UPSL Strengthens Ohio Conference with Addition of Columbus Crew Academy UPSL Team
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 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
About Columbus Crew
Columbus Crew is the first club in Major League Soccer. The Crew is operated by Haslam Sports Group and the Edwards Family. The Club has won two MLS Cup championships in 2008 and 2020, one Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in 2002, MLS Supporters’ Shield titles in 2004, 2008 and 2009, and the Campeones Cup in 2021. The 2023 campaign is the Crew’s 28th season in MLS as well as the Club’s second full season at Lower.com Field.
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).