Columbus Crew SC is an American professional soccer franchise based in Columbus, Ohio. The team competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference.
Columbus Crew SC Youth Development System
Crew SC Academy is a fully funded professional academy, overseen by our President, Tim Bezbatchenko.
Columbus Crew SC Academy
The purpose of our Academy is to develop professional players that embody excellent character for Columbus Crew SC of Major League Soccer.
- Put our First Team in a position to make the playoffs each year and consistently contend for championships
- Play an identifiable Brand of Columbus Crew Soccer
- Develop a winning culture across our club and have a homegrown player appearance in every First Team match
- Create a consistent pipeline of Academy players signed professional every two years at a minimum
Columbus Crew SC has a clear identity based around specific principles of play that are integrated from the First Team through the Academy. We continually focus on our collective style of play, while ensuring the individual needs are fully developed. Our game model is built around specific, age appropriate principles, which go more in depth as they become closer to arriving at the First Team.
First Team Integration
The connection between the Academy and First Team is critical to create consistent culture, training methodology and style of play. Experiences are designed to make Crew SC Academy participants feel closer to the first team, while respecting the boundaries between the two levels.
- Consistent training opportunities (regular season, preseason)
- Friendly matches
- Crew SC Academy staff are expected to attend first team training
- Mentorship program with First Team
- First Team Head Coach led Academy sessions/matches
- First Team Technical Staff led workshops
High Potential Players
Through our Supplemental Training programming, we offer our high potential players two (2) additional training sessions per week outside of their normal team training. By working with their respective school and creating a flexible schedule, we have two separate groups of players come in the either in the morning or afternoon.
Our goal is to optimize each player’s individual development, providing and focusing on the following:
- Individualized training plan
- Position specific training
- Physical performance plan
- Psychological wellbeing
- Leadership development
- Nutritional well-being
Columbus Crew Tryouts / Recruitment
Crew SC Academy current fields teams that participate in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-14, U-15, U-17, and U-19 age groups. Players identified through our scouting network are invited to trials in Columbus. We also periodically host invitation-only combines to identify players from within our market.
Please submit the information requested below to be considered for a trial or combine invitation, and it will be considered by Crew SC Academy Technical Staff. As we receive a significant amount of submissions and hold no open tryouts, you will likely only be contacted in the event you are offered a trial or combine invitation.
Club Directors and Coaches may directly contact Crew SC Academy Scout Ben Crognale ([email protected]).
For more information from the official website, click here.
MLS NEXT clubs will kick off the inaugural season this weekend, Sept. 11-12, while adhering to detailed health and safety protocols. MLS NEXT competition was developed under guidance from federal, state and local government officials, and in keeping with U.S. Soccer’s PLAY ON guidelines. The 2020 competition structure for MLS NEXT prioritizes athlete, staff and community health and safety through regional play and minimized travel.
Featuring six age groups (U-13, U-14, U-15, U-16, U-17 and U-19), competition will highlight local rivalries and eliminate air travel and overnight trips, with select matches to be played at neutral sites in geographically centered locations. The MLS NEXT fall 2020 competition schedule will be created and announced in four-week phases in order to adjust to evolving health and safety recommendations. The first week of matches were today released, and future matches will be posted in the coming days and continue to be posted throughout the fall competition.
MLS NEXT is working with clubs in areas with limited access to matches due to the minimized travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Those clubs impacted will play additional local matches. As the schedule is being released in four-week phases, future adjustments to the fall competition calendar may be made as conditions permit.
For more information specific to MLS NEXT, please click here.
Columbus Crew Academy Recruitment
Crew SC Academy is a fully-funded, free-to-play professional academy, overseen by Crew SC President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko and Technical Director Pat Onstad, and led by Academy Director Kelvin Jones.
Crew SC Academy fields teams in the U-14, U-15, U-16/17, and U-18/19 age groups that participate in MLS NEXT, the best player development experience in North America, currently featuring 113 clubs and over 90% of the current youth national team player pools.
Players identified through our scouting network are invited to trials in Columbus. We also host invitation-only Recruitment Events to identify players from within our market.
