The Columbus Crew announced on Tuesday two staff updates for the clubs Academy. Gus Teren, former D.C. United youth coach, has been hired as the Crew’s Under-19 head coach for the upcoming 2021 season. In addition to hiring Teren, the club announced the promotion of Nathan Cotton as manager of academy scouting and recruitment.
Teren comes to Columbus after seven years with United. He was the Academy technical director for D.C. since 2014 after beginning his tenure as the assistant coach for the Under-13 and Under-14 teams. Teren has held one previous head coaching position, in charge of United’s Under-15 team while serving as the coordinator of camps and training programs. The Crew’s newest Academy coach also served as an assistant coach for D.C.’s reserve team, Loudoun United, in 2019.
“We are excited to welcome Gus Teren to Columbus Crew SC,” Crew technical director and vice president of soccer operations Pat Onstad said in the release announcing the move. “Gus’ seven years of experience at the MLS Academy level will make him a valuable addition to our Club and we look forward to working with him as he takes on the role of Crew SC Academy Head Coach.”
Cotton’s last position with the Black & Gold was as the manager of Academy operations with his role shifting to the manager of scouting and recruitment. Cotton’s responsibilities include laying out the club’s strategy for scouting players, managing regional and local relationships and onboarding the Academy while overseeing recruitment. This will be Cotton’s third season with Columbus after working as the first team’s video performance analyst in 2019 and the manager of Academy operations in 2020.
“Additionally, we want to congratulate Nathan Cotton on his recent promotion,” Onstad continued. “Nathan did an excellent job in his previous role and as someone who genuinely understands and helps guide the culture of our Club, we believe he will continue to grow in his new position.”
The Academy will participate in multiple different age levels for the 2021 season. For this upcoming MLS Next season, the Crew Academy will have U-14, U-15, U-17 and U-19 teams as they continue the free pre-academy program. The current pre-academy program began earlier this month and is set to roll along through the end of May.
Columbus’ Academy program has been an important piece to the club’s recent roster development with four former Academy members playing for the first team. Goalkeeper Matt Lampson, defender Aboubacar Keita and midfielders Aidan Morris and Isaiah Parente all once suited up for the Crew’s youth teams. Another former Academy member, Sebastian Berhalter, is on a season-long loan to Austin FC from the Black & Gold.
As the Academy welcomes these new additions in preparation for the upcoming games, the first team trains in Orlando, Florida for its final two weeks for the MLS preseason. The Crew will play its first of four closed-door preseason games on Wednesday night against New York City FC. The team opens its 2021 campaign two weeks from Thursday against Real Esteli in the CONCACAF Champions League.