Crew Academy 17/18 squad to play US U-17s

Marquee youth friendly part of Crew doubleheader vs. Toronto FC

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The two-time-defending MLS Supporters' Shield-winning
Columbus Crew announced today that the Crew Soccer Academy 17/18 squad
-- which earned a third place finish out of the best 64 teams in the
country at the inaugural U.S. Soccer Development Academy Finals in 2008
-- will face the U.S. Under-17 National Team in a youth friendly prior
to the Crew's First Kick match against Trillium Cup-rival Toronto FC at
Crew Stadium on March 27.

The match, which kicks off at 1 p.m., is part of a First Kick
doubleheader and fans can gain entry to the youth friendly between CSA
and the U.S. Under-17s with a ticket to the Crew's First Kick match
against Toronto FC, which kicks off later that day at 4 p.m.

"Playing the U-17 National Team in Crew Stadium is a terrific
opportunity and stage for both our model in general and our CSA 17/18s
in particular," said Andrew Arthurs, the Crew's VP of Soccer Business
Development. "We are extremely excited to host the 17s for four days of
programming, and we know our players are very grateful and eager for the
chance to compete against the highest level in the United States."

Fans can purchase tickets for Crew First Kick 2010 at the Crew Stadium
Box Office, all central Ohio Ticketmaster retail locations, via
Ticketmaster phone at 800-745-3000 and on-line at and Fans can also still become Crew Soccer Nation members
by purchasing full-season ticket packages or partial plans, starting as
low as $95 for 5-Packs. Group tickets are also available for all 15 home
games. All ticket packages or plans are available through
and 614-447-CREW.

The match against CSA is the first in a 10-game tour for the U.S. U-17
National Team from March until May, which features matches against five
Academy clubs affiliated with MLS clubs - including the Crew Soccer
Academy - and five other Development Academy opponents. The wide-ranging
tour kicks off the national squad's early stages of preparation for the
2011 CONCACAF U-17 Championship and the subsequent 2011 FIFA U-17 World

"Whenever we have the chance to play against one of the older
Development Academy teams, it helps our younger players a lot," said
U-17 head coach Wilmer Cabrera. "That is very positive for our players
because the demands are greater, the speed of the game is faster, it
makes the game harder and they have more responsibilities and can
improve their level of play.

The Crew Soccer Academy 17/18 squad currently holds a record of 4-2-1
(13 pts) in the early portions of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
CSA - which was founded in 2006 - is the program that provides the
greatest opportunity and exposure for players to reach their highest
level, and is one of the few programs in the country that is fully
funded. No costs-for player fees, travel, accommodations, meals and Crew
replica gear-are incurred by families. Players train and play at the
Crew Training Center at Obetz and Crew Stadium. Crew Soccer Academy is a
charter member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, which is
supported by the U.S. National Teams and represents the highest level of
competition for those ages in the country. Crew Soccer Academy is the
only member of the Development Academy in central Ohio, and is the top
boys level in Ohio. For more information, visit

Founded by American sports pioneer Lamar Hunt, the Columbus Crew is
Ohio's Major League Soccer club, anchoring a diverse sports and
entertainment enterprise. One of the league's Charter Members, it won
its first MLS Cup Championship in 2008 and has also won the 2002 U.S.
Open Cup championship and MLS Supporters' Shield titles in 2004, 2008
and 2009. It will open its 15th season overall and 12th in
first-of-its-kind Columbus Crew Stadium on Saturday, March 27 when it
hosts Toronto FC in its 2010 regular season opener and first leg of the
Trillium Cup competition.