Columbus Crew SC’s plans of fielding a United Soccer League side next year might be put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Crew SC general manager Tim Bezbatchenko told the Columbus Dispatch the idea of having a second team remains the same, even if the timing might have to change.
“I think we’re evaluating,” Bezbatchenko said. “I think like all business, the pandemic has forced us to relook at our structure and our programming. But our vision hasn’t changed in terms of we need to bridge the gap between our academy and the first team.”
Before COVID-19, Crew SC were planning of having a Crew 2 side in 2021, with the team splitting games at MAPFRE Stadium and the new Downtown stadium.
Corey Wray was hired as an assistant GM of the Crew and Crew 2 GM. Wray was in charge of Toronto FC’s second team when Bezbatchenko was Toronto’s general manager.
It hasn’t been decided if the team will play in the USL Championship or League One, but the wheels are in motion for a reserve team.
“We don’t know when that will be or what that will look like, but you have to plan six to 12 months in advance, which is why someone like Corey who organized and ran TFC 2 is going to be such a valuable resource,” Bezbatchenko said.