Columbus Crew SC is currently going through some changes for the better. A new ownership group made of former team doctor Pete Edwards and Cleveland Browns owners Dee and Jimmy purchased the investing and operating rights to the team in order to make sure it remained in Columbus. Since then, Edwards has made himself readily available to talk about this new era of the Crew.
On Thursday, Edwards was on 105.7 FM The Zone Thursday morning to discuss all things Crew. Being pro Columbus, Edwards discussed just how important having a role in saving the Crew was to him.
“When teams leave, there’s a hole in the city,” Edwards said. “You lose confidence in your city.”
Edwards went on to discuss an abundance of matters regarding the Crew, from the new stadium and Arena district that he predicts will be finished sometime during the 2021 season, the new training facility where MAPFRE Stadium is currently located (which he reassured has no plans to be taken down) and even the future development of the Crew Academy. He believes that evolving the clubs Academy will not only be a point to helping out the Crew itself, but the game of soccer in America as a whole.
“We want to build an academy system that’s among the best in the country,” Edwards said. “We think that the future of soccer in the United States, not just for us, is based through the academy system.”
He elaborated further, saying how the club has the intentions of bringing in international coaches and how robust of a support system the club actually plans on having.
Another vital thing that Edwards highlighted during his interview was how the new ownership group is doing its due diligence. They ultimately want to have a product that everyone is going to be proud of, which he understands is going to take time, but feels is going to be worth every second.
“We want something that everybody’s proud of and, at the end of the day, that’s what we’re shooting for,” Edwards said. “This is a community asset. We’re really not owners, we’re stewards. The team belongs to the city, the fans. This is something that we’re going to collectively help as a city and a fanbase grow this.”
Edwards continued that he wants the emotional ties as well. From having that relationship between the fans and the club to having newly-established rivals from here on out he believes is crucial.
“I love it here and it’s always been my home,” Edwards said. “The first thing I said was, ‘Wow, Columbus loves the Crew. I think it has the ability to be very successful.’”
You can listen to Edwards’ full interview here. (Note: It is in two parts, both included in the link.)