Supporters who watched the Columbus Crew's Opening Match win over New York City FC saw a fitting end to an overall impactful week for the Black & Gold.
It started on Monday, Feb. 24, when Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin presented a proclamation in Downtown Columbus, which officially recognized the week leading up to the 2020 Opening Match as "Black & Gold Week."
The week was officially presented by MAPFRE Insurance, who has partnered with the Crew since 2015 and continues to be the presenting sponsor for Give Forward, the Crew's community platform and commitment to making a positive impact in central Ohio.
“We have enjoyed our partnership with the Columbus Crew and look forward to continuing our sponsorship this year,” said MAPFRE USA President and CEO Alfredo Castelo. “The Crew brings excitement and energy to the Columbus area, and MAPFRE is proud to team with them on programs and activities that support the community.”
On Tuesday, Feb. 25 and Wednesday, Feb. 26, members of the Crew's First Team, Crew SC Academy, and Front Office dispersed throughout Central Ohio to bring the game of soccer to six different youth locations.
Twenty-four volunteers helped host youth soccer clinics for over 1,000 participants across Liberty Elementary, Eakin Elementary, the Hilltop YMCA, the Columbus Spanish Immersion Academy, Annehurst Elementary, and Hamilton Elementary.
On Thursday, Feb. 27, the Crew worked with the intramural soccer league at The Ohio State University as part of the "Crew at OSU" initiative.
Next, the Crew commenced the weekend festivities by hosting a community event on Friday, Feb. 28 at COSI, which presented an innovative look at the sport of soccer as the general public interacted with players and other Club members.
On Saturday, Feb. 29, or "Crewsmas Eve", fans attended various supporter bars throughout Columbus ahead of the Crew’s first regular-season match, which Columbus went on to win 1-0 thanks to a debut goal from Lucas Zelarayan.