The Columbus Crew: The League’s First, Black & Gold

The Columbus Crew hold a special place in American soccer history. They were a founding member of MLS, set the standard for fan support, and boast a rich legacy of success.

Here are 15 Columbus Crew facts highlighting their journey:

  1. MLS Originals: Established in 1994, and started playing in 1996. The Crew were one of the ten founding teams that formed Major League Soccer, bringing top-level professional soccer to Ohio.
  2. Historic Crew Stadium: The first soccer-specific stadium built for an MLS team, it opened in 1999 and was known for its intimate setting and passionate fans. (Now named Field).
  3. Black & Gold: The Crew’s signature black and yellow (or gold) colors create a bold identity and reflect the industrial feel of Columbus.
  4. Early Dominance: The Crew won their first MLS Cup in 2008 and were frequent contenders in the league’s playoffs during the early era.
  5. Precourt Saga: In 2017, the then-owner attempted to move the Crew to Austin, Texas, leading to a fierce “Save the Crew” campaign by fans and local politicians.
  6. “Saved the Crew”: Due to the passionate fan movement and new local ownership, the Crew were saved from relocation, preserving their legacy in Columbus.
  7. Nordecke: The Crew’s biggest supporters’ group is renowned for creating one of the most intimidating and exciting atmospheres in MLS.
  8. Lamar Hunt: The Crew was initially owned by the Hunt family, sports pioneers instrumental in the founding of MLS and owners of the Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL).
  9. Guillermo Barros Schelotto: This former Boca Juniors legend and Argentinian star became a key player and later coached the Crew, winning an MLS Cup in 2008.
  10. Sigi Schmid: A legendary MLS coach, Schmid led the Crew to a championship and several successful seasons.
  11. Frankie Hejduk: A fan favorite and US national team mainstay, Hejduk was known for his energy and passion while playing for Columbus.
  12. Stern John: This prolific scorer from Trinidad & Tobago holds the Crew’s all-time goalscoring record.
  13. “Hell is Real” Derby: The heated rivalry with FC Cincinnati bears the unique nickname, taken from a sign visible along the highway connecting the two cities.
  14. New Downtown Stadium: In 2021, the Crew moved into their new home, the modern Field, located in the downtown Astor Park district of Columbus.
  15. Model Franchise: The Crew have been a consistent example of fan support, community engagement, and on-field success, setting a high standard for MLS teams.


The Columbus Crew are woven into the fabric of Major League Soccer. Their passionate fans, historic firsts, and commitment to success make them a pivotal part of the league’s past, present, and future.

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