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What is Columbus Crew Day? Gov. Mike DeWine announces MLS Cup celebration

The Governor of Ohio and Lt. Governor Jon Husted paid tribute to Wilfried Nancy’s team as they prepare to take on LAFC.

Gov. Mike DeWine announces Columbus Crew Day
John David MercerUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Saturday, 9 December 2023 is officially recognised as Columbus Crew Day in Ohio.

Ohio’s Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted announced the new celebration, paying tribute to Wilfried Nancy’s team as they prepare to take on LAFC in MLS Cup. Nancy took over the team after a disappointing 2022 campaign and has taken them to the brink of a historic third title.

Follow Columbus Crew - LAFC live online: MLS Cup Final 2023 | Score, stats and updates.

“Ohioans are behind the Columbus Crew as they play in the MLS Cup Final on Saturday at Lower.com Field,” said Gov. DeWine said, making the announcement. “They’ve had a great season, and we wish them luck as they work to bring home a third championship! Glory to Columbus!

Columbus beat fellow Ohioans FC Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference final to set up Saturday’s MLS Cup clash against the reigning champions.

When was the last time Columbus Crew won MLS Cup?

Columbus Crew were one of the ten founding clubs in the inaugural season of MLS, back in 1996. Their first eight seasons in the league were modest, failing to finish above fourth in the overall standings and making little impact on the post-season.

Things changed in 2004 when Greg Andrulis led the team to a Supporters Shield title, but they failed to show their regular season dominance in the playoffs.

In 2008 the Crew, then led by Sigi Schmid won the Supporters Shield again and capped the season with the club’s first MLS Cup triumph. They retained the Supporters Shield in 2009 but fell at the quarter-final stage in the post-season.

Columbus Crew won their maiden MLS Cup in 2008.
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Columbus Crew won their maiden MLS Cup in 2008.

The team reached MLS Cup again in 2015 but lost on home turf to Portland Timbers. They went one better in 2020, as Caleb Porter steered the team to their second MLS Cup title in a covid-affected season.

The Crew failed to make the playoffs in either 2021 or 2022, but Wilfried Nancy has transformed the franchise’s fortunes since arriving in December 2022. He has the chance to secure their third MLS Cup on Saturday.