Please submit the information requested here to be considered for a trial invitation, and it will be considered by Crew SC Academy Technical Staff. As we receive a significant amount of submissions and hold no open tryouts, you will likely only be contacted in the event you are invited to trial.
Club Directors and Coaches may directly contact the Crew SC Academy via e-mail at [email protected]
Columbus Crew SC Academy is offering high potential youth soccer players across the United States of America an opportunity to live in Columbus and to play with our Academy through our Billet Program.
Crew SC Academy is currently looking for prospective families for the 2020-21 season and beyond.
Our Billet Program is made possible when a local family accommodates the housing needs of players who travel outside in the Columbus region to participate in Crew SC Academy.
Matching players with safe, caring and healthy families in the Columbus area will contribute in meaningful ways to the development of each player, both on and off the field.
While all families can apply to be a potential billet family, we may not be able to accommodate all families due to the limited number of players participating in this program.
For more information on the Billet Program, please click here.
What is the Crew SC Pre-Academy?
The Pre-Academy is free-to-play developmental programming for the U9/10 and U11/12 age groups. Any player who makes the training group will stay with their home clubs and participate in the supplemental training team with Crew SC Academy one time per week.
This program will extend our development pathway and allow us to work closer with the local clubs to develop talent in concert. The Pre-Academy teams will feed into our full-time Academy teams that begin at U14.
The Crew SC Academy Director & Head Coaching staff will oversee one (1) weekly training session, and participating players can remain on their respective club teams.
For more information on the pre-academy, please click here.
Columbus Crew Soccer Club is an American professional soccer club based in Columbus, Ohio. The Crew competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the league’s Eastern Conference and began play in 1996 as one of the ten charter clubs of the league. The team is currently being operated by an ownership group led by the Haslam family and former team physician Pete Edwards. The Haslam/Edwards group is the third owner in club history.
The franchise was founded in 1994 as the Columbus Crew. Since 1999, the Crew has played home games at Mapfre Stadium, the first soccer-specific stadium ever built for an MLS team, with a seating capacity of 19,968 as of the 2015 season. From 1996 to 1998, the Crew played its home games at Ohio Stadium on the campus of The Ohio State University. In 2014, the team set club attendance records for both most cumulative attendance and most sellouts.
Crew SC has won six major trophies: the MLS Cup in 2008 and 2020, the Supporters’ Shield in 2004, 2008, and 2009, and the 2002 U.S. Open Cup. The Crew have qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League (or its predecessor, the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup) four times, reaching the quarter-finals on the first three occasions.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR FREE FCSCOUT.COM EMAIL NEWSLETTER
Sign up here to get the latest news and updates on academy and soccer tryouts delivered directly to your email inbox.
ALSO, CREATE A FREE RECRUITMENT PROFILE
Click the ‘LEARN MORE’ button below to take your career to the next level and create a recruitment portfolio to help clubs, coaches, agents, and scouts easily find you. For a limited time, we are offering this service for free!
Columbus Crew History
The beginning (1994–1998)
In an official announcement made on June 15, 1994, Major League Soccer confirmed that Columbus, Ohio would be home to one of the league’s original ten founding members. Columbus has sold over 12,000 season ticket deposits and planned to build a soccer-specific stadium. Initially, Columbus Eclipse was applied for as a name for the team, but it was later changed to Crew since a solar eclipse had passed over Columbus after it met the league’s 10,000-deposit minimum. In 1996, MLS investors Lamar Hunt and his son Clark purchased the Columbus Crew and the Kansas City Wizards, making them joint owners of the two teams. South African national team veteran Brian McBride and Dr. Khumalo were the Crew’s first players. In 1996, when Major League Soccer held its inaugural draft, McBride was the first player taken with the top overall pick. Timo Liekoski, the former head coach of the United States National Team, will take charge of the team in its inaugural season.
Major League Soccer officially announced on June 15, 1994 that Columbus, Ohio will be home to one of the league’s first ten founding members, the Columbus Crew. A soccer-specific stadium is on the drawing board in Columbus, which has already sold over 12,000 season ticket reservations. As a name for the team, Columbus Eclipse was applied for, but once the team reached the league’s 10,000-deposit minimum, it was changed to Crew.
