At the foundation of the Crew’s burgeoning youth development system, made up of the Crew Soccer Academy (CSA) and the Crew Juniors, is the belief that the long-range success of the program is critical to the growth of soccer in the United States in general, and to the Ohio and Central Ohio markets specifically.
CSA and Crew Juniors are committed to creating an unparalleled environment for young players that will help instill a lifelong passion and connection to the game. Providing truly unique experiences and building an aspirational model that includes access to the finest coaches and role models, age specific curriculum, programming, competition, opportunities and facilities in the country are all critical parts of the Crew Youth system.
Major League Soccer charted new territory among major professional sports leagues in the U.S. in 2006 by launching a league-mandated youth development initiative that enables - and incentivizes - teams to acquire, outside of the annual MLS Super Draft, top young players that they’ve developed from their respective home territories, which is the State of Ohio in the Crew’s case. These youth teams and systems throughout the country provide talented young players with professional aspirations a unique opportunity to pursue their dreams, while staying close to home and continuing their education.
From the program’s inception in 2006, the Crew Youth system now serves nearly 4,000 boys and girls players at all levels throughout Ohio and Michigan – including nearly 1,500 in Central Ohio.
The Crew Juniors were formed to create the premier youth player development program in Major League Soccer and across the country. We strive to assemble the finest coaching staff and to be committed to their long-term development through continuing education. We commit to establishing an outstanding learning environment for young people, on and off of the field. We pledge to run The Crew Juniors organization with a sense of community, and a commitment to give back to the game and assist with its growth at all levels.
- More than 130 players, both men and women, have continued on to playing soccer at top colleges throughout the country over the past 6 years, including Akron, North Carolina, UCLA, Wake Forest, Harvard, Michigan, Maryland, Indiana, Ohio State, Ohio Wesleyan, & Messiah
- 19 players called into U.S. Youth National Team camps & competitions
- 7 players have been part of the U.S. U17 Residency Program, including 3 (Ben Swanson, Carter Richardson & Nate Kohl) currently
- CSA alum Wil Trapp will participate in the 2013 U20 World Cup
- 4 National Championships 2010 (U19 and U20), 2011 (U20) & 2012 (U19)
- Soccer America’s 7th ranked club in the country in 2012 – the only Ohio club ranked
- 8 former CSA players (Aaron Horton, Matt Lampson, Ben Speas, Travis Wall, Wil Trapp, Chad Barson, Mike Green, and Kyle Hyland) are now professionals; 6 are on the current Columbus Crew roster
Crew Soccer Academy
Ages: U13/14, U15/16 & U17/18
New in 2013 – U.S. Soccer Development Academy has added the U13/14 age group
Crew Soccer Academy is the program that provides the greatest opportunity and exposure for players to reach their highest level, remains one of the few programs in the country that is fully funded, and has had the most success over a 5 year period of any youth program ever in Ohio. No costs for player fees, travel, accommodations, meals and Crew replica gear are incurred by families. Players train and play at the Obetz Training Facility and Crew Stadium and have a more frequent and better training environment combined with fewer, more meaningful matches. Players have unparalleled access and exposure to U.S. Youth National Team, professional and collegiate coaches.
Crew Soccer Academy is a charter member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy (USSDA). A U.S. National Team program, it is the top level of competition in the country. Crew Soccer Academy is the only member of the USSDA in Central Ohio, and is the top boy’s level in Ohio. CSA participates in exclusive MLS events during the year several players have had opportunities to play in MLS Reserve League matches.
The 2013-14 teams will be primarily comprised of players born in:
1999/2000 - U13/14
1997/1998 - U15/16
1995/1996 - U17/18
US Soccer Development Academy - www.ussoccer.com/Teams/Development-Academy/Academy.aspx
CSA Frequently Asked Questions
Ages: U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U18
New in 2013 – We have added a U17 age group
This elite player development program is designed to prepare players to compete on the Crew Soccer Academy teams by replicating the training, competition and travel environments that have made the U.S Soccer Development Academy so successful. The Pre-Academy player pools will compete in several unique MLS only youth events, along with multiple high level league options, including a new MLS and Affiliates MRL level and the National Premier League (NPL). The Crew Youth is the ONLY program in Ohio that can provide this level of programming and an environment that will replicate the highest academy standards required by U.S. Soccer.
Approximately 90 male players in the U13-U18 age groups will make up the Pre-Academy player pool for training and competition. Pre-Academy players are often chosen to train and play with the CSA as Developmental Players (DPs) any many are promoted to the full-time CSA during the season.
Crew Juniors Gold
Ages: U11, U12, U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, U18/19
New in 2013 – U11 & U12 Gold East, West, and South teams
Gender: Boys & Girls
Forming the third level of the Crew Youth Pyramid of Soccer America’s 7th ranked boys club in the country, Crew Juniors Gold is the top-tier of the Crew Juniors program. Gold teams are formed for girls and boys U11-U19 and connect the top players and coaches, first connecting them across three levels at the U11 and U12 age groups (East, West and South) and then on a full Central Ohio-wide basis at U13 and older.
EAST Gold (U11 & U12): Formed with the highest level players on the East side of Columbus, training primarily in New Albany.
WEST Gold (U11 & U12): Formed with the highest level players on the West side of Columbus, training primarily in Worthington.
SOUTH Gold (U11 & U12): Formed with the highest level players on the Southeast side of Columbus, training primarily at Three Creeks Park.
City-wide Gold U13 & up: Formed with the highest level players across central Ohio. When the quality of the pool within a certain age group is extremely high, we will attempt to create two gold level teams.
Crew Juniors East, South, West & Pickerington
New in 2013 – Crew Juniors South and Pickerington
Gender: Boys & Girls
Crew Juniors offers the finest quality, best value, and most comprehensive soccer experience to players of all ages and levels throughout Central Ohio. This level includes multiple boys and girls teams from ages 6 to 19 competing at the local, state and regional levels. Players benefit from being part of one of the most innovative and complete player development systems in the nation while training and playing within their local communities.
Our focus with the U6-U10 age groups is to create an atmosphere and environment in practice and competition where players are challenged to be creative and solve problems. The main priority is on individual player development in a fun, rewarding setting rather than team development or tactical priorities at these young ages. The development of technically superior soccer players will always be at the forefront of our player development curriculum.
East: New Albany, Gahanna, Big Walnut, Westerville
South: Bexley, Groveport, Grove City Reynoldsburg, Canal Winchester, Pataskala
West: Worthington, Upper Arlington, Hilliard