Soccer’s History in Columbus, Ohio
Whether you call it soccer or football, Columbus is part of the birth of a sport growing in popularity over the past 30 years. It boasts many firsts in the sport and is foundational in the growth at the youth level.
Dos a Cero
The USA Men’s National Team’s beat the Mexico National Team four times in a row by a 2-0 score line in Columbus.
Hell is Real
A major MLS rivalry pits two of Ohio’s biggest cities against each other twice a year. The Crew are 5-4-2 vs. FC Cincinnati.
Women’s World Cup
In 2003, Columbus hosted three World Cup matches, including a USWNT win vs. North Korea 3-0.
Soccer Specific Stadium History
On May 15, 1999, Crew Stadium hosted the first top-division pro soccer match in a soccer specific stadium.
Columbus not only made history with the first soccer specific stadium in the USA but became the first city in the country to build two soccer specific stadiums with the opening of Lower.com Field in the summer of 2021.
In 1995, Major League Soccer announced the Columbus Crew as the first team in the league, but pro soccer’s been in Ohio’s capital since 1979, with the Columbus Magic of the American Soccer League.
Lower.com Field not only hosts the pro game but the OHSAA high school championships. In 2022, it also hosted the Big Ten women’s soccer tournament, becoming a premier location for soccer in the city, state and region.
The USMNT has nine World Cup qualifier wins in Columbus, the most of any city.
Historic Crew Stadium has hosted three MLS Cups, with the Crew winning the 2020 edition in a 3-0 score line, the most lopsided win in MLS Cup history.
The Crew have won two MLS Cups, three Supporters’ Shields, the U.S. Open Cup and Campeones Cup. Off the field, supporters withstood a major challenge when they helped Save the Crew from relocation in 2018. In 2022, Crew 2 debuted in MLS NEXT Pro and won the development league's first title.
While not the same soccer as you’ll see at Lower.com Field, fans stretch their love of the sport to futsal courts. Played indoors, the game has some of the same aspects of soccer. Columbus Futsal features youth, men’s and women’s teams. They’ve been a staple of the futsal community since 2006.
Below the ranks of Columbus pro soccer is a strong layer of amateur teams for former HS and college athletes. On the women’s side are the Columbus Eagles. Part of the Women’s Premier Soccer League, the longest-running women’s soccer league in the United States, the Eagles started in 2014.
The Columbus area features six universities surrounding the city. That rangers from Ohio State's men's and women’s teams in NCAA Division I down to Division III sides like Westerville’s Otterbein University and Columbus’ Capital University.
Ohio State men’s team plays its first match
The Columbus Magic debut in the American Soccer League
Columbus Crew plays its first MLS match at Ohio Stadium
Historic Crew Stadium opens as the first soccer-specific MLS stadium in the U.S.
The first of four Dos a Cero World Cup Qualifiers takes place
Historic Crew Stadium hosts three FIFA Women’s World Cup matches
Columbus Crew win its first MLS Cup
Columbus Eagles begin play in the WPSL
Lower.com Field opens as the third stadium in the Arena District
He helped found MLS and was integral in getting Historic Crew Stadium built. His statute sits inside the gates there today.
The MLS Inaugural Draft No. 1 pick scored the first goal in Crew history and has a place in the club’s Circle of Honor.
In 2008, Schmid led Columbus to its most successful season in club history, winning the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup.
Prince tallied 27 goals and 20 assists at OSU. She now plays for the NWSL's Houston Dash and won two medals with Team Canada.
Historic Crew Stadium
Cooper Sports Park
Kilbourne Run Sports Park
Top 5 Must-See Columbus Crew Matches
- 1 min read
Where to Watch the World Cup in Columbus
- 1 min read