Before we look too far ahead into 2022, it’s worth taking a second to look back at the Black & Gold’s 2021 campaign. Yes, the team missed the postseason, but there were plenty of massive moments, stadiums to celebrate and Lucas Zelarayán set pieces to blow our minds.

In retrospect, this past year was one where the Crew took major steps forward as a club both on and off the field. These are some of the top moments: 

April 8 – Black & Gold return to Concacaf Champions League

The Columbus Crew battered Real Estelí FC, 4-0, in the club’s first Concacaf Champions League match since 2011. Gyasi Zardes registered a brace, while Jonathan Mensah and Pedro Santos also provided goals, as the Crew comfortably handled Leg 1 of the Round of 16 matchup in Nicaragua. The Crew then won the return leg, 1-0, at Historic Crew Stadium.

May 10 – The Crew unveils new branding, bold ambition

The Crew updated the club’s brand marks to elevate the city of Columbus while also showcasing the ambition of the organization against its peers in MLS. Initially renamed Columbus Soccer Club, the Haslam and Edwards ownership group met with the Supporters Council and later agreed to rename the club the Columbus Crew. 

May 22 – The Argentinean Babe Ruth

Technically the match wasn’t inside Yankee Stadium, but we can all forgive head coach Caleb Porter for calling Lucas Zelarayán the “Argentine Babe Ruth” after the playmaker curled two late free kicks past USMNT goalkeeper Sean Johnson to secure a 2-1 win over New York City FC. Zelarayán’s game winner came deep in stoppage time, stunning the future MLS Cup champs to secure the Crew’s first road win in league play.

June 9 – OhioHealth Performance Center opens

The Crew’s first-in-class OhioHealth Performance Center officially opened, offering a new home for the first team, second team and academy. With four fields and eight locker rooms, players have everything from full-service kitchens and recovery areas, to a weight lifting facility and even a barbershop chair.

June 19 – Dos A Cero in Historic Crew Stadium finale

The final Crew match at Historic Crew Stadium followed a storybook script. From the opening whistle until fulltime, the Black & Gold comfortably beat long-time rivals Chicago Fire FC by the familiar dos-a-cero score line. It was the perfect sendoff that ended with a beautiful rendition of “Wise Men” and fireworks.

July 3 – Inaugural match inside Lower.com Field

The Crew opened up its new home with a 2-2 draw against the New England Revolution – the same opponent that Columbus played to open Columbus Crew Stadium in 1999. Playing to a sold-out crowd, Zardes scored the Crew’s first goal in its second soccer-specific stadium, while a Revolution own goal provided the equalizer.

August 27 – First “Hell is Real” win at Lower.com Field

After FC Cincinnati took a 2-1 lead with 16 minutes remaining, Miguel Berry came off the bench to score two goals in two minutes to seal a 3-2 win over FCC in the first rivalry match played in the stadium. Don’t forget about that wooden spoon tifo…

September 29 – Crew win Campeones Cup over Cruz Azul

The Black Gold hoisted their first international trophy in club history thanks to another dos a cero over a Mexican opponent. This time it was against Liga MX champ Cruz Azul, who conceded an own goal in the fourth minute before Mensah provided the second in the second half.

December 6 – Introducing Columbus Crew 2

Crew 2, the new reserve team for the Crew, was announced as an inaugural member of MLS NEXT Pro, a new league designed to be a second-team league for MLS and its member clubs. Crew 2 will play matches inside Historic Crew Stadium.

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