Columbus Crew and Kansas City Wizards were purchased by MLS investors Lamar Hunt and his son Clark in 1996, making them joint owners of both teams. Brian McBride and Dr. Khumalo were the Crew’s first-team players from South Africa. McBride was the first player selected with the first overall pick in the first Major League Soccer draft in 1996. The team’s first season will be led by Timo Liekoski, the former head coach of the United States National Team.
A new home (1999–2003)
Columbus Crew Stadium, the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States, opened for the 1999 season. Columbus beat New England Revolution 2–0 in front of a sold-out crowd of 24,741 in their debut game at the stadium. D.C. United defeated Columbus in the conference finals for the third time in a row, finishing second with a 19–13 record. Stern John, who scored 52 goals in 65 games for the team in 1999, retired at the end of the season. Goalkeeper Mark Dougherty became the first player in MLS history to reach 50 victories with a 4–2 victory over the MetroStars on August 18, 1999 at Giants Stadium.
Replaced by Dallas Burn forward Dante Washington, the Crew were unable to reach the postseason after Washington scored just 13 goals in 2000. Columbus failed to make the playoffs for the first time in its history. Tom Fitzgerald was fired as Columbus’ head coach after a 1–3–2 start to the season in 2001. Greg Andrulis took Fitzgerald’s place as head coach of the Crew after having guided them in 161 of their first 183 MLS games over the course of six seasons, from 1996 to 2001. However, the Black & Gold finished second in the league in 2001 under Andrulis but were knocked out of the playoffs in the quarterfinal round.
In 2002, Columbus became the first team in franchise history to win the U.S. Open Cup. They beat the Richmond Kickers, MetroStars, and Kansas City Wizards to make it to the finals of the competition. LA Galaxy, who had just won the MLS Cup the week prior, defeated them in the final. Freddy Garca scored the only goal and Jon Busch kept a clean sheet in Columbus’s 1–0 victory. Team history was made as they won their first championship. In the regular season, the Crew had a record of 11–12–5, good for a tie for first place. It ended in heartbreak when they were beaten by New England in the AFC semi-finals. In 2002, Kyle Martino became the first member of the Crew to win Rookie of the Year. To qualify for the 2003 CONCACAF Champions’ Cup, Columbus was awarded a spot in the 2002 United States open cup finals. Having beaten rabe Unido 4–2 on aggregate in the first round, they went to the second round before falling to Monarcas Morelia, 6–2. It was in the summer of 2003 that McBride left Columbus to join Fulham of the Premier League.
Columbus acquired Robin Fraser and Simon Elliott when Brian McBride left the team. In 2004, Fraser went on to be named Defender of the Year thanks in large part to these improvements. Because of an 18-game unbeaten streak (8–0–10) that spanned the remainder of the season, the Crew set a franchise record with 49 points. In spite of having the best overall record in the MLS, the team was knocked out of the MLS Cup in the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Jeff Cunningham scored 62 goals in his final season with the Black & Gold, tying him with McBride for the team record. Injuries plagued Columbus for the next two seasons, and the team struggled to win many games.
Despite being named MLS Coach of the Year in 2004, Andrulis was relieved of his duties midway through the season and replaced by Robert Warzycha. After failing to make the playoffs in 2005, the club hired Sigi Schmid, the former head coach of the L.A. Galaxy and UCLA. During his six seasons with the Galaxy, Schmid won an MLS Cup and the US Open Championship. Under Schmid, Warzycha remained on the payroll. Between June 10 and August 19, 2006, the Crew went on a 13-game losing skid (0–7–6). Founder and owner Lamar Hunt died on December 14, 2006, ending the season on a sour note.
“Massive” was coined by Columbus Crew supporters around this time, at first used as a satirical reference to the team’s size but eventually taken as a term of pride and affection for a team that had been fighting against the odds for years.
