NEW YORK CITY (October 7, 2022) – MLS NEXT Pro announced today that Columbus Crew 2 forward Jacen Russell-Rowe has been named the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro Most Valuable Player presented by adidas for his tremendous performance in the League’s inaugural regular season.
The MVP honor caps off a recent string of league-wide recognition for Russell-Rowe, who was crowned MLS NEXT Pro Golden Boot Winner at the conclusion of the regular season after scoring 21 goals. He was also named one of the Best XI players in the League.
Russell-Rowe was a key contributor to Crew 2’s success in its first season, leading Columbus to a League-best record of 16-3-5 (55 points) and the number one seed in the Eastern Conference entering the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro Playoffs. He played a significant role in Crew 2 finishing the regular season first in goals (62) and goal differential (+40).
The 20-year-old Toronto native signed with Crew 2 on March 18 and quickly scored 11 goals in a nine-game span – after which he signed a first team contract with Columbus, becoming the first Crew 2 player to sign with the first team. Russell-Rowe has since spent time with both the MLS and MLS NEXT Pro teams, appearing in 19 total matches for Crew 2 in the regular season, starting all but the first two. He has also played in six MLS games, earning three starts and recording two assists in 227 minutes.
Russell-Rowe had five multi-goal games this season for Crew 2, including a four-goal outing against FC Cincinnati 2 in the final game of the regular season (9/18/22) to secure his Golden Boot title. He also recorded braces against NYCFC II (8/7/22), FCC2 (7/16/22), Orlando City B (6/19/22) and Inter Miami II (6/9/22).
One day after being named MVP, Russell-Rowe and Crew 2 will host St Louis CITY2 in the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro Cup on Saturday (1:30 p.m. ET, Lower.com Field). Tickets are available for as low as $5, and the championship match will be broadcast live on mlsnextpro.com.
MLS NEXT Pro Final Preview
Columbus Crew 2 have a chance to win the inaugural MLS NEXT Pro Cup Championship on Saturday afternoon when they host CITY2 at Lower.com Field.
Tickets are available for as low as $5 for First Team Season Ticket Members, while seats are only $10 for others. This is a general admission event, so it’s your chance to sit anywhere in the stadium and potentially see the Black & Gold hoist a trophy.
Food & Beverage Specials
It's a momentous occasion, so the following specials will be offered at Lower.com Field on Saturday (locations in parentheses):
- $2 off alcoholic beverages (The Pub, Miller Lite Bar, Dirty Frank's, Station 96, Donatos, Tipico Sportsbook Biergarten Bar, and Upper 614 Pours)
- Hot Chocolate (The Pub, Miller Lite Bar, Dirty Frank's, Station 96, Donatos, Tipico Sportsbook Biergarten Bar, and Upper 614 Pours)
- Coffee (The Pub, Dirty Frank's, Donatos, and Tipico Sportsbook Biergarten Bar)
MLS NEXT Pro Cup Tickets
Cheer on Crew 2 as they fight to claim the first-ever MLS NEXT Pro Cup!