COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew 2, Columbus Crew’s developmental Second Team, today announced that it has named Laurent Courtois as its Head Coach ahead of the team’s inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro. A former player with a 16-year career, the role for Courtois [pronounced: luh-RAWN kor-TWAH] is a promotion after most recently serving as the Under-19 head coach for the Crew Academy.
Courtois holds both a U.S. Soccer Federation ‘A’ license and an UEFA ‘A’ license. He joined the Crew as the head coach for the Crew Academy’s U-17 team in 2019 before taking on the role of U-19 head coach in 2021.
“We are excited to announce Laurent’s promotion to Crew 2 Head Coach,” said Crew 2 General Manager Corey Wray. “When looking for a coach for Crew 2, we wanted to find someone who was not only familiar with how we want to develop our youth players, but who also embodied the values of our Club. We believe in Laurent’s ability to lead and shape the squad and look forward to seeing him take on this role. We are proud to promote Laurent and continue to provide growth opportunities for him and the coaching staff.”
“Laurent is someone who is not only knowledgeable of the Crew’s vision and overall ambition, but who also understands the importance of Crew 2 successfully completing the development pathway for players we have in our organization,” said Columbus Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Laurent is the right person to coach Crew 2 as the team prepares for its inaugural season in MLS NEXT Pro and are excited to see him get to work with this staff and players.”
A complete coaching staff announcement will be made in the near future and the Club expects to announce inaugural season roster additions shortly in the lead-up to the campaign. A season schedule and ticketing information for Crew 2 matches are to be announced.
Previous experience for Courtois includes working as an assistant coach for LA Galaxy II, as well as serving as a head coach for French side Olympique Lyonnais Academy – which he attended as a youth player – at the U-16 and U-15 levels. Courtois also worked as an assistant coach for the Olympique Lyonnais Academy’s U-17 squad.
A former professional player, Courtois’ career saw him play in Spain for Levante UD; in France for AC Ajaccio, Toulouse FC, FC Istres and Grenoble Foot 38; in England with West Ham United FC and in the U.S. with Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy. He also served a player/coach for LA Galaxy II during the team’s inaugural season in 2014.
Columbus Crew 2 is set to be one of 21 clubs participating in Major League Soccer’s recently announced MLS NEXT Pro. As part of the pathway to the Crew’s First Team, Crew 2 will join the new league as part of the inaugural 2022 season and will play its regular-season matches at Historic Crew Stadium.