The Barros Schelotto era (2007–2010)
The commencement of the 2007 MLS season was marked by the announcement that David Beckham had joined the LA Galaxy. On April 19, 2007, the Crew followed suit and signed Guillermo Barros Schelotto. In addition, Columbus signed Alejandro Moreno as a forward. With the addition of these players, the Crew missed the playoffs in 2007 despite their efforts. For the first time, the Columbus Crew won the MLS Cup in 2008. With seven goals and 19 assists from Barros Schelotto, who was named MLS Most Valuable Player, the squad clinched their second Supporters’ Shield. The Black & Gold finished the regular season with a record of 17–7–6 before defeating the Kansas City Wizards and the Chicago Fire in the playoffs. Sigi Schmid was named Coach of the Year, while Chad Marshall was named MLS Defender of the Year.
When Sigi Schmid took over as head coach of Seattle Sounders FC after the 2008 season, the club chose former player and assistant coach Robert Warzycha as the team’s new head coach. Barros Schelotto was the first Designated Player in the franchise’s history when he received the designation in 2009. They finished with 49 points and a second consecutive Supporters’ Shield after a 13–7–10 record in the regular season. In the Eastern Conference semi-finals, Real Salt Lake defeated the Crew 4–2 on aggregate. Chad Marshall was named MLS Defender of the Year for the second year in a row. Concacaf Champions League was Columbus’ first competition of the season in 2010. They made it all the way to the semifinals before falling to Toluca in the final. The team concluded the season with a record of 14–8–8 but lost in the MLS Cup quarterfinals to the Colorado Rapids. Seattle Sounders FC’s Qwest Field hosted the 2010 U.S. Open Cup Final, when the Crew fell 2–1.
Warzycha’s Final Years (2011–2013)
A 13–13–8 record was good enough for ninth place in 2011, however the Crew fell to the Colorado Rapids in the wild card round of the playoffs. The team concluded the 2012 season with a 15–12–7 record, enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. They would miss the playoffs by a whisker. The Crew fired head coach Robert Warzycha on September 2, 2013, following a humiliating home loss to the Seattle Sounders and a disgruntled fan base. On Monday, the Crew’s technical director, Brian Bliss, was named interim head coach. This marked the end of his association with the team, which he had been a part of since joining as a player in 1996.
Gregg Berhalter era (2013–2018)
He became the second investor-operator in club history on July 30, 2013. Precourt made significant improvements to Crew Stadium and the team’s brand during his first 15 months in charge of the franchise. New York Knicks head coach Gregg Berhalter was hired by Precourt Sports Management on November 6, 2013. Berhalter was also the first person to hold the position of sporting director in the history of the club.
Columbus returned to the playoffs for the first time since 2011 in the 2014 season. A 14–10–10 record was good enough for third place in the Eastern Conference of the MLS Cup Playoffs under Berhalter’s guidance. Center back Giancarlo González and left back Waylon Francis, who both represented Costa Rica at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, were both members of the Columbus Crew. During the group stage, Gonzalez was chosen to ESPN’s Best XI of the tournament. Berhalter was nominated for MLS Coach of the Year in 2014. The 2014 Goalkeeper of the Year award went to Steve Clark, while the Individual Fair Play Award went to Michael Parkhurst for the third time.
Black and Gold announced on August 16, 2014, that Andy Loughnane had been named their new President of Business Operations. Crew Stadium experienced its most-attended and most-sold-out season ever with the team. It was a successful year for Precourt and Berhalter when the team’s on-field and off-the-field successes were combined. As of October 8, 2014, the club’s name and emblem were changed from “Columbus Crew” to “Columbus Crew SC” under the ownership of Precourt. Kei Kamara’s comeback at the end of 2014 signaled the start of the 2015 season. In addition to 22 regular season goals and four playoff goals, Kamara was instrumental. Ethan Finlay and Waylon Francis were both selected for the MLS All-Star Game, which will be played against Tottenham Hotspur of the Premier League of England.
