Why Crew’s Concacaf Champions Cup matchup with Monterrey is a Massive moment in Club history

The Columbus Crew are a club of firsts. The first team in MLS. The first soccer-specific stadium. The first to have a second soccer-specific stadium. 

You get the point. 

Well, get ready for another massive first for the Crew. 

For the first time in club history, the Black & Gold will be playing in the Concacaf Champions Cup semifinals on Wednesday night when they face CF Monterrey at Lower.com Field. Don’t miss your chance to witness this massive moment live and in person, as the Crew face Monterrey in the first leg of this two-leg semi. 

Massive Moments: MLS champs vs. Liga MX powerhouse


Head coach Wilfried Nancy is all about being present in the moment and appreciating opportunities when they’re presented. With that in mind, Wednesday night’s matchup is what supporters dream about. 

The Crew are the reigning MLS Cup champions, and with two titles within four years, they’re the top dogs in Major League Soccer. They set the standard. 

Monterrey does the same in Mexico. 

Rayados are the five-time Liga MX champs. They eliminated the Crew from this competition in the 2021 quarterfinals, and in the last two rounds, they’ve pummeled FC Cincinnati – the Supporters’ Shield winners – and Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami CF – the reigning Leagues Cup champions. 

But how do they compare with the best club in MLS? Crew supporters will have the privilege of finding out, beginning on Wednesday night. 

Getting Here: Columbus’ path to the Concacaf Champions Cup semifinals


The Black & Gold have made a little history along the way. 

In addition to being the last MLS team remaining in the 2024 competition, the Crew became the first MLS team in the tournament’s history to eliminate a Liga MX club after hosting and not winning the first leg of the series, as well as the first to win a penalty shootout against a LIGA MX side in Mexico. 

That happened Apr. 9 against Tigres UANL at Estadio Universitario in San Nicolás de los Garza, Mexico – another Liga MX heavyweight in one of the continent’s hardest places to play.

But Crew fans have made Lower.com Field a fortress, too. 

Entering Saturday night’s league matchup against the Portland Timbers, the Black & Gold are unbeaten in their last 21 league matches inside the soccer cathedral. In this competition, they’ve already produced positive results against Houston Dynamo and Tigres – so the expectation is that continues thanks to the best fans in MLS. 

The last MLS team standing


It’s only right the last MLS side remaining also won MLS Cup, right?

The Crew are MLS’ lone side, as three Mexican teams fill out the other MLS semifinal places. In addition to Monterrey, CF Pachuca and Club América are competing on the other side of the bracket. The winner of that two-leg playoff will face either the Crew or Rayados. 

Columbus fans should be quite familiar with Club América, who the Black & Gold battered, 4-1, in the 2023 Leagues Cup group stage last season at Lower.com Field. Cucho Hernández scored a brace, while Christian Ramirez and Steven Moreira also provided goals. 

“Showcasing Columbus” through Concacaf Champions Cup

Back in February, team president and general manager Tim Bezbatchenko said the Crew would be using its Concacaf Champions Cup appearance as a chance to showcase Columbus to the world. Of course, he said it’s also a chance to win another trophy and championship. 

Well, the stakes have never been higher for the Black & Gold, who are in the semifinals for the first time in the team’s 29-year history. A massive result in leg one on Wednesday could pay dividends and help the side advance to the Concacaf Champions Cup Final for the first time. 

The Crew have proven their supremacy in MLS, and everyone knows Columbus is the Heart of American soccer. Now, you have a chance to witness history and attend one of the biggest matches in club history – and that’s not said lightly. 

The Black & Gold are on one of the biggest stages in club soccer around the world. It’s only fitting that stage will be right here at Lower.com Field on Wednesday night. Come watch the show.

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