COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Crew has announced a brand new developmental second team called Columbus Crew 2 that will begin play in 2022.

Crew 2 will participate in the recently announced MLS NEXT Pro league where they will play other MLS clubs developmental teams. Home matches will be played at historic Crew Stadium, marking the return of live soccer matches at the first soccer-specific MLS stadium.

“Crew 2 will provide Crew Academy players with a more well-defined pathway into the professional ranks while also providing opportunities for First Team players to earn minutes.” said Crew President & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Moreover, Crew 2 will be a platform to develop top talent across the technical staff.”

Crew 2 and MLS NEXT Pro will begin its inaugural season in March 2022 and conclude with postseason play in September.

The Columbus Crew first-team will start its 2022 MLS season on February 26 against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Field.