The United Premier Soccer League (UPSL) is proud to announce that the Columbus Crew Academy has added a team that will participate in the league, becoming the latest MLS club to join the UPSL. Based in Columbus, Ohio, the historic MLS franchise joins the Premier Division of the Ohio conference that already includes local MLS rivals, FC Cincinnati.
Founded in 1994, the Crew are Major League Soccer’s first club, having competed in all 28 MLS seasons since the league’s inception. The Club has claimed two MLS Cups, three Supporters’ Shields, the 2002 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, the 2021 Campeones Cup, and the 2022 MLS NEXT Pro Cup.
The Columbus Crew Academy offers fully funded programs for their UPSL, Under-17, and Under-15 levels, with the U-17 and U-15 groups competing in MLS NEXT. The Club also offers additional fully funded programming at the U-11, U-12, U-13, and U-14 levels. Focused on creating unrelenting passion for the sport of soccer in the community, the Academy was founded in 2008 and has produced 17 homegrown players, four MLS NEXT Pro signings, and four MLS NEXT All-Stars.
"Our Club is dedicated to player development at all levels of competition, and joining UPSL will provide us with another avenue to invest in our players and their futures,” said Columbus Crew Director of Player Development Daniel Lock. “This league offers our older Academy players an ability to compete in a high-level environment and better understand the demands of what it takes to be a professional as they prepare for future opportunities.”
The Club’s First Team currently has four Crew Academy products on the roster, including midfielder Aidan Morris, a U.S. Men's National Team member and former youth player for the UPSL’s Weston FC, as well as midfielder Sean Zawadzki of Olmsted Falls, Ohio.
“Welcoming the Columbus Crew Academy to the UPSL this fall is something we are very much looking forward to,” said UPSL Vice President Christian Vallejos. “We had a great experience hosting the Spring 2022 UPSL National Finals at the Historic Crew Stadium and are excited to add them to a conference that already includes another MLS club. The Crew are well known for their commitment to player development, and we look forward to seeing what they can do.”
In their UPSL debut on Saturday, August 26th the Columbus Crew claimed a 2-1 victory against rival FC Cincinnati at Mercy Health Training Center, highlighted by goals from Nico Rincon (12’) and Josh Veycheck (46’). Last Sunday, September 3, the Crew hosted FUTOHIO for their home opener at Historic Crew Stadium, which ended in a 2-0 win for the Black & Gold with goals coming from Nana Tuffour (56’) and Chase Adams (90+3’). For more information on the Crew’s season and list of schedules in the Fall Premier Division, visit premier.upsl.com
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