“My heart is black and gold": Aidan Morris takes in emotional Crew win


All good things must come to an end.

After seven years in the Columbus Crew organization, homegrown midfielder Aidan Morris likely bid farewell after Matchday 22’s 4-0 win over Sporting Kansas City.

The 22-year-old, reportedly set to join English Championship club Middlesbrough, was in the starting lineup and played 60 minutes before being subbed off in an emotional scene at Field.

Fond farewell

“My heart is black and gold,” the two-time MLS Cup champion with the Crew (2020, '23) said postgame. “They've had my back since I was 18, since I first started. I've been through thick and thin here. My coming back, fighting for starting positions. It's been a long journey, and this club means so much to me, and Wilfried [Nancy, Columbus head coach] and his staff mean so much to me.”

While Morris' imminent departure has been in the works for a while, Nancy said his young star wanted the chance to leave in front of the home crowd.

After going the full 90 minutes in the Concacaf Champions Cup final against Pachuca at the beginning of the month, Morris appeared in road games against New York City FC and Inter Miami CF before Saturday's likely farewell. The 22-year-old was also sure to leave a parting gift, notching an assist to help the Crew to a dominant three points.

“It's crazy, I didn't realize any of this was gonna happen,” Morris said. “I knew it was going to be great but to be able to have an end like this… two MLS Cups is special, and besides all that, I've created amazing relationships here with amazing people.

“That means a lot more than winning stuff.”

The Crew vision

“This is a good example of what the club wants to do,” Nancy said of the imminent Morris transfer. “We develop young players and help them to get better. After that, see what do we do with the future with them. But this is exactly the mentality that we want. This is exactly why the ownership group invested in this club. And this is the vision.

"It's gonna be a new chapter for him. He knows that, we had a really good discussion about that. He's really motivated and he deserves it.”

While Morris' departure from Columbus was bittersweet, his emergence over the last few seasons as one of the league’s top central midfielders and a member of the US men's national team pool certainly earned him the chance to challenge himself overseas.

“I'm always looking to grow and get better and challenge myself. They say when it's time for you to jump, it's when you’ve got to jump," Morris said. "I'm very comfortable here, and I love my life here. Things are amazing, but I’ve got to take a leap, step outside my comfort zone, and challenge myself. I feel like, for me, that'll be a good challenge.”