Crew SC’s greatest sellout crowd since 2008 was announced on September 26, 2015, with an estimated attendance of 22,719. After finishing second in the Eastern Conference, Crew SC received a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Crew SC hosted the Portland Timbers in the 2015 MLS Cup Final after the teams met in the Eastern Conference Semifinals and Finals. Following their MLS Cup victory the previous year, this was the club’s second participation in the MLS Cup Finals. Portland Timbers shocked the Crew after a 2–1 loss at home. The lone Crew SC goal was scored by Kamara in the first half, as were the other two. Angola forward Alhaji Kamara has been nominated for the MLS MVP award. The MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year Award went to Kamara, who won it. The MLS Comeback Player of the Year Award went to Wil Trapp.
Proposed relocation to Austin
Pre-game tifo support for Save the Crew before a 2018 matchup with the Chicago Fire
Precourt declared on October 17th, 2017, that if a downtown stadium in Columbus could not be obtained, the team will move to Austin, Texas. People started a campaign and movement called #SaveTheCrew following the news. Many supporters of the cause had gathered in the city council building. Further information came to light later in the month revealing Precourt had included a condition in his purchase agreement restricting his ownership to solely Austin.
Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther, New York City civic and corporate leaders, and MLS Commissioner Don Garber met on November 15, 2017, to discuss the Crew’s future in Columbus. During and during the meeting, both sides released statements to the media outlining the events of the discussion. Precourt and MLS refused to remove the possibility of relocation from the table, according to the Columbus delegation. There was no plan to build a downtown stadium, according to Precourt and the MLS. As far as Don Garber and PSV (Precourt Sports Ventures) were concerned, the Mayor indicated it was “clear” that the team would not stay in Columbus.
Commissioner Garber elaborated on the subject at the league’s annual state of the league conference. For years, he had been harping about the market’s troubles. A search for a local ownership group in Columbus’ market in 2008, when the league launched its campaign to end ownership groups owning multiple franchises in the league, came up empty, with an interested group willing to purchase the team but with a very low value.
When the league’s officials hired a new company banker and broadened their search locally, Anthony Precourt became engaged. There was a chance that Columbus would have folded had Precourt not purchased the team, according to Garber. Don Garber claimed that the league is a “private company” and that what’s been happening in other big sports leagues in the country has been happening. By filing suit against Precourt on March 5, 2018, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and the City of Columbus were invoking the provisions of an Ohio law from 1996 which forbids sports teams that have used public facilities or have received financial assistance from relocating without giving local ownership groups at least six months’ notice before doing so. Originally, the bill was enacted in response to Cleveland Browns’ controversial move to Baltimore.
Haslam era and second MLS Cup (2018–present)
It was announced on October 12, 2018, that the owner of the Cleveland Browns, Jimmy Haslam, was in the process of purchasing the Crew along with other local organizations. MLS later issued a statement saying that they would be happy to keep the Crew in Columbus and that Precourt would get the opportunity to launch a team in Austin if the purchase goes through.
When the Haslam family and Dr. Pete Edwards signed a deal with Precourt Sports Ventures LLC on January 1, 2019, management of the Crew franchise was officially transferred to the Haslam family and longtime team physician. For the upcoming season, the team hired Tim Bezbatchenko, formerly of Toronto FC, as president and Caleb Porter, formerly of the Portland Timbers. Because of the Crew’s injury woes, the 2019 campaign will be remembered as a disappointment.
Argentinian designated player Lucas Zelarayán and midfielder Darlington Nagbe were signed by the Crew before the start of the 2020 MLS season. After a strong start to the season, the squad was knocked out of the MLS is Back Tournament in the quarterfinals and finished third in the Eastern Conference. It was just two years into the Haslam era when Columbus Crew won the MLS Cup, defeating the Seattle Sounders 3-0 at Mapfre Stadium to claim their second trophy.
Colors and Badge
Columbus Crew SC’s official colors are black and gold. The “banana kit” or “canary kit” is the moniker given to Columbus’s primary jersey, which is a brilliant yellow with black trim. Black has long served as the traditional color of the back-up outfit. Late in the second decade of the twenty-first century, The Crew began wearing a white shirt with yellow and black trim or stripes. Even however, away uniforms are rarely worn by The Crew because of the significant preference exhibited to the traditional home uniform; and also because the historically black jerseys exacerbate the summer heat in the United States environment, which is why they are rarely used. Crew SC’s alternate uniform for the 2015 season is a black jersey, like it was last year.
Before the team’s first MLS season, a citywide public contest was held to choose a name. The winning entry was the Columbus Crew, and the team was officially named after that winner. To distinguish itself from other MLS teams, the club’s badge from 1996 until 2014 featured three silhouetted male construction workers wearing construction hats beneath the stylised “Crew” wordmark. With this design, we wanted to convey the hardworking, blue collar image that Columbus strives to project to the world. When Anthony Precourt took over ownership in 2013, he began a rebranding effort to address the perceived gap between the crest’s meaning and the modern-day identity of Columbus. Precourt asserted that the industrial/manufacturing motif was no longer representative of Columbus as a true blue collar community. Columbus had evolved into a metropolis of the twenty-first century, one that was “energetic and diversified.”
The Crew debuted a new badge on October 8th, 2014. With the club’s traditional black and gold colors, a scaled-down original crest, and the black and gold checkerboard pattern commonly seen on Nordecke flags, the new circular badge pays homage to the team’s rich history while also being distinctively modern. The new badge is jam-packed with all kinds of allegory. The horizontal stripes symbolize the 10 original MLS franchises, while the shield is an homage to the club’s historic badge with the 96 indicating 1996 – the club’s first season in competition. Ohio’s state flag features an inset “O” in the badge, an homage to Columbus’s role as the state’s capital. To further distinguish the brand as a soccer club, “SC” was also added to the new badge, making it clearer that Columbus is the home of the team.
There has also been a shift in meaning for the club’s moniker, the Crew, from “a hard-working construction crew” to “a close-knit group of people who come together to support our club and the sport of soccer” over the years. As a result, the term “Crew” has come to represent a special kind of unity between the team, its supporters, and the various communities that come together to appreciate and honor the sport’s rich history and roots. For its new look, the Columbus Crew decided to highlight its history as the first club in the Major League Soccer (MLS), the first soccer-specific stadium, and the first major professional championship for Columbus by identifying three brand pillars: genuinely Columbus; original; dynamic.
During a sold-out audience of 24,741 on May 15, 1999, the Crew launched Columbus Crew Stadium in Major League Soccer, as the Crew defeated the New England Revolution 2–0 in front of a sold-out crowd. For the remainder of the league, it has served as a model stadium, and the US national team has played in it during World Cup qualifying. Mapfre, an insurance business based in Madrid, obtained the naming rights for the stadium in Columbus in 2015. The company’s headquarters are in Boston, and it maintains a regional office in Columbus. As a college football team from Ohio State, the Columbus Crew had formerly played at the Ohio Stadium, which has a capacity of more than 102,000. During their time there, they went 33–20.
In addition to the Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, which is also owned by Ohio State University and is home to the OSU soccer teams, the team has played in the U.S. Open Cup at the FirstEnergy Stadium–Cub Cadet Field on the campus of the University of Akron in Akron, Ohio, twice in 2005 and once in 2016. The Columbus Crew intends to construct a new stadium west of the Arena District near Downtown Columbus as part of the new ownership package presented in 2018. Confluence Village, a mixed-use development comprising residential and commercial properties, would be the site of the $230 million stadium. Seating capacity would be 20,000, with 30 suites and 1,900 club seats. Mapfre and its nearby city sports park will be owned by a new body in 2020, but the team will retain possession of Mapfre as a practice facility. In 2021, a new stadium will be built.
OSU soccer teams play in Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, which is owned by the university, and at FirstEnergy Stadium–Cub Cadet Field on the University of Akron campus in Akron, Ohio, where the team has participated in the U.S. Open Cup three times (2005, 2016). As part of the new ownership package revealed in 2018, the Columbus Crew plans to build a new stadium west of the Arena District near Downtown Columbus. The stadium would be located in Confluence Village, a mixed-use development that includes both residential and commercial properties. A total of 20,000 people could be accommodated, including 900 club seats and 30 suites. In 2020, a new entity will take over ownership of Mapfre and the adjoining city sports complex, but the team will continue to use Mapfre as a practice site. A brand-new stadium is scheduled to open in 2021.
