COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew 2 today announced its roster for the club’s inaugural MLS NEXT Pro season. The roster features players from seven different countries including Canada, Ghana, Italy, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia and the United States. Crew 2 is set to play its opening match of the season against Inter Miami CF II at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale tomorrow, Saturday, March 26 [6:00 p.m. ET / mlsnextpro.com (English)].
“We are thrilled to get Crew 2’s inaugural season underway,” said Crew 2 General Manager Corey Wray. “Our players have diverse skill sets and the group as a whole is hard-working and focused. We look forward to seeing their development as the season progresses.”
Crew 2’s roster features 15 players signed to professional contracts including Columbus Crew 2022 MLS SuperDraft selections Jacob Erlandson and Philip Quinton; 2021 MLS SuperDraft selection Justin Malou; 2019 MLS Super Draft selection Abdi Mohamed; Crew Academy product Aidan Wolf; and recently named captain Marco Micaletto. Rounding out the roster are: Isaac Angking, Mohamed Farsi, Noah Fuson, Coleman Gannon, Jay Tee Kamara, Jordan Knight, Jacen Russell-Rowe and Michael Vang.
Crew 2 Head Coach Laurent Courtois is one of eight former MLS players to serve as MLS NEXT Pro head coaches. He is joined on the coaching staff by assistant coaches Kobie Johnson and Phil Boerger.
The Black & Gold’s home opener is set to take place against Orlando City B at its home venue, Historic Crew Stadium on Friday, April 15 [7:00 p.m. ET / mlsnextpro.com (English)]. Supporters interested in purchasing Crew 2 Season Ticket Memberships can do so via columbuscrew.com/crew2/tickets.
Crew 2’s current roster* headed into 2022, listed alphabetically by position, is below:
Defenders (5): Jacob Erlandson, Mohamed Farsi, Justin Malou, Abdi Mohamed, Philip Quinton
Midfielders (6): Isaac Angking, Jay Tee Kamara, Marco Micaletto (Captain), Nana Tuffour, Michael Vang, Aidan Wolf
Forwards (4): Noah Fuson, Coleman Gannon, Jordan Knight, Jacen Russell-Rowe
*Features players signed to professional contracts only
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The MLS NEXT Pro 2022 Competition Guidelines are highlighted by the inclusion of shootouts for regular season matches that remain tied at the end of regulation. MLS NEXT Pro clubs will break the deadlock using a traditional shootout of kicks from the penalty mark (KFPM).
With approximately 25 percent of MLS games resulting in ties in the last three years and 20 percent of men’s FIFA World Cup knockout games since 1998 decided by shootouts, MLS NEXT Pro’s shootouts will be an exciting element for fans and will provide crucial opportunities for players to sharpen their finishing in this critical element of competition.
The MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs will consist of single-elimination matches hosted by the higher-seeded team and follow a straight bracket format through the MLS NEXT Pro Final. Seeding and/or hosting is decided by the highest points total. At the end of the regular season, eight teams will qualify for the playoffs, four from each conference: two division champions plus the next two teams with the most points in each conference.
adidas, a founding partner of MLS NEXT Pro, will provide the Official Match Ball for all MLS NEXT Pro games. The league will utilize the same match ball that will be used in MLS. adidas will also present the MLS NEXT Pro Golden Ball, awarded annually to the top performing player in the league.