UPSL Fall 2023 National Finals Preview – Columbus Crew SC Academy (Columbus, OH)
Columbus Crew SC Academy are set for their first-ever trip to the National Finals. Representing the East Region, the Crew have been in red-hot form all season, defeating MLS rivals FC Cincinatti and two-time national finalists Chicago Nation FC en route to their first National Finals appearance. With all four teams now confirmed for the trip to Irvine, California, Columbus Crew Academy Head Coach Kelvin Jones shared his thoughts on the UPSL playoffs and what it would mean for his side to bring home the national championship.
“Overall, the season has been great, the UPSL stood out to us, and we needed a new challenge. It’s been nothing but positive for our players to play at a faster pace and compete against these tougher opponents. This year, our roster has had a very a good mix of academy and second-team players and that’s what’s helped us be so competitive”
“There’s a big push at the club to align everything we do and my job is to be just as successful as the MLS Cup winning Columbus Crew first-team. We are blessed to be here, it’s more than a final for us, it’s a push to get these guys to the next level and prepare them for the pro-environment. It’s a great opportunity for our players to showcase themselves and set them up for MLS and MLS NEXT Pro seasons.”
The Crew’s journey to the UPSL Fall 2023 National Finals has been nothing short of remarkable. The team finished a close second in a tough Ohio conference, going head-to-head with FC Cincinatti in league-play. The team would then go on to defeat their MLS rivals 4-3 in the first round of the playoffs and score 9 goals in their next three playoff games. After a dramatic 2-1 victory over Ole FC in the Northeast Final at MLS Stadium, Lower. Com Field, the Columbus Crew were the first team to book their place at the UPSL National Finals this season.
Head Coach Kelvin Jones continues, “Winning it all would be a testament to all the players and staff’s hard work and dedication to this group. It was about development for us, but they all worked so hard to achieve something more and the group has really grown together. They deserve to be here, and we are here to win it all. The hope and expectation is that we make it to the final and win.
The UPSL National Finals kick off Friday, February 2nd with the first semi-final match being played between Columbus Crew SC Academy (Columbus, OH) vs. St. Louis City Academy (St. Louis, OH) at 8:30pm (EST) / 5:30pm (PST) and Foro Soccer Club (Dallas, TX) vs. Chiriaco FC (Coachella, CA) at 11:30pm(EST) / 8:30pm(PST). Two days later the National Championship match will be played on Sunday, February 4th. For more information on how to stream the match live, stay tuned to upslsoccer.com and on social @upslsoccer.
About United Premier Soccer League
The UPSL was formed in 2011 and occupies the unofficial fourth tier of US Soccer. Across its Premier, Division 1, Womens and Academy divisions there are more than 500 teams competing nationwide. The UPSL is now the largest Pro Development League in North America and is a National Affiliate member of the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF). Each UPSL team is individually owned and operated. UPSL teams are eligible to participate in the U.S. Open Cup Qualifying Rounds through the league’s affiliation with USSF. More information about UPSL can be found at www.upsl.com or by following the league on Facebook (facebook.com/upslsoccer), Instagram (@upslsoccer) and Twitter (@upslsoccer). Contact UPSL: [email protected] / Media: [email protected]