Armchair Analyst's Breakdown
- Strength: I thought Wilfried Nancy was the best coach in MLS last year. His ability to put together a game model that controlled matches while developing talent at the same time is not typical, and is super valuable both for the short term (controlling matches is good!) and long term (developing talent is good!).
- Weakness: They need Nancy to work some developmental magic because, while the first XI mostly works on paper, when you move past that there’s a lot of “they really need this guy to show he’s an MLS-caliber player if they’re going to have any depth or off-the-bench difference-makers.”
- Jonathan Mensah: Columbus traded club captain and longtime defensive anchor Jonathan Mensah to the San Jose Earthquakes as their roster evolution continues. The Ghanaian center back won MLS Cup 2020 with the club and made 159 appearances after signing in 2017.
- Artur: Artur, another 2017 arrival, also departed in a trade this winter, joining Houston Dynamo FC. The Brazilian defensive midfielder made 138 appearances and was a key part of their MLS Cup 2020-winning side.
- Pedro Santos: Pedro Santos was acquired in – yep, you guessed it – 2017 before leaving this winter via free agency. He joined D.C. United after making 155 appearances including – yep, you guessed it – being a big part of Columbus' MLS Cup 2020-winning squad. Haitian international winger Derrick Etienne Jr. left in free agency as well, signing with Atlanta United after a career-best 2022 season.
- Christian Ramirez: Veteran forward Christian Ramirez returned to MLS after a Scottish sojourn with Aberdeen FC. Ramirez last featured in the league for Houston Dynamo FC in 2021. He has 35g/10a in 105 appearances (76 starts) throughout his MLS career.
- Jimmy Medranda: Versatile left-sided player Jimmy Medranda joined the Crew in free agency this winter, likely slotting in as their starting left wingback. He originally came to MLS in 2013 with Sporting Kansas City and has also featured for Nashville SC and Seattle Sounders FC.
- Full roster
Projected Starting XI
- Marcelo Balboa: 5th in East
- Charles Boehm: 5th in East
- Tom Bogert: 9th in East
- Matt Doyle: 9th in East
- David Gass: 4th in East
- J. Sam Jones: 6th in East
- Sacha Kljestan: 11th in East
- Kaylyn Kyle: 4th in East
- Joseph Lowery: 9th in East
- Melissa Ortiz: 4th in East
- Danielle Slaton: 4th in East
- Andrew Wiebe: 9th in East
- Bradley Wright-Phillips: 6th in East
Odds & Ends
- Head coach: Wilfried Nancy
- Stadium: Lower.com Field
- Last year: 10W-8L-16T, 46 points, 8th in East
- Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify