It has finally arrived for Columbus Crew 2 fans. The 2023 MLS NEXT Pro schedule has been released.
Crew 2 will play a total of 28 matches in the 2023 season, four more than the previous season. The Black & Gold, the defending MLS NEXT Pro champions, travel to take on New York Red Bulls II to start the season on March 26. This is the inaugural season for Red Bulls II in the MLS NEXT Pro.
The first home match for Columbus will be at Historic Crew Stadium on April 16, against New England Revolution II. Crew 2 defeated New England in both matches last season, scoring four goals in each game while only giving up one.
Last season, the Black & Gold were dominant in MLS NEXT Pro, going 16-3-5-2 and finishing at the top of the Eastern Conference and regular season standings. In MLS NEXT Pro, teams go straight to a penalty kick shootout in the event of a tie. Columbus lost three penalty shootouts and won the other two in 2022. A team gets only one point for a loss in penalty kicks and two for a win, as is normal three points are awarded for winning in regulation.
Two of Crew 2’s losses last year were to Rochester New York FC, one in regulation and the other in penalties. While the Black & Gold were able to avenge their losses in the postseason, sadly Rochester was forced to close operations and will not compete in MLS NEXT Pro this year.
While Columbus won’t be able to do battle with the team that gave Crew 2 the most problems in Year 1, fans of both the Black & Gold and FC Cincinnati 2 will not soon forget the regular season final where Columbus won 9-0 over the in-state rival. FC Cincy did win a match against Crew in penalty kicks in Cincinnati but the Black & Gold outscored FC Cincy 16-3 over the course of the three games. This season, the Black & Gold will FC Cincinnati 2 once on August 19 and travel to Cincinnati twice, once on on May 21 and again on September 17.
Other games to circle on the calendar are June 4 against Chicago Fire II at Lower.com Field and on May 5 and June 25 when Crew 2 plays Huntsville City FC, Nashville City’s MLS NEXT Pro team, for the first time at Historic Crew Stadium.
An interesting twist for the MLS NEXT Pro playoffs is that the top seed in each conference will get to choose the opponent they wish to host for the conference semifinal. The top seed in each conference will receive an automatic bid to the conference semifinal.
While tickets are available for each home match, many games will be broadcast on the MLS Season Pass. Any games not broadcast on MLS Season Pass can be found through the live stream on MLSNextpro.com.
2023 Columbus Crew 2 schedule
|Sunday, Mar 26, 2023||3/26/2023||7:00pm||NYRB||Columbus||Pittser Field - Montclair State University|
|Sunday, Apr 09, 2023||4/9/2023||7:00pm||Chicago||Columbus||SeatGeek Stadium|
|Sunday, Apr 16, 2023||4/16/2023||1:00pm||Columbus||New England||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Sunday, Apr 23, 2023||4/23/2023||2:00pm||Charlotte||Columbus||Mecklenberg County Sportsplex|
|Sunday, Apr 30, 2023||4/30/2023||5:00pm||Columbus||Miami||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Friday, May 05, 2023||5/5/2023||7:00pm||Columbus||Huntsville||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Sunday, May 14, 2023||5/14/2023||2:00pm||Columbus||Orlando||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Sunday, May 21, 2023||5/21/2023||6:00pm||Cincinnati||Columbus||Northern Kentucky University|
|Thursday, May 25, 2023||5/25/2023||7:00pm||New England||Columbus||Gillette Stadium|
|Sunday, May 28, 2023||5/28/2023||7:00pm||Philadelphia||Columbus||Subaru Park|
|Sunday, Jun 04, 2023||6/4/2023||2:00pm||Columbus||Chicago||Lower.com Stadium|
|Sunday, Jun 11, 2023||6/11/2023||3:30pm||Columbus||Charlotte||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Thursday, Jun 15, 2023||6/15/2023||7:00pm||Columbus||Atlanta||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Sunday, Jun 18, 2023||6/18/2023||7:00pm||New York||Columbus||Belson Stadium|
|Sunday, Jun 25, 2023||6/25/2023||5:00pm||Columbus||Huntsville||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Sunday, Jul 02, 2023||7/2/2023||6:00pm||Chicago||Columbus||SeatGeek Stadium|
|Friday, Jul 07, 2023||7/7/2023||8:00pm||Toronto||Columbus||York Lions University Stadium|
|Monday, Jul 24, 2023||7/24/2023||7:00pm||Columbus||Philadelphia||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Friday, Jul 28, 2023||7/28/2023||7:30pm||Atlanta||Columbus||Fifth Third Bank Stadium|
|Friday, Aug 04, 2023||8/4/2023||7:00pm||Columbus||Toronto||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Wednesday, Aug 09, 2023||8/9/2023||7:00pm||Huntsville||Columbus||Joe Davis Stadium|
|Sunday, Aug 13, 2023||8/13/2023||7:00pm||Columbus||NYRB||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Saturday, Aug 19, 2023||8/19/2023||7:00pm||Columbus||Cincinnati||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Sunday, Aug 27, 2023||8/27/2023||7:00pm||Orlando||Columbus||Osceola Heritage Park|
|Sunday, Sep 03, 2023||9/3/2023||5:00pm||Miami||Columbus||DRV Pink Stadium|
|Friday, Sep 08, 2023||9/8/2023||7:00pm||Columbus||New York||Historic Crew Stadium|
|Sunday, Sep 17, 2023||9/17/2023||6:00pm||Cincinnati||Columbus||Northern Kentucky University|
|Sunday, Sep 24, 2023||9/24/2023||2:00pm||Columbus||Atlanta||Historic Crew Stadium|