features players across the ages of 12 to 18. The Billet Program does not have an age requirement. We select individuals of high soccer potential who embody the values of the Columbus Crew.

How and when can a player join the billet program?

The Billet Program is intended for high-potential players through invitation only. Our program uses a rolling admission process as every player’s situation is unique. A few determining factors could include, but are not limited to, school deadlines, the academic calendar and the academy registration window.

What school will the player attend?

Players participating in the Billet Program will attend a high school located in the district of their host family or a school selected by our staff, the player and his family that will best fit his academic needs.

How long does the player stay with the billet family?

The U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy season spans a 10-month period, from August to June/July, depending on how far the player’s team advances in competition. A player participating in the Billet Program will have housing with their billet family for the duration of their season.

What are your transportation policies?

Transportation to and from school, training, and matches will be coordinated by the billet family. Players should not accept rides from anyone outside of the billet family, unless prior arrangements have been authorized by Columbus Crew, the billet family and the player’s family. If the player has a car which has been approved by Columbus Crew, he may only drive to and from school, training, matches and team functions.

Who pays for extracurricular activities for the player?

Each player’s immediate family is responsible for providing money for any extra-curricular activities such as dining out, going to the movies, etc.

Will players be joining the billet family for personal events?

This answer varies depending on each circumstance. Columbus Crew encourages players to join their billet families in any and all activities, whenever appropriate and possible.

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