Columbus Crew SC has got its captain.
In his fourth season with the Black & Gold, Ghanaian center back Jonathan Mensah will wear the Crew’s armband for Columbus’ season opener on Sunday against New York City FC. He is expected to be the team’s primary captain throughout the 2020 season. The Crew announced Mensah as captain as a part of the team’s first starting 11.
Mensah seemed poised to wear the armband after captaining the team during the preseason and speaking to fans at the final Black & Gold Week event on Friday at COSI. While players such as Vito Wormgoor, Gyasi Zardes, Milton Valenzuela and Artur all took the stage along with commentator/emcee Neil Sika, Mensah was the only player that spoke at the event. Mensah has been a leader for the team during his time with the club and is a bridge between eras and a well-respected player in the locker room.
The Crew was in need of a new captain after Wil Trapp’s trade to Inter Miami. Trapp was the Crew’s captain for the past three seasons after taking the armband from Michael Parkhurst.
At 29 years old, Mensah becomes the first non-American to have the captaincy since Federico Higuain in 2013. After having five different American captains since 2004, Mensah is the first African-born captain of the club. Mensah was born in Accra, Ghana.
Despite Mensah wearing the armband, Crew head coach Caleb Porter knows his club has multiple leaders and it can be leadership by committee. “It’s more important to have a group that shares the responsibility of leadership and that’s much more powerful.” The Black & Gold will have a leadership council of six to 10 players to help represent that leadership by committee. as Porter added that “we really don’t have one or two leaders we have a team of leaders.”
With Mensah being the leader of this Columbus team filled with leaders, expectations will be high for the 2020 season that begins today for the Crew against New York City. Kickoff is at 12:30pm from MAPFRE Stadium.