Columbus Crew SC Host Introductory Event for New Club President and Head Coach
Crew SC held an introductory press event on Wednesday to welcome its new Investor-Operators, Club President and head coach for the 2019 MLS season.
The 2019 campaign is the Crew’s 24th season in MLS and the 20th season at MAPFRE Stadium — the first soccer-specific stadium in the United States. The club qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs in four of the last five seasons, including winning the Eastern Conference Championship in 2015.
MLS Soccer News: Columbus Crew SC introduced President Tim Bezbatchenko and head coach Caleb Porter at a press event on Wednesday in Ohio.
The new Crew SC Investor-Operators, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and Columbus Partnership President and CEO Alex Fischer were in attendance at the event.
Bezbatchenko arrives in Columbus after leaving his job as Toronto FC General Manager to become Crew President late last week. He was introduced with new head coach Porter and new owners Dr. Pete Edwards and Dee and Jimmy Haslam.
The #SaveTheCrew movement succeeded this winter, culminating with Edwards and the Haslams buying the club from Anthony Precourt to prevent it from moving to Austin, Texas. Their arrival has brought some much-needed positivity to the club that beat out the LA Galaxy to sign Porter. Plans for a new downtown stadium and state-of-the-art training facility raise the ceiling on Crew’s future potential as an elite club.
“I am really excited to work with Caleb Porter,” said Bezbatchenko. “His background speaks for itself. He’s a winner both as a player and as a coach at every level. He knows Ohio. He knows the Crew. And he knows how to win in this league, which is really, really important.”
Bezbatchenko continued by praising Porter’s motivational presence in the locker room as well as his tactical knowledge of the game.
Porter joins the club with excitement as he claims to have joined an organization committed to the same goals and values as himself.
“I was looking for three things,” said Porter. “The first thing was I want to be around good people. What I mean by that is talented, passionate people. As simple as that sounds. The second thing was that I wanted to go to a club that had a long-term vision. I believe in a clear way of working. I believe in a process. And I have a philosophy that I bring to the club. Clearly, that was valued at this club. The third thing is I want to be at a club where there would be resources to create infrastructure and win.”
MLS released its 2019 regular-season schedule, a campaign that sees each of its now 24 clubs play a 34-match slate.
Crew SC begins the 24th season at home, facing the defending Supporters’ Shield winners, the New York Red Bulls, in its opening match at 4:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 2, at MAPFRE Stadium. The black and gold then travel to Gillette Stadium to take on the New England Revolution on Saturday, March 9, at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Columbus Crew SC