Columbus Crew 2 Overview

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 the majority of its regular season matches at Historic Crew Stadium. The team is led by Head Coach, Kelvin Jones. In their inaugural campaign, Crew 2 became the first-ever MLS NEXT Pro champions on Oct. 8, 2022 at Lower.com Field. Three Crew 2 players, Mohamed Farsi, Philip Quinton and Jacen Russell-Rowe signed First Team contracts in 2022. In their second season, Crew 2 became the first in the league to win back-to-back conference titles to advance to a second consecutive MLS NEXT Pro Cup. In 2023, three Crew Academy products signed contracts with Crew 2, Taha Habroune, Cole Mrowka, and Stanislav Lapkes. After one season with Crew 2, Taha Habroune signed a First Team Homegrown contract in 2023.

Crew 2’s Season in 2023

In their second season in 2023, Crew 2 finished with a regular season record of 19-9-0 and 57 points, capturing the Central Division Title and the Eastern Conference Title, becoming the first team in MLS NEXT Pro to win two consecutive conference titles and advance to back-to-back MLS NEXT Pro Cup Finals.

Crew 2's Successful Inaugural Campaign in 2022

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 former 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.

About MLS NEXT Pro

Crew 2, who competed in their first season in MLS NEXT Pro in 2022, provides a competitive professional environment for Crew Academy players and young high potential athletes to continue their development. In addition to this, Crew 2 also provides the Club with more opportunities for community engagement while extending Club access to supporters.

MLS NEXT Pro completes an integrated player pathway from MLS NEXT through to the MLS first teams. The league offers young players and experienced professionals the opportunity to develop and showcase their talents while competing for an MLS NEXT Pro championship. The league is set to feature 29 MLS Clubs in the 2024 season including 23 other MLS Clubs and six independent clubs.

MLS NEXT Pro will kick off regular season play in March, just one month after MLS action starts, and sees its season culminate in postseason action in October. More information on MLS NEXT Pro is available at mlsnextpro.com. Supporters can tune in to all Crew 2 contests, with the matches airing on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV or via live stream on mlsnextpro.com. Ticketing information for Crew 2 matches can be found at columbuscrew.com/crew2/tickets.

Latest Crew 2 News
Latest Crew 2 News