Crew 2's Successful Inaugural Campaign
Columbus Crew announced the launch of Columbus Crew 2 in December 2021, a developmental second team participating in Major League Soccer’s MLS NEXT Pro. As part of the pathway to the Crew’s First Team, Crew 2 joined the new league as part of the inaugural 2022 season and plays its regular-season matches at Historic Crew Stadium.
In their first year of play in 2022, Crew 2 finished with the best regular-season record (16-3-5, 55 points), and captured the Central Division Title and the Eastern Conference’s top seed in the MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. Crew 2 were first in the League in points, wins, goals for (62), goal differential (+40) and had the best record at home (11-1-0). The team also had the fewest losses and was tied for the fewest goals allowed (22).
Crew 2 secured several individual awards in 2022, as Head Coach Laurent Courtois was recognized as Coach of the Year, Jacen Russell-Rowe captured the Golden Boot and MVP awards, Patrick Schulte was named Goalkeeper of the Year, and Mo Farsi, Isaiah Parente and Russell-Rowe were selected to the Best XI.
On Oct. 8, 2022, Crew 2 were crowned the first ever MLS NEXT Pro Cup champions following a 4-1 win over St. Louis CITY2.
Three Crew 2 players, Farsi, Philip Quinton and Russell-Rowe, have signed First Team contracts. Farsi and Quinton have started the first three games of the Crew’s current MLS campaign.
About MLS NEXT Pro
The newly formed Crew 2 will provide a competitive professional environment for existing Crew Academy players to continue their development. In addition to this, Crew 2 is also set to provide the Club with more opportunities for community engagement while extending Club access to supporters.
MLS NEXT Pro will complete an integrated player pathway from MLS NEXT through to the MLS first teams. The new league will offer young players and experienced professionals the opportunity to develop and showcase their talents while competing for an MLS NEXT Pro championship. The new league is set to feature 21 MLS Clubs in its inaugural 2022 season including 19 other MLS Clubs and one independent club.
MLS NEXT Pro will kick off its inaugural season in March, just one month after MLS action starts, and see its season culminate in postseason action in September. More information on MLS NEXT Pro is available at MLSsoccer.com. Supporters will be able to watch every Crew 2 contest, as well as all matches of MLS NEXT Pro’s inaugural season, via live stream on mlsnextpro.com. In addition, more than 30 games will be billed as “Games of the Week”, featuring enhanced productions. Each MLS NEXT Pro club will have at least one home game featured, and all playoff games will be enhanced productions. Ticketing information for Crew 2 matches can be found at columbuscrew.com/crew2/tickets.