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Columbus Crew Ready to Rock This Season

As the MLS gets ready to start its 22nd season, fans of the Columbus Crew know it’s all competing at the highest level. Last year was a struggle for the aging main club with injuries and poor team speed. However, this year, head coach Caleb Porter and President Tim Bezbatchenko have made a priority to get younger and faster.

Crew fans have displayed their displeasure for the team’s new logo. Last spring the team unveiled new team branding along with the logo. It was met with some series issues from those who have long supported the Crew. However, with the home-opener today, fans are excited. Social media is flooded with that excitement.

The first match of the 2022 season kicks off Saturday February 26 at 3:30 pm in Columbus.

Crew Team:

New Arrivals:

Yaw Yeboah (Ghana) Winger

Milos Degenek (Australia) Defender

Will Sands (USA) Defender

Steve Moreira (France) Defender

Back from injury

Artur (Midfield)

Aidan Morris (Midfield)


Milton Valenzuela

Waylon Francis (defense)

Bradley Wright-Phillips (Striker)

Harrison Afful

The Crew was never really known for its defensive prowess. However, the addition of Degenek, a defender from Red Star Belgrade, Serbia, will give Columbus another pillar at center back paired with Jonathan Mensah. That’s a huge wall. Pedro Santos, an integral member of the roster and most versatile, will be the left back. Santos will have the green light to go forward in attack. Another key piece for the defense is Steven Moreira, the Frenchman, who will man the back right. With Eloy Room manning the goal, the Crew have the ability to be a top five defense. Last year’s defense was in the bottom third in a few categories and roughly the lower 50% overall. That leaves significant room for improvement.

The midfield welcomes the return of Artur, who spent most of last year injured. Lucas Zeland and Darlington Nagbe in a triangle midfield with Artur can breathe some life into the attack.

Yaw Yeboah, the 24-year-old winger, is an exciting addition this year. His experience in Europe and for his country’s national team will be important. This will give Derrick Etienne Jr and Gyasi Zardes opportunities to score from crosses. Yeboah could be the early favorite for fans. His speed and joy of the game is infectious. This is an important year for Gyasi.  His role on the US Men’s National Team has been criticized, but his work rate as the #9 for this club is vital for Caleb Porter’s concept.

On the youth front, Porter now has options to play different formations. Aidan Morris and Sean Zawadski are 20 and 21, which will bring speed and youth to the midfield. Thus adding a strong piece to the club with strong veteran experience.

“Clearly, we have more depth this year…[t]hat’s a huge positive.  And I would say our team chemistry this year and our hunger overall is much more of a strength this year,” Porter mentioned to Tyler Snipes, a reporter for

Zawadski and Morris are fresh from the Crew Academy, and with Morris still working on his fitness from his injury last year and a recent COVID-19 spell, Sean is getting plenty of time to turn coaches’ heads.

Also new is MLS’s developmental league, dubbed MLS Next Pro. The Crew will have a team compete at this level, where it’s really a direct pipeline to the main team. Many players on the roster, that usually won’t dress, will be playing in this league.

The 2022 season looks to be a good one. Since the World Cup will be in December this year, there will not be a loss of playing time for the league. That means more opportunities for fans to see great soccer in Columbus.


I am a math teacher in SW Ohio. Born and raised in NE Ohio, I am married with four sons who keep the flame burning for all things Cleveland. I cover soccer, betting, football and anything that focuses on the human side of sports.

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