By: 1808Delaware, Columbus Crew

The popularity of soccer among central Ohio youth, and particularly here in Delaware County, is well-known.

That interest is clearly evident in the selection of a local youth soccer organization to join an outreach program of Major League Soccer’s Columbus Crew.

Crew Youth, Columbus Crew’s arm of soccer programming designed for youth soccer players ages four to 18, today announced the eight newest partner clubs to join the Crew Network: Delaware Knights, Elite FC, Grandview FC, Hidden Talent, Legend SC, New Albany FC, Pacesetter SC, and Sporting Padula Soccer Academy.

“We are excited to welcome eight new partner clubs into the Crew Network,” said Crew Youth Technical Director for Youth Partnerships Robert Spain. “We have enjoyed building the foundation of the Crew Network alongside our current partner clubs, and we look forward to continuing to build a collective environment that grows the game of soccer in Ohio.”

The Delaware-based Delaware Knights Soccer Club offers a competitive club experience for roughly 800 boys and girls ages eight to 18. Delaware Knights’ mission is to prepare youth athletes for the next level of competition through age-appropriate training while maintaining a fun enjoyable experience.

The Crew Network, which launched in 2021, is focused on advancing soccer in Ohio and provides access to unique experiences for boys players, girls players, coaches and parents. Additionally, Crew Network clubs receive both technical and commercial benefits from the Crew, such as increased brand exposure, access to the Crew’s coaching staff and a dedicated pathway into the Columbus Crew Academy for high potential players. With the addition of the eight new clubs, the Crew Network has now grown to include 24 partner clubs in total, all located in the State of Ohio and includes clubs in the Greater Columbus region as well as Cleveland and Toledo.

Delaware Knights: The Delaware-based club offers a competitive club experience for roughly 800 boys and girls ages eight to 18. Delaware Knights’ mission is to prepare youth athletes for the next level of competition through age-appropriate training while maintaining a fun enjoyable experience.

Elite FC: Founded in 1999 and located in Ostrander, Elite FC provides more than 1,000 boys and girls players with an opportunity to play competitive soccer. The club’s focus is to develop players’ skill and passion for the game of soccer.

Grandview FC: Located in Grandview Heights, Grandview FC has approximately 150 boys and girls playing from seven to 12 years old and is a proud community partner of recent back-to-back OHSAA State Champion Grandview Heights Boys Soccer.

Hidden Talent: Located in the Hilltop neighborhood of Columbus, Ohio Hidden Talent is the competitive soccer arm of non-profit organization Neighborhood Athletics, whose mission is to provide athletic and educational opportunities to youth in underserved communities.

Legend SC: Legend SC, located in Granville, honors its home in Licking County and focuses on teaching players that working hard can pay dividends in improving themselves while playing a team sport.

New Albany FC: The club serves nearly 400 boys and girls ages seven to 18 years old. New Albany FC focuses largely on community, team culture, confidence and creativity all while growing the players’ passion for the game.

Pacesetter SC: Founded in 1980 and located in Toledo, Pacesetter SC focuses on training players to become quality athletes while gaining lifelong lessons and experiences. The club’s mission is to create the best possible soccer experience for every player, regardless of skill level.

Sporting Padula Soccer Academy: Based in Westerville and founded by Crew alumni and 2008 MLS Cup Champion Gino Padula, Sporting Padula Soccer Academy creates an environment where young players can learn, play, and value friendship in a supportive soccer community.

Clubs and youth soccer organizations interested in receiving more information about the Crew Network should contact Crew Technical Director for Youth Partnerships Robert Spain ([email protected]).

More information on the Delaware Knights Soccer Club can be found here.

Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay


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