COLUMBUS – Columbus Crew today announced that it has named Marc Nicholls as its Technical Director. A two-time U.S. Soccer Academy Coach of the Year, Nicholls has more than twenty years of experience at the professional and youth levels.
Nicholls joins the Crew after most recently serving as the Technical Director for MLS expansion side Charlotte FC from 2020-2021. He joined Charlotte in January 2020, and during his time there he oversaw the development of players and staff, as well as establishing the Academy program. He also assisted in the identification of key staff hires and scouting for the initial phase of the team roster as the club prepared for its inaugural season in MLS.
Prior to his time with Charlotte FC, Nicholls worked for Seattle Sounders FC from 2013-2020, serving as Academy Director for Sounders Academy before taking on the role of Director of Player Development in 2018. During his time as Director of Player Development, Nicholls oversaw the transition of 15 players from the Sounders Academy into MLS and USL. Nicholls’ previous experience as a Technical Director also includes stints with Roanoke Star and NC Fusion.
“Marc is a great addition to our technical staff,” said Columbus Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “In searching for a new Technical Director we knew that we wanted someone who had not only a thorough understanding of MLS, but also an understanding of how developing players fit into this league. Marc has served as a member of the MLS Player Development Sub-Committee and the U.S. Soccer Education Department and has served in a mentoring role for club leaders and coaches. As we seek sustainable success club-wide and build our pathway to the professional ranks from the Crew Academy, Crew 2 and up through the First Team, it will be critical to align our style of play and continue to develop staff at every level. Marc has certainly had great success helping young players and professionals at every level develop, and in speaking with him it’s clear that his values and ideals align with those of our Club. We can’t wait to get to work with him.”
Nicholls' experience also includes serving as a head coach for Sounders Academy from 2013-2014 and head coach of the Carolina Dynamo of the Premier Development League from 2011-2013. During his time in North Carolina, Nicholls led the team to three South Atlantic Division titles during each of his three seasons with the club (2011, 2012, 2013). Notably, Nicholls was twice named U.S. Soccer Academy Coach of the Year (2010, 2012).
Crew players are currently in preseason training camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida until January 28. With the seasonal bubble currently encompassing the field at Historic Crew Stadium, the Crew will train in-market from February 1-6 at the OhioHealth Performance Center prior to traveling to Charleston, South Carolina, for the second trip of the preseason from February 7-19.
The Black & Gold are set to open the 2022 MLS season by hosting Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Lower.com Field in Opening Match on Saturday, February 26 at 3:30 p.m. ET. Following the home opener, the Crew hits the road and travels to face the San Jose Earthquakes at PayPal Park on March 5 for the first away match of the season. The Crew’s full schedule for the 2022 MLS regular season can be found at ColumbusCrew.com.
The 2022 season will be the Black & Gold’s 27th in MLS and the first full season at Lower.com Field, located in Astor Park. Fans looking to experience Crew matches have several options to save money, while getting the best seats for marquee matches. Season Ticket Memberships include benefits such as private, member-only events; a 10 percent discount at the Crew Shop; monthly, interest-free payment plans; the ability to purchase discounted parking; pre-sale access to all events at Lower.com Field, Historic Crew Stadium and FirstEnergy Stadium; and a dedicated account manager and service representative.
Fans can also choose between various packages that offer great benefits and ticket discounts, including Nine-Match Ticket Plans, Five-Match Ticket Plans, and Group Ticket Plans which are on sale now. Fans can additionally purchase single-match tickets, which are now available.