‘Crew Cat,’ the Crew’s first mascot for in two decades, is no longer with the team. S.C., the Crew Cat’s son, was unveiled for the 2015 MLS season as Columbus’ official mascot. The “Crew Cat” has returned for the 2019 season, and S.C. attends games with him.
There is a competition between the Crew and the Fire in the city of Chicago. From Chicago, a six-hour trip takes you to Columbus. Fans from both cities frequently travel to watch their teams play each other because of the proximity of the two cities. When Columbus won the Eastern Conference Championship in 2008, Chicago lost in the final. A year before, Chicago had won the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup by defeating Columbus in the finals.
The Trillium Cup, awarded to the victor of the season series between Toronto FC and Columbus, is framed by MLS as a rivalry between the two teams. The Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup is also contested by the Crew and FC Dallas. Both teams were owned by Lamar Hunt until he died. Some Crew fans see FC Cincinnati as a rival, while others don’t see the former USL team as a foe. There were 30,000 people in attendance, making it the biggest non-final audience for an Open Cup game, when these two teams clashed in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. A Christian billboard along I-71 between Columbus and Cincinnati inspired the name “Hell Is Real Derby.”
City of Columbus, Ohio
Ohio’s largest city, Columbus, is both its capital and its most populous. It is the second-most populous city in the Midwest, behind Chicago, and the third-most populated state capital in the United States, with a 2019 population estimate of 898,553. Located in the Franklin County seat, Columbus also includes parts of Delaware and Fairfield Counties in its borders. The Columbus, OH Metropolitan Statistical Area includes 10 counties around the core city of Columbus, OH. It is Ohio’s most populous metropolitan region, with a 2019 population estimate of 2,122,271.
It’s only a few miles north of Columbus’ downtown area where the Olentangy and Scioto rivers converge. Alum Creek, Big Walnut Creek, and Darby Creek are just a few of the smaller tributaries that flow through the Columbus metropolitan region. Because of a huge glacier that blanketed much of Ohio during the Wisconsin Ice Age, Columbus has a relatively level landscape. However, Franklin County has a high elevation of 1,132 ft (345 m) above sea level near New Albany, and a low elevation of 670 ft (200 m) near Lockbourne, where the Scioto River exits the county. The scenery is further varied by the presence of several ravines along rivers and creeks. Both Alum Creek and the Olentangy River’s tributaries cut through shale, whereas the Scioto River’s tributaries are made of limestone.
Land covers 217.17 square miles (562.47 km2), while water covers 5.94 square miles (15.38 km2) of the city’s total area. As of the most recent census, Columbus, Ohio, has the most land area per capita of any city in the state. This is the result of Jim Rhodes’ mayoralty annexation strategy. Water lines, which were previously under the sole authority of the municipal water system, became increasingly necessary as the neighboring settlements grew or were built. If these areas needed water, Rhodes said, they had better assimilate into Columbus, he said.
Climate | Weather
Warm, steamy summers alternate with cold, dry winters in the city’s transitional humid continental climate (Köppen climatic classification Dfa). Zone 6a of the USDA’s hardiness map encompasses Columbus. The city does not experience the heavy snowfall experienced by places further east because of the city’s location away from the traditional route of winter lows like the Nor’easters. Although the lakes to the north contribute to long periods of cloudiness in the winter, Lake Erie’s lake-effect snow is too far south and west to have significant effect.
For two days in the 1930s, Columbus saw temperatures reach 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius), the highest temperature ever recorded in the city’s history—on July 21, 1934, and on July 14, 1936. On January 19, 1994, the temperature dropped to 22 °F (30 °C). Columbus is prone to the kind of extreme weather found in the Midwest. During the spring and sometimes into the fall, severe thunderstorms can bring lightning, big hail, and even tornadoes on rare occasions. F2 damage was inflicted by a tornado that struck on October 11, 2006. It’s also possible to have floods, storms, and ice storms at any given time.